Actors from Emily Brown and the Thing, talking about the book with some children.

Directors Programme

We aim to support directors who put storytelling at the centre of their work. We have two tiers to our Directors Programme: the Tall Stories Directors Short Course and the Tall Stories Directors Award.

The purple Tall Stories logo with 'Director's Award' writing coming off it in a green box

Tall Stories Directors Award 2024

This project allows emerging directors to develop their storytelling theatre practice.


Chosen directors are offered:

  • One week of free rehearsal space in the Tall Stories studio.
  • A £1000 contribution to any costs for the week.
  • A mentoring session with one of the Tall Stories team.
  • The opportunity to have a sharing in the studio with an invited audience at the end of the week.

Directors Award Recipients

Faizal Abdullah

(FYE-zull UB-dool-lah)

Faizal Abdullah is a Muslim-Malay-Singaporean theatremaker, director, actor and facilitator. Born and raised in Singapore, he moved to London in 2018 to do an MA in Performance Making at Goldsmiths. His work explores themes of faith, roots, racial identity and politics and the decolonisation of mind and body.

Tell us about your project

I’ll be working on a selection of stories from ‘Malay Sketches’ by Alfian Sa’at. It’s an honest look into the lives of the Malay community in Singapore and the realities of life as an ethnic minority.

What’s your favourite story?

The story of Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat. They are two warriors from the Malaccan Sultanate and even though Hang Tuah is the titular character, Hang Jebat was the anti-hero that captured my young mind. His character represented justice, love and the antithesis of ‘blind loyalty’.

Penny Dyer 

(PEN-ee DIE-uh)

Since her graduation in 2016, Penny has mainly focused on creating family theatre. She has had the privilege of travelling around the world, performing in many incredible children’s shows. Penny loves storytelling, and she’s thrilled about this opportunity with Tall Stories.

Tell us about your project

My passion for children’s theatre has inspired this project. I will be bringing Rachel Rooney’s picture book ‘The Worrying Worries’ to life and adapting it for the stage. Books with strong, emotive narratives particularly capture my attention.

What’s your favourite story?

My favourite stories come from the world of Winnie-the-Pooh. Its heartfelt messages about friendship and the simple joys of life resonate with both children and adults alike.

Sofia Gallucci

(so-FEE-ah gall-OO-chee)

Sofia is a director and dramaturg working across new writing, musical theatre and restaging renaissance texts with a potent social resonance. Her work strives to make even the small and intimate feel powerful and epic, aiming to amplify lost voices and preserve neglected heritage. She was born and bred in Stratford-upon-Avon, trained in the south-west and currently resides in south London.

Tell us about your project

‘Hussy’ is a cabaret show that features actor-musicians and explores the history of the Ladies of Covent Garden. It is the story of the lives behind the names on the Harris List, which was the most notorious catalogue of women working in Georgian London. It’s going to be very messy, very loud and an absolute riot!

What’s your favourite story?

My favourite story is Ludwig Bemelmans’ ‘Madeline’ (closely followed by ‘Paddington 2’).

Ozioma Ihesiene

(oh-ZEE-oh-ma ee-hiss-ee-AY-nay)

Having trained with Start Directing Cohort, Iris Theatre, Ozioma gained her directorial debut for a sold-out one-man show, Before I Go, at Theatre Peckham Fringe Festival. The show has made a return this year at Camden People’s Theatre and Brixton House. She is in the current cohort for Fresh Direction at the Young Vic. Next up, Ozioma will be directing the show ‘Hair That Defies Gravity’.

Tell us about your project

IZWI:(VOICE), written by Dalumuzi Moyo.

The journey of purpose. Dee finds himself in a new environment with contrasting societal norms.

He assimilates. What was the cost?

What’s your favourite story?

The story of Moses found throughout Exodus in the Bible.