To mark the centenary year of Stephen Joseph’s birth and the 60th anniversary of the founding of ABTT, the Stephen Joseph Committee of the ABTT last year established a new Award to commemorate the life and work of this maverick theatrical genius. Following the success of the competition in 2021, we are delighted to announce that the Award will again be offered in 2022 as an ongoing tribute to Stephen’s contribution to our theatre culture.

Stephen Joseph was one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the last century. He was a founding father of ABTT and the Society of Theatre Consultants. He promoted new writing, architectural standards and technical excellence. His pioneering work has given rise to the myriad forms of theatre and open staging that are commonly used today. At the heart of his practice was the close and fundamental relationship between performer and audience. Above all, he established theatre in the round as a legitimate form of theatre in the U.K.

This award was created to honour Stephen’s wide-ranging legacy, which still informs many aspects of our theatre practice.  The Stephen Joseph Award, in recognising inclusive theatre excellence in the present, was conceived to best reflect and promote that legacy.

ABTT Stephen Joseph Award Specifications:
The recipient of the Award will be:

A living individual or a twenty-first century company or a non-conventional performance environment. In each case, the work produced will have exemplified a creative and adventurous relationship between performance and audience.

The nominated individual, company or space will have demonstrated:

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

The award is open to work produced or environments created in the United Kingdom. Submissions should  include evidence of widely acknowledged creativity and achievement. Submissions from artists/organisations who submitted in 2021 but were unsuccessful will be accepted in 2022 so long as they are fresh submissions.

How to Nominate:
Please send your nominations to the ABTT office at  Please include:

Your contact details
Details of the nominee and a short 250 word statement clearly explaining why the individual, company or performance environment is being put forward for the award
A short 250 word statement from a seconder: someone with personal knowledge or experience of the work or person being nominated
Supporting evidence such as photos, video clips, designs, reviews, and testimonial.
Nominations must be received no later than Friday 14th October, 2022.