THE ABTT Stephen Joseph Award 2024 is now open for booking!

1 July 2024

The ABTT is delighted to welcome nominations once again for its annual Stephen Joseph Award, as an ongoing tribute to Joseph’s contribution to our theatre culture. Designed to recognise innovative and inclusive theatre excellence in today’s British theatre, the 2024 Award is now open for entries.

The aim of the Award is to celebrate the variety of ways contemporary theatre practitioners continue to break new ground in engaging their audiences. The award is open for submissions and a wide variety of practice is eligible – the ongoing work of a theatre company, a specific production, an individual theatre artist or director, or an innovative theatre building design. Submissions welcome from theatres large or small, long-established companies or emerging artists. Nominations accompanied by suitable evidence can easily be made by theatres, practitioners, or the general public. Details about submitting nominations can be found below.

In 2023, the Stephen Joseph Award was presented to New Vic Borderlines – the outreach team at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme for their longstanding and innovative approach to inclusive and developmental theatre, as well as the sheer range of work done to engage people in the area from disadvantaged or challenging backgrounds.

Susan Moffatt, Borderlines Director said of receiving the award in 2023:

This award is an amazing recognition for the work we’ve been making through New Vic Borderlines for over 20 years. This is especially so, as our work stems directly from the ambition and inspiration of Stephen Joseph and Peter Cheeseman to reinvigorate theatre, making it accessible and relevant. Through our work, left out communities and unheard voices find a safe space to challenge pre-conceptions and make positive changes to their own lives and communities. We’re delighted and proud to have been awarded the Stephen Joseph Award and look forward to continuing to create innovative, inclusive theatre that truly does make a difference to society.

Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was a founding father of the ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence, and pioneered theatre in the round and adaptable staging. At the heart of his practice lay the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. The award serves to honour this legacy and to celebrate the variety of ways contemporary theatre practitioners continue to break new ground in engaging their audiences.


How to nominate:

Who and what are eligible for the Award?

How to nominate:

It can be a living individual or a twenty-first century company or a non-traditional performance environment. In each case, the work produced will have demonstrated a creative and adventurous relationship between performance and audience. Submissions are welcome from theatres large or small, long-established companies or emerging artists.

Preference will be given to work produced or environments created in the United Kingdom, and to work whose creativity and achievement have been acknowledged appropriately. Submissions from artists/organisations who submitted in previous years, but were unsuccessful will be accepted in 2024, so long as they are fresh submissions.

What are the criteria?

The nominated individual, company or space will have demonstrated:

  1. A high level of creative skill and innovation in creating the theatrical experience/s
  2. Work created for/or in non-traditional, adaptable or in-the-round performance spaces
  3. The creation of live theatrical events in which traditional barriers between actor and audience are removed or challenged.

What evidence is needed?

This can be any combination of – production photos, video clips, designs, newspaper or media reviews, and testimonials.

Who can nominate?

Anyone with a good knowledge of the nominee. This can include members of the theatre/company being nominated, the nominee him or herself; or members of the general public.

When do nominations close?

Monday 14th October 2024

How to submit?

Send your nominations to the ABTT at  Please include:
1. Your contact details
2. Details of the nominee (with contact details where possible) 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 else with personal knowledge or experience of the work or person being nominated
4. Supporting evidence such as photos, video clips, designs, reviews, and testimonials.

When will the awards be presented?

The ABTT Christmas Party at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, London at the start of December.