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Mentoring Announcement

We are delighted to announce that the SBTD Mentoring Group are launching two new mentoring initiatives this Autumn

Coffee on the Kings Road and a Designers Mentorship Scheme

Coffee on the Kings Road

Coffee on the Kings Road is a series of four in person motivational talks that will be held at a covid safe Founders Hall on the Kings Road, London, from mid September to mid October. Moving forward we hope to roll out a similar programme via our Regional Hearts. 

These talks will be given by leading theatre/opera/ballet practitioners. 

Coffee on the Kings Road is organised and hosted by Nicky Shaw.

The first round of events will be on the 12th & 19th September and the 3rd & 10th of October. Tickets are £4 for SBTD members and £8 for non members and are available here:


Planned Speakers

Talk 1: Saturday 12 September 

Annilese Miskimmon, Artistic Director of ENO; 

Isabella Bywater, International Director/Designer/Artist

David Pritchard, Production Manager (ex ROH)


Talk 2: Saturday 19 September

Jamie Vartan, International Theatre/Opera Set/Costume Designer; 

Andreas Skourtis, Architect/Scenographer/Lecturer & 

Catherine Morgan, Set/Costume Designer/International Associate Designer.


Talk 3: Saturday 3 October

Tom Piper MBE, Theatre/Opera Set/Costume/Exhibition 

Designer; Prema Mehta, Lighting Designer/Stage Sight Founder 

Bek Palmer; Theatre/Opera Set/Costume Designer/Prop & Puppet Maker


Talk 4: Saturday 10 October

Christopher Oram (via video link)

Colin Richmond & David Farley 

All International Theatre/Opera Set/Costume Designers.

Doors will open at 1.30 pm (30 minutes prior to the event starting):

Doors will close at 5.15 pm:

We will be taking all necessary precautions with regard to Covid hygiene. The seating will allow for a 2m gap between each seat. The hall has excellent natural ventilation, being an old church assembly hall, with high ceilings and several windows including two large ground level sash windows. These will be open at all times enabling constant fresh air.


Designers Mentorship Network

The Designers Mentorship Network is for costume and set designers, at any career stage, to enable artistic and career development. It is to encourage connectivity, communication and community between the generations in the theatre, opera, and dance industry. This Autumn we are launching a pilot run, which will be used as a case study for future mentor funding.

The pairings can use approximately 5 hours spread over 3 months, as a guide. It can cover everything from portfolio feedback and general industry advice, to analysis of your design process and how to break into new genres. 

It’s a type of long-form mentoring where the mentor can get to know your work and discuss several topics or feedback as you evolve your practise. The mentees are paired with a mentor a few years ahead of them, creating a tree-like support structure where early careers are mentored by mid careers, and mid careers mentored by established careers.

We have 20 mentors, who have kindly volunteered their time, and 30 mentee places. 

SBTD members will be given priority for 24 of these places, and 6 places will go to bursary candidates. We particularly welcome applications from those who have been disadvantaged or disabled by social, economic, physical, cultural, geographical or educational barriers, this includes barriers encountered by gender identity, sexuality and race. Bursaries will consist of a mentoring placement, as well as a year long membership to the SBTD. It is not necessary to have undertaken formal design training at higher education level to access these opportunities. We will be working alongside a range of organisations to allocate these bursary places but will also accept individual applications.

We will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments in consultations with individuals taking into account the limitations of voluntary bodies such as our own.

If you are uncertain as to whether you qualify for a bursary place please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Please note: You cannot currently be in education. You do not have to have training to access the scheme but you must be over 18 years of age when the applications open on the 7th September.

The Designers Mentorship Network has been created and organised by Christianna Mason.


To Apply (including bursary applications):

Fill in an online application form;

Apply here

Information on the selection process can be found here

Key Dates:

Application deadline: 21st September 2020 at 5pm.

We will be in touch by 12th October 2020 if you have been paired with a mentor.


We are anticipating a large sign up so if you are not paired in this initial round, please do not be disheartened! We will keep your application on file and be in touch when the next round begins, date TBC. This first round will serve as a test study to fund future mentoring, where the mentor will be paid. We feel strongly that designers should be valued for their time and are working towards achieving that. At this initial stage everyone is working on a voluntary basis.


 For Mentorship enquiries, get in touch at:

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