For applicants

About The JMK Young Director Award

Applications for the JMK Award 2019 are now closed.

We are thrilled that the JMK Award has entered a new partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, from 2019 onwards, with the winner’s production forming a core part of the theatre’s annual programming. At this new home, the JMK Award will offer one director the opportunity to direct a full-scale Orange Tree show with the production values and nurturing guidance the building is famous for. The winning director will receive a fee of £4,000 for their work as director on the production.

The winner of the JMK Award 2019 was Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, with designer Tara Usher, for their production of Arinzé Kene’s Little Baby Jesus. This year’s runner ups, and the recipients of £2,000, are Oscar Toeman and his designer Rebecca Brower in recognition of their effective collaboration on their proposal for The Sugar Syndrome by Lucy Prebble. You can read the announcement here.

The JMK Award 2019 is kindly supported by Philip Hooker, The Martin Bowley Charitable Trust, The Leche Trust, Fidelio Charitable Trust, the Directors Charitable Foundation and all our individual donors.

Criteria for the JMK Young Director Award

• Must be not more than 35 years of age on 1st January 2019
• Must not have directed more than three professional productions. We define a professional production as being a full-length piece performed by professional actors (whether paid or unpaid) to a paying audience for a full production run (3 weeks or more)
• Must have some professional training in the performing arts
• Must not be in full or part-time education between now and July 2019 or currently undertaking a degree
• Must be resident in the UK.

The Application Process

The first part of the JMK Award process is the release of the play list.

Applicants will then read plays from this list and choose the one they would most like to stage. They then fill out our JMK Award application form, which asks how they would rehearse and stage their selected play.

We use a play list in order to give all the directors who apply an even starting point. The directors have freedom to pick the play that best suits their individual style and ideas from within that list. The list is released with a good amount of time before the application deadline closes, to ensure all applicant directors have plenty of time to choose a play.

The Trust is committed to equal opportunities in its selection process.

If you have any access requirements or feel that a written application would not best communicate your ideas please contact us for details of alternative methods of application.

Applications for the JMK Award 2019 are now closed. However, if you wish to view a copy of the 2019 play list, please email

Stage One Submission:
Complete the application form (which will be visible at the bottom on this page during the application window) and then please upload a Word Document with the following:

• Your name
• The name of the text you would like to direct (you only need to write in detail about this first choice of text), with the name of an alternative option should rights prove ultimately unavailable (both from the play list)
• No more than 100 to 500 words on your choice of text
• No more than 100 to 500 words on your proposed production
• No more than 100 to 500 words on your proposed work process to rehearse the production
• A copy of your CV in Microsoft word format (doc.).

Please note that applications and CVs have names removed before they are read by the panel so please do not send PDF files. Also please indicate which productions on your CV are professional ones (as defined above).

Notes and Guidance
The JMK Award constitutes an Award of £25,000 plus space for your production at the Orange Tree Theatre. Runner up prizes of up to £2,000 may also be awarded.

Ideas for your production should ideally be rooted in an appreciation of the text, its original context and its world, themes and concerns. Applicants should avoid trying to write what they imagine we would wish to read. Whether they are fantastically visionary or purely practical, try and communicate your thoughts, drives and ideas as clearly and vividly as possible.

The Trust regrets it cannot enter into discussion regarding individual applications.

You will be sent full details of the second round if you are successful in your first round application. Second round applicants will be asked to select a creative team for their production and work on some initial design ideas with their designer. From 2019, they will not need to find a producer to work on their production.