Support programme for young directors

The Cervantes Theatre launched its first development programme for young directors called Direct Your Future. After a selection process, we selected 6 emerging directors that had the opportunity to develop their craft with this scheme. We offered them a paid week of rehearsals at the theatre with actors so that they could explore their proposed project and a mentorship scheme to support them along the way.

“We can not afford to lose our youngest generation of artists. The future may seem dark and uncertain for many of them but we are here to offer our support and guidance, giving them voice and space within an international creative context and telling them that they are valued and needed”

Paula Paz, cofounder and Artistic Director of the Cervantes Theatre.


Emma – Louise Howell

Emma recently graduated from RADA and Birkbeck’s MA Text and Performance course where she won the Michael Ross Prize for Directing.

She has also worked as an Assistant Director at venues such as the Arcola Theatre, Hope Theatre and VAULT Festival as well as leading community work for the Ambassadors Theatre Group, Newlon Housing Trust and Whizz-Kidz.

She is excited about creating bold new work that brings new voices to life and can’t wait to work with the Cervantes team on Direct Your Future.

Francesca Davies – Caceres

Francesca holds a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Durham and is currently training on the MA Theatre Directing course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Born and raised in London to a Chilean mother, she has always been interested in using theatre to marry these cultures specifically through the medium of verbatim. Francesca also holds interests in political applications of theatre, and musical theatre, in addition to her ongoing experience in film direction.

Monica Cox

Monica enjoys exploring all forms of communication in theatre. As a director she seeks to represent the female voice and create work which is visually dynamic. Coming from a languages background (being half Spanish and studying Spanish and Russian at Bath University) she relishes in celebrating the work of different cultures from all around the world. For example, when she has previously worked in an independent theatre in Argentina, directed a production of The Seagull in Siberia, Assistant directed Irish play On McQuillan’s Hill at Finborough theatre and being selected to direct Lauren’s Call for FesTeLOff festival.

Ollie Harrington

Ollie is a director and writer from Essex. While studying Classics at King’s College London, Ollie became co-founder and artistic director of Found In Translation, a theatre company telling today’s stories with inspiration from the past. Directing credits with FIT include Leave. To Remain (Camden Fringe, Etcetera Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe), Cassandra (Blue Elephant Theatre and Mercury Theatre), and Bring Back Chainmail (Colchester Arts Centre). Other recent directing includes Radiant Vermin (Headgate Theatre) and Family Minded (Lakeside Theatre). Ollie also works widely on engagement projects, currently as a Young Changemaker at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and a Mercury Young Company Practitioner.

Steven Kunis

Steven Kunis is a London-based Greek-American director, and a recent 2020 Clore Emerging Leader. In 2019, he was nominated for Best Director at the Off West End Awards for the sellout run of AFTERGLOW at Waterloo East, and this spring he’ll direct Young Jean Lee’s UK-debut play STRAIGHT WHITE MEN at Southwark Playhouse. Selected credits include the Refugee Orchestra Project’s UK Launch (LSO St Luke’s), La bohe?me (Shanghai Theatre Academy), and A Lesson from Aloes (assistant director to Janet Suzman, Finborough Theatre). Steven is artistic director of Panorama Productions, a new company committed to international collaboration in theatre and music.

Tom Titherington

Tom Titherington is a theatre director, multidisciplinary artist and educator from South-East London. He grew up loving cinema, which gradually moulded into a love of theatre and directing when he studied drama at Bristol University. He began making his own work and recently completed (with distinction) an MA in Theatre Directing at Mountview drama school in Peckham.

He particularly loves directing new plays and adaptations. His work covers a broad spectrum, but is driven by a fascination in community, social history and our relationship with nature.


Some Feedback

As an early career director, the support, space and guidance offered to me on Direct Your Future has been absolutely invaluable in the transition between training and establishing my directing career. By being offered the time and resources to explore my own practice in a live, but not pressured, rehearsal room, I have regained so much confidence and creativity that was lost during the pandemic. It has been a chance to learn, make mistakes and develop my voice and ideas as a Director and the experience will inevitably shape my practice for the better moving forwards.

Emma-Louise Hollway


The ‘Direct Your Future’ Programme has been the most rich and wonderful experience. Cervantes theatre ensured that the programme was tailored specifically to my needs in order to make sure that I could develop as an artist. From start to finish there was mentorship embedded in the process from zoom meetings to a final feedback session which always helped me interrogate my work. The week of R&D was extremely fruitful and helped us reach many creative discoveries. Cervantes were at hand for any assistance in the investigation. Cervantes connected me with creatives and actors and facilitated many great working relationships. Most importantly Cervantes laid the ground for a creative environment which enabled me to reach my full potential with this work and to learn from the process. Gracias Cervantes.

Monica Cox