Applications, Criteria & Awards Categories

Applications, Criteria & Awards Categories


The UK Theatre Awards are open to UK Theatre members working in both the commercial and subsidised sectors of the performing arts.

Applications and Judging Process

The following 4 award categories are open to UK Theatre Organisation Members to submit their own nominations  

  • Promotion of Diversity        
  • Theatre Employee of the Year sponsored by Integro in Association with Chubb
  • Achievement in Marketing / Audience Development
  • The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre

Nominations for these categories are shortlisted and voted on the Management Panel.  


Production Awards categories are nominated and voted on by  industry experts who have been invited to serve as panellists by the Chief Executive of UK Theatre.  Members cannot submit their own nominations for Production Awards.


Theatre and the performing arts are at their best when they are diverse and inclusive.

If your organisation has been doing great things to promote diversity and inclusion in theatre and the performing arts (whether ethnicity, sexuality, disability, gender or socio-economic) nominate a project or overall work for the Promotion of Diversity Award. 

Nominations are now closed.

Read our blog from the 2016 Promotion of Diversity Award winner, Belgrade Theatre.

Do you work with an individual whose contribution has made a real difference to your organisation or to the theatre industry?

Whether front of house, backstage, in the office - if their work deserves to be  celebrated nominate them for the Theatre Employee of the Year Award. 

Nominations are now closed.

Do you have an audience development project that made a real difference in reaching audiences? Nominate it for the Achievement in Marketing / Audience Development Award 2018.

Previous winners include Scottish Ballet for their Digital Season, a month long programme of dance, created exclusively for a digital format and Rambert for its work in attracting new audiences to contemporary dance, which led to record breaking attendances in 2014/15.

Nominations are now closed.

Venues, touring companies, producers all support the promotion and presentation of touring productions.

If your organisation has made a particular contribution to the world of touring theatre nominate for this UK Theatre Award.

“It was important, both internally and externally, that what we achieve through touring is recognised as something really quite special.”  Kate Denby, Executive Director of Northern Stage (2016 Winner of  The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre) 

Nominations are now closed.

Read our blog by Kate Denby on why she nominated Northern Stage in 2016 and what winning meant to them.

Most Welcoming Theatre

There are many things that shape your experience when you visit a theatre; a friendly chat with box office staff, enjoying a coffee in the cafe, feeling like you're part of your local community, or being entertained by the panto! The public vote for the UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award, sponsored by Theatre Tokens gives you the chance to celebrate your local theatre and all it does to welcome you.        

Production Awards

Nominated and voted on by industry experts who have been invited to serve as panellists by the Chief Executive of UK Theatre. 

There are three panels: Theatre, Opera and Dance 

Each panel judge the following categories:    

  • Best New Play
  • Best Musical Production    
  • Best Touring Production  
  • Best Show for Children and Young People
  • Best Director   
  • Best Performance in a Play    
  • Best Performance in a Musical
  • Best Supporting Performance    
  • Best Design
  • Achievement in Opera
  • Achievement in Dance

These awards are open to UK Theatre members working in both the commercial and subsidised sectors of the performing arts. 

To be eligible for the production categories of UK Theatre Awards, a production has to be either produced by a UK Theatre member or seen in a UK Theatre member theatre or venue.   

There are a few exceptions which are not eligible:     

  • Amateur productions
  • Any production in London that has been eligible for the Olivier Awards (unless a production has transferred to London and has not yet been judged for the Olivier Awards at the date of the UK Theatre Awards)
  • Festival productions   

Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award

The award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre is given by the invitation of the UK Theatre Board.       

Clothworkers' Theatre Award 

Launched in 2014, the Clothworkers’ Foundation makes an annual award of up to £150,000 to a regional producing theatre in England to 2018. Click here for more information.


UK Theatre Awards Panellists

Theatre Panel 

Arifa Akbar

Clare Brennan

Dominic Cavendish

Mark Fisher

Lyn Gardner

Sam Marlowe

Grania McFadden

Mark Shenton

Natasha Tripney

Chaired by Julian Bird


Opera Panel 

Henrietta Bredin

Rupert Christiansen

George Hall

Chaired by Julian Bird


Dance Panel

Zoë Anderson

Donald Hutera

Sanjoy Roy

Chaired by Roger Spence 

Management Panel

Fiona Allan

Julian Bird

Cassie Chadderton

Michèle Taylor

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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.