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.

What we do:

The aim of the SJC is to promote Stephen’s legacy and, in particular, to celebrate the centenary of his birth in 2021 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.

Our Work:

Article: Theatre on a String: by Barbara Day

Article: Stephen Joseph – Maverick Theatre Genius by Alistair Livingstone

Article: Stephen Joseph and Stage Lighting – by Robert Millington

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

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

Article: Adaptable Theatres by Paul Roberts

Article:  Stephen Joseph at Manchester by Peter Thomson

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

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’)

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 are pleased to announce an Award to commemorate the life and work of this maverick theatrical genius.

This award is being created to honour Stephen’s wide-ranging legacy, which reaches many aspects of theatre practice. The first Stephen Joseph Award is scheduled to be presented at the ABTT Theatre Show in September 2021 at London Olympia, but it is hoped to make it a recurring event as a lasting tribute to Stephen’s contribution to our theatre culture.

Nominations are being taken until 31st July 2021. You can find out more information on this award and how to nominate here.


Theatre Then and Now: June 2020

In this ABTT/SJC Seminar ‘Theatre Then and Now‘, we joined Alistair Livingstone, Chairman of the Stephen Joseph Committee, in discussing Stephen Joseph, the formation of the ABTT (with Richard Pilbrow via video interview) and the importance of the SJC (previously SJA)  with Sir Alan Ayckbourn via video interview.

We were also joined by Sam Walters, Founding Director of the Orange Tree Theatre talking about: “In the age of technology, is live theatre yesterday’s art form?”, Barbara Day, Writer and Theatrologist discussing “Theatre that is always at a beginning”; and Peter Tate, Co-Artistic Director at the Playground Theatre with “To carry on or not to carry on..?”

An Introduction to Stephen Joseph: February 2021

This is the first of six webinars hosted by Dave Wybrow, Theatre Director at The Cockpit in celebration of the ABTT 60th Anniversary and the centenary of the birth of Stephen Joseph – one of our founder members. In this seminar we were joined by members of the ABTT’s Stephen Joseph Committee who spoke about their time working with theatre practitioner Stephen Joseph, best known for pioneering theatre-in-the-round.

Dave was joined by Alistair Livingstone (Stephen Joseph Committee Chairman, Designer and Director), Terry Lane (Founding Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre and Author of ‘The Full Round’), Faynia Williams (Theatre Director and Artistic Director of Brighton Theatre) and Terry Wilton (Actor – most recently Mr Kipps in ‘The Woman in Black’ on London’s West End). The panelists discussed their experiences working with Stephen Joseph, the effect he had on their own careers and share their thoughts on what he may think of theatre in the modern day.

Lighting-in-the-Round: March 2021

This webinar is the second of six webinars  hosted by Dave Wybrow (Director, The Cockpit). In collaboration with the ALD, we will hear from a number of lighting designers who have worked extensively in-the-round.

Dave will be joined by lighting designers Johanna Town, Elliot Griggs, Daniella Beattie and Tigger Johnson. They will talk about the challenges faced when creating lighting in this staging configuration, some unique opportunities created by theatre-in-the-round and about some of the productions they have worked on during their careers to date.

You can sign up to attend this event here.

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 by 

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.