ABTT announce new Stephen Joseph Award for 2021! Nominations now being taken!

15 February 2021

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.

Creation of the ABTT Stephen Joseph Award:

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 is being created to honour Stephen’s wide-ranging legacy, which reaches many aspects of theatre practice.  The first Stephen Joseph Award will be presented in September 2021,  but it is hoped to make it a recurring event as a lasting tribute to Stephen’s contribution to our theatre culture.

ABTT Stephen Joseph Award Specifications:

There are three categories from which one candidate best reflecting Stephen’s legacy will be chosen.

For the sake of clarity, there will be just one award in 2021 to the most deserving nomination drawn from any one of the categories.

These categories are:

1 A living individual whose work or body of work has created an exemplary and adventurous relationship between performance and audience.

2 A twenty-first century company that is widely acknowledged for its skills and innovation in creating live theatrical experiences in unconventional spaces

3 A non-conventional performance environment (temporary or permanent) configured from an empty or found space, or a recently developed theatre building that offers either an imaginative range of adaptable staging, including in the round, or a purposely-designed theatre in the round.

In these three categories we could have an example of the theatre in the round form that Stephen has passed on to us, or a company or individual whose work reflects the essence of his practice, in other words creating live theatrical events in shared performance spaces in which traditional barriers between actor and audience are removed or challenged.

Preference will be given to work produced or environments created in the United Kingdom.

How to Nominate:

Please send your nominations to the ABTT office at office@abtt.org.uk  Please include:

1. Your contact details,
2. Details of the nominee and a short 250 word statement clearly explaining why the individual, company or performance environment is being put forward for the award,
3. A short 250 word statement from a seconder: someone with personal knowledge or experience of the work or person being nominated.
4. Supporting evidence such as photos, video clips, designs, reviews, and testimonial.

Nominations must be received no later than July 31st 2021.

The award is currently scheduled to be presented at the ABTT Theatre Show in September 2021 at London Olympia. This is planned to take place alongside the other ABTT Awards, originally established in 1976.

The Award winner will receive a certificate of achievement, a physical award to display and will be celebrated in the ABTT’s journal of record Sightline magazine.

For more information about this award  or to put forward your nomination please  contact:   office@abtt.org.uk