What even is an R&D week?

What even is an R&D week? 29 July 11.00am- 12.30pm on Zoom

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A creative approach to holding space and sharing practical ideas to deliver an inspiring and productive research and development week.

We know many creatives apply for and receive funding to grow an idea, and this often involves intensively researching and developing, independently and with a creative team. Of course, people approach this in all kinds of ways. Still, one popular and practical approach, especially within theatre and dance practices, can include delivering an R+D week: bringing creatives together in a room and exploring the ideas, themes and production elements of the piece together.

But what does the R&D week entail?
R&D weeks vary depending on the focus and intended outcomes of the research. There is no one approach, no set of rules to follow, but we have heard from local creatives that they would really benefit from hearing and sharing ideas about how to approach the week to make it a creative and productive one.

We have invited Sameena Hussain Associate Director at Leeds Playhouse,  Ali Pidsley Co-Director of Barrel Organ and Jennifer Nevin, Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Displace Yourself Theatre to discuss the following: 

  • Who should we get in the room?
  • What exercises and activities should we include?
  • Who leads the R&D?
  • How do we ensure we meet our intended outcomes throughout the week?
  • What equipment and resources might we need?
  • What preparation should we do in advance?
  • What might the outcome of the R&D look like.


This session will be followed up with an in-person session in the Autumn, specifically for Bradford Creatives working on delivering an R&D week. Led by Displace Yourself Theatre, you’ll have the opportunity to plan, share ideas and test some of the approaches you learned on What Even is an R&D Week?

If you would like to join please register in the button below so we can send you further details, including a zoom link. If you have any questions please email us at [email protected]

Sameena Hussain is one of the Associate Directors at Leeds Playhouse. She has worked with various theatres, arts organisations and communities over the years. Her work is rooted in community and connection; it has always been about getting to know people and endeavour to remove barriers (both invisible and visible) which prevent them from engaging with theatre. Sameena is passionate about making theatre a safe & brave space, enabling dialogue and connection.

Ali Pidsley Co-Director of Barrel Organ, a Yorkshire-based touring theatre company led by collaboration with artists, individuals and communities. Ali also has a history working as a freelance director in both devised work & new writing. Ali’s work is always centred in collaboration, ensemble & liveness & has a real interest in an audience’s ability to make active & imaginative leaps. Research & development processes are critical to the way Ali works. process.

Jennifer Nevin Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Displace Yourself Theatre, a Bradford based touring theatre company. They use the power of theatre to explore intercultural connectivity and tell stories inspired by shared experiences of displaced and excluded communities; encouraging audiences to think about how they can all be active in improving the wellbeing of our society. At the heart of their shows beats an intimate and exciting process of creation.

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