Rhys was born in London but grew up in Bolton in the North West of England. He studied at Hull University, has an MA in Theatre Arts from Goldsmiths, London and received the Rose Bruford Trust Directors Award for his first professional production; Aquarium.
Rhys was assistant director to Terry Hands at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, a founding member of Animus Theatre Company and Artistic Director of the national touring company Mainbrace Theatre.
From 1996-1999 Rhys was Artistic Director of The Brockley Jack Theatre
, London. Implementing a robust programme of new, classic and contemporary writing Rhys turned this small studio space into one of the most popular small-scale venues in London. Productions included Bouncers, The Elephant Man, Sweeney Todd, The Hairy Ape, September in the Rain, East
and premiere productions of work by Rhiannon Tise, David Bridel, Barney Aston and Mick Martin including his BAFTA/TAPS award-winning play The Life and Times of Young Bob Scallion.
Rhys has undertaken specialist training with Monika Pagneaux (L'ecole Lecoq) and Elke Tasche (Volksbuhne, Berlin); was Resident Director at Tameside College in Manchester and has subsequently taught acting and directed in Israel, France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Luxembourg and Turkey for Z1 Films on behalf of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has also taught and directed in a number of leading British drama schools including Webber Douglas (now affiliated to Central School of Speech and Drama), East 15, Mountview, LCTS, Guildford and Guildhall.
Rhys was appointed Head of Postgraduate Acting at East 15 Acting School in 2006 and has been an external examiner in Performing Arts for The Open University and the international
awarding body Trinity Guildhall.
He is currently Director of Hertford Theatre and EHC Arts Advisor.