Which artists and productions from the past year do you think are worthy of awards recognition? Now is your chance to put them in the running! The nominations phase in the 14th annual WhatsOnStage Awards, the original "theatregoers' choice" prize-giving, opens today, Friday 1 November 2013.
The annual Awards - the only major theatre prize to be decided across all categories by the theatregoing public - have firmly established their place in the theatrical calendar with over 60,000 people voting each year.
Voting for both the nominations and eventual winners takes place online at our revamped awards microsite, designed and built by Best Set Designer sponsor Feast Creative, at awards.whatsonstage.com. Throughout November, theatregoers can log on to nominate their favourite performances and productions for Awards consideration across all 27 categories.
Amongst these are standards including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best New Play and Best New Musical as well as less conventional fields such as Best Ensemble Performance, Best Off-West End Production, Theatre Event of the Year, Best West End Show, which applies to all current West End productions, including long-running blockbusters, and just introduced last year, Best Original Music, which specifically acknowledges the work of composers.
Drawn from thousands of theatregoer submissions, the full WhatsOnStage Awards shortlists will be announced on Friday 6 December 2013 at a star-studded lunchtime ceremony at Cafe de Paris in the heart of the West End (check back soon for more line-up details!). All professional productions - from Fringe to the West End – opened in London between 1 December 2012 and 30 November 2013 are eligible for nomination.
Official Charity of the WhatsOnStage Awards
Both Awards events are held in aid of our adopted charity, The Big Issue Foundation, the charitable organisation which helps the The Big Issue magazine's homeless vendors take their next steps off the street. The annual four-month Awards campaign – including the two star-studded events which top and tail audience voting – are held in aid of The Big Issue Foundation.
For the price of a pair of theatre tickets, you could buy a year's worth of Big Issues or donate just £10 a month to the charity, to make a real difference in a homeless person's life. To find out more, visit the Official Charity page on the Awards website. Or, to make a monthly or one-off donation now, visit www.bigissue.org.uk .
Get involved, get invited
The Launch Party is an industry-only, by-invitation event. However, a limited number of members of the public can attend by becoming Individual Supporters. Private sponsorship packages - priced £550 VAT - include two invites to the Launch Party at Cafe de Paris as well as VIP tickets and post-show party passes to the Awards Ceremony and Concert at a major West End theatre next February. For more information on Individual Supporter Packages, click here.
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