The Stage Debut Awards in association with Access Entertainment will return in September as a virtual ceremony.
It will take place on September 27, once again celebrating the very best breakthrough talent in theatre. The awards ceremony will be streamed on The Stage’s Facebook page at 7pm on September 27 and on The Stage website.
Leonard Blavatnik’s Access Entertainment returns as headline sponsor for a third year.
Any actors, directors, designers, writers, composers or lyricists who have made their professional debuts between August 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020 in productions reviewed by The Stage are eligible.
The Stage editor Alistair Smith, who is also on the judging panel, said: “2020 has been an extremely difficult year for everyone in theatre, but it has been especially difficult for those looking to establish their careers in a sector that has been decimated by lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now, more than ever, we felt it was crucially important to continue to celebrate and champion emerging talent and ensure we can rebuild the best version of our sector possible. Theatre must continue to support and nurture talent from all backgrounds – the current crisis will make it increasingly challenging to enter and sustain a career in the theatre industry.”
He added that the free virtual ceremony “would not have been possible without our sponsors’ generous support”.
The longlist of nominees has been compiled by The Stage’s nationwide team of critics since August 2019, but eligible performers and creatives, as well as the general public, are encouraged to suggest nominees online until July 31.
The judging panel will assess all categories and provide a shortlist, which will be announced on August 13.
Alongside Smith, the panel consists of Tim Bano, Lyn Gardner, Sam Marlowe, Bridget Minamore, Natasha Tripney and Baz Bamigboye.
They will decide a winner in all categories except the best West End debut award, which recognises a performer’s first appearance on a West End stage.
This category is decided by a public vote and voting will take place online from August 13 to 26.
Danny Cohen, president of Access Entertainment, said: "Access Entertainment is delighted to sponsor The Stage Debut Awards for the third year and continue our commitment to nurturing new talent - now more than ever at such a challenging time for theatre and the creative industries.”
Are you eligible for consideration? Let us know at thestage.co.uk/debuts