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Project information

The JMK Award 2013

Great directors acknowledge that you learn to direct by directing but for young directors opportunities to do so are extremely scarce. The JMK Award provides a rare and extremely valuable opportunity – the chance for a young director to direct their own production with lots of support and advice.

December 2012 - October 2013

Charity information: The JMK Trust

The JMK Trust logo
  • Need


    There are very few opportunities for young theatre directors to get the chance to direct their own production. For many the transition from working as an assistant director to working as a director in their own right is difficult to achieve. Without the opportunity to direct their own work they cannot fully learn how to do the job. The JMK Award gives one young director the chance to direct their own production with the freedom to make their own decisions and learn through this experience.


    The JMK Award gives young directors an opportunity to learn through a rigorous three-stage application process, which involves going through all the stages that are needed to mount a production. The Award is given to one outstanding individual. They are given a cash prize with which to direct their own production at the Young Vic. This is an important and rare opportunity, vital to the development of talented young directors.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To run the JMK Award in 2013 with an increased Award fund


    » Raising the funds for the Award through a variety of sources including individual donors and charitable trusts and foundations.
    » Advertising the Award to potential applicants through press, networks, theatres and websites
    » Selecting the winner and runners up through a rigorous and challenging three stage application process

    What success will look like

    Success will be being able to offer an increased prize fund for the Award (currently £18,000) which will enable those taking part in the winning production to be paid a fair wage.

    Aim 2

    To offer development opportunities to the runners up


    » Set up workshop, development and mentoring opportunities for the 8 finalists of the 2013 Award working with venues and individuals

    What success will look like

    Success will be the 8 finalists having a series of useful and tailored workshops and learning opportunities with industry professionals.

  • Impact


    The 2013 JMK Award will continue the work of the Trust – to find and nurture new, talented theatre directors. Over the past fifteen years the Trust has selected exceptional young directors for the Award who have gone on to play an important part in the theatre industry. Previous winners include Joe Hill Gibbins (now Deputy Artistic Director at the Young Vic) and Bijan Sheibani (now associate director at the National Theatre). The 2013 JMK Award will be no exception.


    The main risk for this project is that we will not raise enough funds. In order to reduce this risk we are approaching many different sources of funding including individual donors, charitable trusts and foundations as well as looking at ways in which the Trust can generate income such as running workshops. Fundraising is a major focus of the Trustees and General


    Donors will be kept in touch via mail or email at each stage of the 2013 Award application process. They will be invited to the announcement of the winner in April/May 2013 and will be invited to watch the winning production in September/October 2013 at the Young Vic.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £39,750

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,600 Selection Process Advertising the Award and the selection weekend for the finalists
      £9,150 Development Opportunities Director/designer day as part of the application and development opportunities for the finalists
      £25,000 The JMK Award This is the cash prize given to the winning director to pay for all the costs of their production
      £2,000 Runners up Award Award for the runner(s) up

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Individual donor £10,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The winning production will be performed at the Young Vic, a venue that shares our commitment to developing opportunities for young directors and which has a diverse and engaged audience. The selection weekend and development weeks will also happen in London.


    Those who will benefit most from the project are the 130+ people who apply for the Award. They have the opportunity to learn a great deal from taking part in the application process. The winner and their production team (who are often made up of a young producer, designer, stage manager etc) will also have the benefit of learning a huge amount through putting on the winning production. Audiences and the theatre industry will ultimately benefit from the development of a talented new director.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The JMK Trust was set up in memory of James Menzies-Kitchen, a young theatre director of great promise who died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 28. The annual award gives opportunities to young directors who share his drive and talent. For the last 15 years the Trust has sort out and nurtured an immensely talented group of young directors who have gone on to considerable success within the theatre industry including Thea Sharrock, Natalie Abrahami and Bijan Sheibani.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Stephen Fewell

    Stephen is Chair and a founder Trustee. He is closely involved with the application process and is committed to supporting young directors.

    Mark Rosenblatt

    Mark is a previous recipient of the JMK Award, Trustee and Vice-Chair. He is an associate at the National Theatre Studio.

    Jo Holding

    Jo is the sole employee of the Trust. She has worked in arts management for 17 years and is responsible for the day to day running of the Trust.

The Award gave me the opportunity to do the job for first time; an opportunity I couldn’t get anywhere else.

Joe Hill-Gibbins