The Stage announces inaugural Debut Awards for emerging theatrical talent

The revered theatre publication, The Stage, has announced a new award to recognise the best breakthrough writers, actors and creatives in theatre.

Called The Stage Debut Awards, the new accolades will celebrate burgeoning talent within the industry and anyone over the age of 16, making their professional theatre debut in the UK, will be eligible.

Categories open for nominations include: Best West End Debut, Best Writer and Best Designer as well as gongs for Best Actor in a Play, Best Actress in a Play and for leading roles in musicals.

Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage, told LondonNewsOnline:
“It’s increasingly hard to break into a career in theatre – especially if you’re not from a privileged or well-connected background. So, with The Stage Debut Awards we wanted to launch an awards that recognise the best performers, directors, writers, composers and designers from across the UK at the very start of their careers.

“The awards will serve as a launchpad for our winners and nominees and will help theatre retain the best and most diverse talent at a time when it can be a real struggle for emerging talent to make a name for themselves.”

Casting director David Grindrod said:  “These awards have the power to change everything for the recipients and accelerate their careers.”


  • Nominees debuts must have been reviewed by The Stage
  • Debuts in shows during Edinburgh Festival Fringe will not be considered for these awards, but are eligible for The Stage Edinburgh Awards. Prior appearances at Edinburgh Fringe do not disqualify you from eligibility for The Stage Debut Awards.

How it works:  

  • The Stage’s nationwide network of reviewers will identify actors and creatives making their debuts and put forward recommendations.
  • Representatives from across the UK will be sent the critics’ longlist and asked for their input.
  •  An expert panel will create the shortlist and decide the winners.
  •  The West End debut shortlist will be decided by the judging panel. The shortlist will then be put to a public vote.

Shortlisted nominees will be announced in August, and invited to a star-studded awards ceremony in London on  17 September 2017 when the winners will be revealed.

What to submit/How to apply: See the website for details

Deadline: 30 July 30, 2017

Source:  The Stage


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