The Stage Debut Awards 2023

The Stage Debut Awards, the only awards dedicated to recognising breakthrough theatre talent, announces today that it will take place on October 1 2023, uniting the previous 12 month’s most exciting and up-coming performers and creatives in a special ceremony celebrating their outstanding professional debuts. 

The much-anticipated annual event, the 7th since its inception in 2017, will be held for the second year running in association with headline sponsor Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), and hosted at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London.  

The eight awards eligible for nomination champion performers, directors, designers, writers, composers and lyricists, and submissions are open until June 30. 

The award categories include: Best Performer in a Play; Best Performer in a Musical; Best West End Creative Debut; Best Director; Best Designer; Best Writer and Best Composer/Lyricist or Book Writer. The winner of the Best West End Debut Performer is the only category to be determined by a public vote. Last year, theatre audiences awarded the accolade to Jodie Comer for her illuminating debut performance in Prima Facie at The Harold Pinter, an award-winning show which has now transferred to Broadway. 

The ensemble of For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy, Mark Akintimehin, Emmanuel Akwafo, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh, Kaine Lawrence, who jointly picked up the prize for Best Performer in a Play have also enjoyed continued success for their powerhouse performances. A West-End transfer to London’s Apollo Theatre followed on from last year’s jubilant win.

Commenting on his ambitions for this year’s Debut Awards, The Stage editor Alistair Smith, says: “It's hugely exciting to celebrate the return of The Stage Debut Awards with the continued support of ATG. These awards hold a very special place within UK theatre, serving as a crucial launchpad for the most promising talent, right at the start of their careers. The ceremony is a celebration of dreams realised and careers launched, and a beacon of hope for aspiring artists from all backgrounds who seek to make their mark in the world of theatre.

"Already, since launching in 2017, winners from previous years have gone on to win Olivier Awards, run theatre companies and create hit West End shows. If you are looking for the next big star in British theatre, this is where you will find them.

"Mark your calendars for a spectacular evening of talent, passion, and hope. If you want to support the next generation of theatre talent, please make your submissions of debut talent for our judges to consider, or buy a ticket to celebrate with us on the night."

Ambassador Theatre Group Chief Executive Mark Cornell, adds: “Everyone at ATG understands that it is our people, with their passion and collaborative approach, that is the foundation of our success as we bring great live experiences to audiences every day. We’re very proud to be supporting The Stage Debut Awards for the second year running. We’re looking forward to being part of another exceptional night celebrating actors, directors, designers, writers, composers and lyricists that have made their debut over the past 12 months.”

Submissions for nominations can be made here and the shortlist of Nominees will be announced in August.

The inaugural The Stage Debut Awards took place in 2017 and recipients of these awards have gone on to star in West End shows, television series and films. Notable award winners include Shan Ako (Hamilton), Tyrell Williams (Red Ptich), Sam Tutty (Dear Evan Hansen), Miriam-Teak Lee (& Juliet), Jac Yarrow (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), Bush Theatre Artistic Director Lynette Linton, and Composers Femi Temowo (Death of a Salesman) and Dan Gillespie Sells (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie).

For details on eligibility and the judging process see The Stage Awards website: HERE 

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