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On our Stages

The National Theatre has to be the place where the best artists come to make their best work.

The Peter Pan company in rehearsal

On our Stages

By March 2021:

  • 50% of living writers for our stages will be female
  • 50% of directors working on our stages will be female
  • 20% of the work on our stages will be written or adapted by people of colour
  • 20% of directors working on our stages will be people of colour
  • A minimum of 25% of performers will be people of colour – a commitment that is already met and will be maintained
  • We aspire to achieve an average 50:50 gender balance on stage
  • The NT is working with colleagues from the d/Deaf and disabled theatre communities to establish a target addressing the representation of disability on our stages

In 2016-7:

  • 42% of living writers were female
  • 32% of directors were female
  • 45% of performers were female
  • 5% of writers were people of colour
  • 10% of directors were people of colour
  • 29% of performers were people of colour


The National Theatre has to be the place where the best and most promising artists come to make their best work, and we believe these artists should be a reflection of the diversity of this country.

The New Work Department is responsible for developing the work on our stages, and at any one time we have over 200 projects on the slate. Alongside a diverse slate of commissions we have a number of specific projects to help us achieve our targets for diversity on stage.

We run our own International Writer in Residence scheme and we also ran our second annual in-depth Practitioner Training Course for BAME participants, to help us ensure that practitioners working with young people, schools, and community groups reflect the diversity of the UK. We also launched a BAME Directors’ Course in partnership with Stratford East to give BAME artists in other areas the opportunity to explore becoming directors.

The New work department has hosted a range of artists and writers on attachment from the d/Deaf and disabled community to work on several new projects.

Extraordinary Bodies, the UK’s leading professional integrated circus company, will spend a week in the Kreitman next week developing their spring 2018 show. Having collected material from around the country, this is an opportunity to shape the show and challenge the performers to work outside their comfort zones.

Finally, Spotlight, the UK’s leading casting platform, and the National Theatre have just launched ProFile, an online database for D/deaf and disabled actors, which will champion individuals in this talent pool by offering industry professionals the opportunity to watch these actors in action on an online video database. It is a free service, both for performers and industry users, and is available for the use of film, theatre and television professionals across the UK. D/deaf and disabled actors are currently under-represented on stage and screen in the UK, and ProFile aims to help address this. ProFile can be found at