Who we are:

The Stephen Joseph Committee (previously the Stephen Joseph Association) grew from a small nucleus of professional theatre practitioners who had known or been influenced by Stephen Joseph. They first met in Scarborough in 2017 and became known as the ‘Legacy Group’. Later they formalised the group as the Stephen Joseph Association (SJA) with a Constitution and Steering Committee and in 2019 became a committee of ABTT and changed the name, but not its aim, to SJC. The SJC was formed to support and celebrate the life work of Stephen Joseph as director and teacher, and as the pioneer of theatre-in-the-round in the UK. His legacy and name live on though the theatres he created, and also through the events, awards and seminars hosted by the SJC.

Who was Stephen Joseph?

You can also find more information on who Stephen was here.

What does the SJC do:

The aim of the SJC is to promote Stephen’s legacy and, in particular, to celebrate this with projects and collaborations which investigate and extend the awareness of his influence on the design and development of new theatre forms, writing and performance.

Stephen Joseph Award:

To mark the centenary year of Stephen Joseph’s birth and the 60th anniversary of the founding of ABTT, the Stephen Joseph Committee of the ABTT established a new Award in 2021 to commemorate the life and work of this maverick theatrical genius. Following the success of the competition, we are delighted to announce that the Award will again be offered in 2022 as an ongoing tribute to Stephen’s contribution to our theatre culture.

Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was a founding father of ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence. His pioneering work has given rise to the myriad forms of theatre and open staging that are commonly used today. At the heart of his practice was the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. Above all, he established theatre in the round as a legitimate form of theatre in the U.K.

This award was created to honour Stephen’s wide-ranging legacy, which still informs many aspects of our theatre practice, and thereby to recognise inclusive theatre excellence in the present.

The Award will be officially launched on Monday 4th July, when full details of how and when to submit will be available on the ABTT website on our News Page.

ABTT/SJC Seminars:

The ABTT and SJC have produced a number of seminars since the inception as a Committee of the ABTT. These cover a wide variety of topics relating to Stephen Joseph and the ABTT and can be found here.

Theatre Then and Now: June 2020

An Introduction to Stephen Joseph: February 2021

Lighting-in-the-Round: March 2021

Directing-for-the-Round: April 2021

The ABTT at 60 Years: June 2021

Our Work:

Article: A Brief History of the Stephen Joseph Committee by Christine Stott

Article: Adaptable Theatres by Paul Roberts

Article:  ABTT at 60 years by Paul Roberts

Article: ‘Gather Round…’ Stephen Joseph and the Art of Celebration by Barbara Day

This article provides an excellent summary of Stephen Joseph’s work and relevance to contemporary theatre. It manages to be both concise and rigorous and, by being hosted on the site of the Society for Theatre Research, it is open access and freely available to teachers, students and theatre makers to find out more about Joseph.

The SJC is lucky to have an academic authority, such as Barbara Day who also has lived experience of Joseph’s working methods – a visit to this link is well worth people’s time!

Article: Stephen Joseph – Maverick Theatre Genius by Alistair Livingstone

Article: Stephen Joseph and Stage Lighting – by Robert Millington

Article: Richard Pilbrow on Stephen Joseph by Richard Pilbrow

Article:Stephen Joseph and the Potteries Theatre in the Round by Les Powner

Article:  Stephen Joseph at Manchester by Peter Thomson

Article: Stephen Joseph The Devils and an Actor’s View – Terry Wilton

Article:Theatre as an Agent for Social Change by Roland Joffe

Article: Theatre on a String: by Barbara Day

Thesis: Stephen Joseph – His Work and Ideas by Rodney Woods

Transcript: Barbara Day – “Theatre that is always at a beginning”(from ABTT Seminar ‘Theatre then and now’)

Transcript: Peter Tate – “To be or not to be..?”  (from ABTT Seminar ‘Theatre then and now’)

Transcript: Sam Walters – “In the age of technology, is live theatre yesterday’s art form?” (from ABTT Seminar ‘Theatre then and now’)


Other relevant work:

Article:Stephen Joseph’s theatre revolution – from Alan Ayckbourn to Kevin Spacey by Tim Auld

Article: Stephen Joseph, Alan Ayckbourn’s Influences

Article: Remembering Stephen by Alan Ayckbourn

Archives and Research: Stephen Joseph by Alan Ayckbourn

Archive: Archive relating to the work of Theatre-in-the-Round Pioneer Stephen Joseph by Terry Lane

Article: Archaeologists think they’ve found London’s oldest theater

Article: Marking the centenary of theatre-in-the-round pioneer Stephen Joseph’s birth by New Vic

Book: The Full Round, the Several Lives and Theatrical Legacy of Stephen Joseph by Terry Lane (Kindle Edition)

Video: Simon Murgatroyd talking about SJ’s influence on Alan Ayckbourn

Video: Words by Stephen Joseph: Theatre World Magazine 1959 by SJT

How you can join:

As with all ABTT Committee’s these are free to join. You can sign up when joining or renewing your ABTT Membership online by selecting the tick box “Join the SJA” while completing your ABTT Membership Application Form.

Alternatively – you simply need to email on office@abtt.org.uk and let us know that you wish to join.

To find out more information about the aims of the SJC please click here.