Do we need another theatre awards ceremony? Independent critic Lucy Basaba, founder and editor of theatrefullstop, thinks so. Earlier this year, she launched the Theatre & Technology Awards after spotting a gap in the otherwise abundant awards landscape. I spoke to Basaba about the awards and what makes them stand out from the rest.
Why are the Theatre & Technology awards needed?
These awards are needed more than ever as we are living in an age where using tech is second nature. This is evident in theatre where lighting, sound and projections are a staple, and the professionals behind these innovations should be celebrated. Theatre is collaborative and a lot of what helps suspend the disbelief is the tech element. I’m not sure what to call our era of theatre making, but we are definitely living in a technologically enlightened time.
What do they include that other awards don’t?
These awards acknowledge both onstage [creatives] in lighting, sound and projection as well as offstage digital professionals [such as] photographers, podcasters, bloggers and poster designers. There are twelve categories in total; all help enhance the theatrical experience. It’s rare to watch a theatre piece [that doesn’t have] any of these elements.
What is the nomination and assessment process?
Established reviewers are invited to cast their votes from 1st July 2016 until 30th June 2017 for four of the categories: Best Sound Design, Lighting Design, Projections and PR company. Shows put forward must have been during the nomination period and must have had at least five showings at an established theatre. Voting will be opened to the public from April 2017 to June 2017 for eight of the categories. Voting will close on 30th June 2017 and judging by industry professionals will take place in July for each category. They will choose five of the top nominees, with a shortlist announced in August.
When and where will the awards ceremony be?
The ceremony will take place on Sunday 22nd October 2017; the venue is yet to be confirmed.
The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.