Industry newspaper The Stage, the world’s oldest theatre publication, has announced the shortlist for its annual industry awards, celebrating success within the performing arts. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held on 27 January 2017 at the West End’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child producer Sonia Friedman (pictured, photo by Alex Brenner) is shortlisted for Producer of the Year sponsored by PRG XL Video, which she won in both 2015 and 2016. She is competing with Kenny Wax producer of The Play That Goes Wrong, and Fiery Angel which produced the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company West End season.
Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage and chair of the judging panel, said:
“The Stage Awards are the only theatre awards that celebrate the whole stunning spectrum of theatre, encompassing London, regional, fringe and international work. Our exceptional shortlist this year is a blend of big and small, established and new. It ranges from Sonia Friedman, the commercial impresario behind West End mega-hit Harry Potter, to the Hope Mill, a bijou fringe theatre located in a former Manchester cotton mill. It’s also exciting to introduce two new categories this year – the Sustainability Award and the Innovation Award – for which we also have a spectacular range of nominees. Together, these thrillingly diverse companies represent the very best of what theatre is today.”
Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures is nominated for the International Award, sponsored by Ambassador Theatre Group, alongside Graeae Theatre Company and the Big in Belgium season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The Innovation Award category sponsored by Charcoalblue is a new award for 2017. The shortlist includes the New Diorama Theatre for its artist support programme, Simon McBurney’s Complicite for its use of sound on The Encounter, Les Enfants Terribles and Emma Brunjes Productions for new approaches to theatremaking.
The second new category for 2017, the Sustainability Award, sponsored by GDS, sees London Theatre Consortium compete with Tara Theatre and The Handlebards to recognise their environmental initiatives.
King’s Cross Theatre is back in the running for Theatre Building of the Year, sponsored by Audience Systems, having been previously nominated for the same category in 2016. The other nominees for the category include Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool and Tara Theatre, London.
Bristol Old Vic and Mercury Theatre, Colchester are nominated for Regional Theatre of the Year, sponsored by Evolution Productions, along with Sheffield Theatres, which won in the same category in 2013 & 2014.
London theatres competing for silverware in the London Theatre of the Year category, sponsored by Managed Networks, include Menier Chocolate Factory, the Old Vic Theatre, and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Meanwhile Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre is in the running for Fringe Theatre of the Year, sponsored by encoreinsure.com, with London-based theatres Hope Theatre, and New Diorama.
Shortlisted for School of the Year, sponsored by TodayTix, are the Urdang Academy, Musical Theatre Academy and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
An Unsung Hero award, sponsored by White Light, for which there is no shortlist will also be announced at the 2017 ceremony.
The Stage Awards, in association with Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd, are decided by The Stage’s senior editorial team, following extensive consultation with leading figures in the theatre industry and a public nomination process.
Previous winners of The Stage Awards include: the National Theatre, Sonia Friedman Productions, Shakespeare’s Globe, Almeida Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre, Young Vic Theatre, Michael Grandage Company, National Youth Theatre, Arts Educational Schools and Sheffield Theatres. The Stage Awards 2017 are presented in association with Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd. Category sponsors for this year’s event include Ambassador Theatre Group, encoreinsure.com, Managed Networks, TodayTix, Audience Systems, Charcoalblue, White Light, GDS, PRG XL Video and Evolution Productions.
The full nominations in the 2017 Awards are listed below.
Regional Theatre of the Year
sponsored by Evolution Productions
Bristol Old Vic
Mercury Theatre, Colchester
London Theatre of the Year
sponsored by Managed Networks
Menier Chocolate Factory
Old Vic Theatre
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Fringe Theatre of the Year
sponsored by encoreinsure.com
Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester
Hope Theatre, London
New Diorama Theatre, London
Theatre Building of the Year
sponsored by Audience Systems
King’s Cross Theatre, London
Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
Tara Theatre, London
Producer of the Year
sponsored by PRG XL Video
Kenny Wax Productions
Sonia Friedman Productions
School of the Year
sponsored by TodayTix
Musical Theatre Academy, London
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff
Urdang Academy, London
sponsored by Ambassador Theatre Group
Big in Belgium season at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Graeae Theatre Company
Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures
sponsored by GDS
London Theatre Consortium
Tara Theatre, London
sponsored by Charcoalblue
Les Enfants Terribles and Emma Brunjes Productions
New Diorama Theatre
About The Stage Awards
The Stage Awards highlight the achievements of theatre companies and individuals across the UK and globally.
The judging panel for The Stage Awards comprises: print editor Alistair Smith, online editor Paddy Smith, associate editor (and MyTheatreMates co-founder) Mark Shenton, reviews editor Natasha Tripney and news editor Matthew Hemley.
The final shortlist is compiled following an open process, supplemented by the views of a focus group of 50 influential industry figures and senior writers for The Stage. The shortlist for each category except Unsung Hero (for which there is no shortlist) is announced in the December 22, 2016 issue of The Stage.