Winner 1999

Mark Rosenblatt

Production: The Dybbuk by S. Anski

Mark Rosenblatt is Associate Artist of Leeds Playhouse where, from 2013-16, he was Associate Director. From 2011-13 he was the Associate at the National Theatre Studio. He founded Dumbfounded Theatre in 2001 and is Vice-Chair of the JMK Trust.

Recent productions includes: Missing People by Brad Birch (New National Theatre, Tokyo - Leeds Playhouse & Kani Public Arts Center, Japan); De Profundis with Simon Callow (Vaudeville Theatre & Edinburgh Festival); The Fruit Trilogy (US premiere, Abingdon Theatre at Lucille Lortel Theater, New York); Waiting for Godot (Tobacco Factory Theatres and tour); Heather Christian's Animal Wisdom (co-directed, Bushwick Starr Theater, Brooklyn, New York); The Country (Japanese premiere, Gorch Brothers Productions at DDD Aoyama Cross Theater, Tokyo); Villette (Leeds Playhouse); The Fruit Trilogy (WOW Festival, Southbank Centre London & Leeds Playhouse); Richard III; Avocado; Uncle Vanya and Of Mice and Men (Leeds Playhouse), Jack Thorne's adaptation of Stuart: A Life Backwards (Hightide Festival, Watford Palace, Sheffield Theatres; nominated for Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh 2013 Award).

He also writes and directs films, including: as co-writer, Making Noise Quietly (feature, released UK 2019), starring Deborah Findlay and Trystan Gravelle; as writer-director, Ganef (short, 2019), with Lydia Wilson and Sophie McShera.

I have no doubt that the JMK Award is the best one-off young directors’ bursary around. It creates an incentive for a young creative team to come up with really concrete ideas for a show in an existing space. It encourages a freedom of choice of play that a young jobbing director is unlikely to experience again for a number of years. And, most importantly, it does not involve assistant directing. You are given a show, a real challenge with the backing of a kick-start budget (a terribly important psychological head-start over any other fringe experience). Other bursary schemes offer months of assistant directing and, whilst this is often invaluable, there’s nothing like directing a show in a theatre if you want to be a theatre director - Mark Rosenblatt

Rosenblatt brings an assured and intelligent touch to his reading of The Dybbuk, endowing the play with an intensity that resists the temptation of spilling over into melodrama. A truly remarkable evening of theatre - The Independent

A dark, languid production - The Evening Standard

An impressively assured debut on the professional stageThe Jewish Chronicle

Spine-tingling moments - Time Out

Finalists in 1999 were Richard Beecham, Lee Blakeley, Nick Green, Julio Martino, Josie Rourke, Philip Wilson and Charlie Wood.