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WOS Adopts Stage One as 2012 Charity, Launches Year of the Producer

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Stage One has been chosen as the adopted charity for the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards, the “theatregoers’ choice”. The four-month campaign for this year’s 12th annual Awards – including the two star-studded events which top and tail audience voting – will be held in aid of Stage One, which is committed to developing new producers and productions in order to sustain the future of quality commercial theatre in the UK.

Inspired by the adoption of Stage One, Whatsonstage.com is also launching our “Year of the Producer”, comprising a 12-month editorial series of interviews, blogs and other features that will give theatregoers a greater understanding of the crucial role of the producer and an insight into the people who put on the shows they love, and the pressures they face in doing so – not least, over the next year, a continuing recession, arts cuts coming into effect and Olympic and other sporting distractions.

Other special events during the “Year of the Producer” will include Stage One’s “West End Lots”, an exclusive theatre online auction, timed to launch simultaneously with the commencement of the Awards nominations phase in November. The auction will allow theatregoers to bid for truly spectacular theatrical experiences – including opportunities to meet the stars and visit their dressing rooms – and treasured memorabilia from theatrical history. All proceeds raised via the auction will go direct to the charity.

Commenting on Stage One’s involvement with Whatsonstage.com, Nick Salmon, chairman of Stage One and partner at Playful Productions, said: “Stage One is thrilled to be the adopted charity of Whatsonstage.com for 2012 and to have been given the opportunity to champion our work in developing producers by raising money for our development programme through ‘West End Lots’. We have organised some very special theatrical experiences for theatre-lovers to bid for and know we can count on the Whatsonstage.com readers for their support.”

Terri Paddock, managing and editorial director of Whatsonstage.com, added: “Without producers, there would be no Whatsonstage.com Awards because there would be nothing to nominate or win – put simply, the shows just would not go on. We at Whatsonstage.com are very excited about working with Stage One to help them increase awareness about their work and raise the crucial funds to help find, train and support the producers who will mount the shows that will keep the West End alive and thriving in the years to come.

“In fact, we’re so excited by the prospect of what Stage One are doing that we didn’t feel the annual Awards campaign alone was sufficient. Thus, we’re working with Stage One on a fully-fledged programme of content and events during our new ‘Year of the Producer’.”

Nominations open for the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards on 1 November 2011. The shortlists are announced at the Awards Launch Party held on 2 December 2011 at Café de Paris. Online voting then commences to decide the eventual winners, which will be announced on Sunday 19 February 2012 at the Awards Concert at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre, where trophies will be presented.

Established in 1976, Stage One co-ordinates: a three-day workshop designed to give new producers a broad overview of producing commercially; a successful bursary scheme which offers financial and practical assistance to new producers at the very start of their careers; an Apprentice Scheme for New Producers which was set up in 2007 to offer hands-on training opportunities for emerging producers, and has just this month been extended into the subsidised sector; the Start-Up Fund for New Producers which was launched in May 2010 to give the best graduates of Stage One’s training programmes a £25,000 investment for their first major commercial production; and the investment scheme – supported by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and the commercial theatre industry - which enables Stage One to support all producers by making investments in new productions.

For more information on Stage One, visit www.stageone.uk.com.

About the Whatsonstage.com Awards

Each year, Whatsonstage.com selects one arts-related charity as part of the Whatsonstage.com Awards campaign. In addition to the association with the best of British theatre and proceeds received from the two Awards events, the charity benefits from exposure on Whatsonstage.com and our dedicated awards website as well as in our sister print title Whatsonstage.com Magazine and gains a valuable platform to directly address both the theatre industry and the theatregoing public. Previous Awards charities have included The Theatrical Guild, Masterclass, TheatreMAD, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, SAFE (Sponsored Arts for Education), Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund and the Drake Music Project.

All professional productions – from West End to Fringe – opened in London between 1 December 2010 and 30 November 2011 are eligible for nomination in the next Awards. Voting takes place online and is strictly monitored, with only one vote accepted per person. Over 46,000 people voted in the last Awards, which culminated with the star-studded Winners’ Concert at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre on Sunday 14 February 2011, co-hosted by Miranda Hart, Christopher Biggins and Sheridan Smith. For full results and coverage from previous years, visit awards.whatsonstage.com.

For the 12th annual Awards, we are making a limited number of sponsorship packages – normally reserved for corporate partners – available to private theatregoers. These include tickets to the invitation-only, industry-attended launch party at Café de Paris (not normally open to the public) as well as VIP passes to the Winners’ Concert and exclusive after-party next February. For more information on Theatregoer Sponsorship, click here.


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