The Stage Awards 2021 winners revealed
Venues, organisations and individuals were recognised for their work
The 2021 winners of The Stage Awards have been revealed.
Given the unprecedented circumstances facing the arts this year, the awards have been adjusted to celebrate those who worked to not only put shows on stage but also to aid their local communities and the freelance workforce during the pandemic.
Alistair Smith, editor of The Stage and chair of The Stage Awards judging panel, said: "At times, we discussed whether we should present the awards at all this year. Would it be right, we reasoned, to recognise theatres for their output in a year when so many had been prevented from putting on any live shows at all?
"In the end, we rejected this line of thought and decided to refocus this year's awards to recognise the extraordinary achievements of teams up and down the country who – faced with the biggest challenge of their lifetimes – responded with creativity, determination and, in many cases, utter brilliance.
"I am so glad we did. In the more than a decade that I have been judging these awards, our panel's discussion was the longest, toughest and most inspiring I can remember. It is genuinely awe-inspiring what so many have achieved given the enormous obstacles placed in their paths.
"There are many reasons to be gloomy at the moment, but I hope that our inspiring winners can give all of us a reason to be optimistic about theatre's future."
The list of winners is available below:
Regional Theatre of the Year – Theatr Clwyd, Mold
London Theatre of the Year – Kiln Theatre
Fringe Theatre of the Year – Jermyn Street Theatre, London
Producer of the Year – Nica Burns
International Award – Belarus Free Theatre
Innovation Award – Theatre Support Fund +
Achievement in Technical Theatre – Simon Baker, technical director and digital producer at Wise Children
You can read our interview with Baker here, while the Theatre Support Fund + helped create hundreds of thousands of "The Show Must Go On!" items for charity.
Nica Burns opened her six West End venues as early as restrictions permitted, going the extra mile to employ artists and give audiences a chance to see shows.
Three other venues were highly commended for their efforts over 2020 – Derby Theatre, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.