We are delighted that from 2019 the JMK Award will enter a new partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, 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.
Stephen Fewell, Chair of the JMK Trust, said, “The Orange Tree has a longstanding commitment to developing directing talent – it’s part of the building’s DNA, so we are thrilled that together we are able to announce a new and unique opportunity for early career directors.
“In the current climate, we believe the Orange Tree offers a precious combination of security and intimacy so important to the nurturing of developing artists. The work it programs represents many differing voices, attracting and exciting new audiences, in a way that we hope will both inspire and give a platform to a generation of theatre makers right across the country. It’s testament to our previous hosts the Young Vic that the JMK Award production is now considered alongside other major London openings, and we are grateful to them for their commitment to all the remarkable theatre directors we have supported together.
“The fact we can share this opportunity is thanks to the Orange Tree’s real insight into that combination of bravery, rigour, faith and enthusiasm all theatre emerges from. With Paul, I can’t wait to begin the search for the next JMK Award director, and see what they might achieve in the unique environment of the actor-centric Orange Tree space.
“It’s going to be a phenomenal learning opportunity, and one we hope every young theatre director will feel is accessible to them.”
Paul Miller, Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre commented, “The JMK Award is the most prestigious young director’s award in the UK, and we’re honoured to partner with the JMK Trust to produce the winning show at the Orange Tree at the centre of our programme from 2019 onwards. The ethos of the JMK Award, and its commitment to nurturing emerging talent, is very much at the heart of what the OT is all about, and we look forward to supporting, enabling and celebrating the new directors we welcome here.”
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director Young Vic, says: “The Young Vic has been honoured to work with the JMK Trust for seven years, with many talented directors including Roy Alexander Weise, Liz Stevenson and Kate Hewitt – who will direct Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train on our main stage in Spring 2019 – using the opportunity to take their career to the next level. We wish our friends and colleagues at both the JMK Trust and the Orange Tree the very best as they continue on this exciting journey.”
The list of plays for the JMK Award 2019 will be released before Christmas and the deadline for first round applications will be 30th January 2019.