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 2020

We are delighted that the JMK Award is continuing its partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, with the winner’s production forming a core part of the theatre’s annual programming. The JMK Award 2020 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.

Applications for the JMK Award 2020 are now closed.

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