The Black British Theatre Awards has announced four new categories for 2020 – including an accolade for best use of innovation and technology.
Other new categories include a casting director recognition award and a LGBTQ+ champion prize, to recognise an individual or group that has contributed to awareness of the LGBTQ+ community in theatre.
There will also be a new disability champion award, to recognise a venue, individual or company that has shown commitment to inclusion.
Set up last year by the principal of London’s Urdang Academy Solange Urdang and writer, director and choreographer Omar F Okai, the Black British Theatre Awards celebrate black performers and creative talent in British theatre.
Organisers have confirmed the awards will run again in 2020, taking place on November 8.
Hosted by actor and presenter Ore Oduba, the awards will go ahead as a virtual ceremony, which will be live-streamed online.
Nominations for the awards will open on June 1, with the shortlist to be announced on September 3.
Okai said: "Our industry has been devastated. All plays, musicals and creative pieces have come to a sad and frightening halt, the effects are felt and have had a deep impact on our performers, creatives and students in training.
"The Black British Theatre Awards team is determined to present the ceremony in some form, and help get the spirit we so sorely need in our industry back".
Speaking at a virtual press launch for the awards, actor Giles Terera said he hoped the online format would help the event reach more young people.
"A lot of young people are very proficient and comfortable with dealing with their communications online, so therefore, if we are looking at this year’s event, which really embraces all platforms and all media, then there might be a way in which we stand more of a chance of reaching young people and young artists," Terera said.
"With that in mind, it’s really necessary and commendable to keep going [with the awards] now more than ever."
Urdang added it was “important that we have positive role models encouraging the next generation”.
Organisers also announced an outreach day for the awards aimed at 12 to 20-year-olds, which will take place on October 18 to coincide with Black History Month. The outreach day will include workshops, masterclasses and presentations from performers, creatives and technicians.