The JMK Award

The James Menzies-Kitchin Young Director Award

The JMK Award was established in memory of James Menzies-Kitchin, a young theatre director who died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 28, to encourage others to fulfil their potential as he had promised to do.

The JMK Trust was founded to give opportunities to young theatre directors of similar ability and vision.  The Award enables one outstanding applicant each year to create their own production of their choice of classic text. For many, winning the JMK Award is the breakthrough moment in their directing career.

Increasingly simply taking part in the Trust's unique, intensive development and selection process has itself given powerful impetus to the best theatre practitioners of the future.

"I wouldn't be where I am now without winning the Award. The only way to become a director is to direct. There is no three-year drama school course to go on after which you can be a qualified director. This Award provides the opportunity to direct by giving the two things a young director doesn't have - a space and money." Thea Sharrock

"The Award is extraordinary because its unique existence fulfills every young director's wish: to choose a play and then receive the financial support to stage it.  It was an amazing privilege to have this wish fulfilled." Natalie Abrahami

The JMK Young Director Award 2018

Due to unforeseen circumstances the list for the JMK Award 2018 will now be released in the New Year and the deadline for applications adjusted accordingly. To request a copy of the list when it is ready please email

You can find out about the JMK Young Directors Award 2018 at our information workshops, run in association with the Young Vic, on the 13th December 2017 and 10th January 2018. Book your free place here.

About the JMK Young Director Award

• Must be not more than 30 years of age on 1st January 2018
• Must not have directed more than two 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 2018 or currently undertaking a degree
• Must be resident in the UK.

Stage One Submission:
Complete the application form at the bottom on the page 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 2018 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 a production budget of £25,000 plus space for your production at the Young Vic. 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.

Your production will take place in the Clare Theatre at the Young Vic which has a maximum of 60 seats. For plans of the theatre click here.

Equity Minimum
You will need to pay your cast and stage management at Equity ITC minimum rates and take this into account when considering the size of company necessary for your play choice - click here for information on ITC website.

In the likely event that you will need more than £25,000 for your production, we recommend you start to investigate fundraising avenues now and refer to them in your application. We look for proposals that are ambitious whilst being realistic and achievable. If your ideas require dramaturgy, please specify.

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

The Trust is committed to equal opportunities in its selection process.
If you have any access requirements please let us know.

After the first round
You will be sent full details of the second round if you are successful in your first round application.
Any questions or to request a copy of the list please email

Applications for the JMK Award can be made here.