Ken Bennett-Hunter. Photo: Charlie Hopkinson
About the Award
Established in memory of former TMA /UK Theatre President, Ken Bennett-Hunter, the AK Bennett-Hunter Award for Backstage Journalism will help meet the need for more journalists specialising in back stage and technical theatre.
The Award is a partnership between The Stage, the Association of British Theatre Technicians, Stage Management Association, Skillscene, the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre.
The Award consists of £2,000 of financial support, a year of mentoring from established journalists and expert backstage practitioners, behind the scenes access, introductions and networking opportunities, and publication in The Stage (for a fee of £500 in total), UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre websites, ABTT’s Sightline and the SMA’s Cueline magazine and website.
Ken Bennett-Hunter was an advocate and passionate champion of the issues and developments affecting theatre technicians, stage managers, designers and theatre managers. He was an influential, knowledgeable and engaging journalist whose work brought the technical, back and off stage elements of theatre to centre stage.
Ken Bennett-Hunter was editor of The Stage’s Backstage section and edited The Stage’s Working Backstage series of career guides. He was editor of the ABTT’s Sightline, and was a regular contributor to SMA magazine Cueline, and to UK Theatre publications, throughout his career.
The AK Bennett-Hunter Award for Backstage Journalism is open to all.
The Award may be presented to an established writer looking to develop their technical theatre knowledge, or for someone working in the off stage world to develop their writing ability.
The Inagural Award
The inaugural AK Bennett Hunter Award was won by freelancer Production Manager Heather Doole in February 2018.
Doole, who has worked on shows at the Gate Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and Trafalgar Studios, received £2,000 in financial support as well as mentoring from journalists and backstage practitioners.
The judges picked Doole from a strong field of applicants, after being impressed by the strength of her technical writing. As part of the AK Bennett-Hunter Award for Backstage Journalism, her work will be published in the Backstage section of The Stage.
Doole has also worked as operations manager at the Actors Centre and general manager for magician double act Morgan and West.
“I’m thrilled to have the chance to enthuse more people about the wonder of backstage journalism,” she said.