Total Theatre is delighted to announce the launch of the seventeenth Total Theatre Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Each year 50 professionals from across the UK and international performance community come together during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a peer-to-peer critical dialogue to identify and celebrate excellence and evolving form in contemporary performance. Culminating in seven awards across five categories, the Total Theatre Awards span Physical & Visual Theatre; Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form; Emerging Artist or Company;  Circus; and Dance.

Total Theatre places a special emphasis on exploring difficult issues and the spaces in between established performance forms where innovative new creative practices, approaches and models are emerging. Through critical analysis, dialogue, discussion and debate the peer network of assessors and judges spot game-changing artists and play a vital role in identifying innovation and creative talent in an ever-changing contemporary performance landscape. The artist focused, peer led process for assessing and awarding artists is thorough and rigorous, and offers opportunities for a range of industry professionals to engage in in-depth discussion, debate and dialogue about excellence.

  • The Total Theatre Awards team of 25 Assessors will see over 500 shows at least once and often two or three times in the first eleven days of the festival.
  • Following five morning-long assessment meetings and a day-long shortlisting meeting the Nominees list of shortlisted shows will be announced on Thursday 18 August.
  • 12 judges will then see the shortlisted shows and announce their decisions at the Total Theatre Awards Ceremony on Thursday 25 August.For the fourth year running, an award for an Emerging Artist or Company, supported by Farnham Maltings will have a £500 prize attached to it; for a third consecutive year there will be a Total Theatre Award for Circus presented in association with Jacksons Lane; and for the second consecutive year a Total Theatre Award for Dance in collaboration with The Place.Supporters confirmed thus far for this years Awards include Battersea Arts Centre, Conflux, University of Chichester, The Empty Space, Farnham Maltings, Jacksons Lane, The Place, The Point Eastleigh, Puppet Animation Scotland, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. Without their support and the in-kind support provided by the 40+ strong team of Assessors, Judges and Awards Producing team the Total Theatre Awards would not be possible. We thank these supporters for their recognition and commitment to supporting the artist led and independent performance sector.The Total Theatre Awards were developed for the benefit of artists, the sector and audiences, and have over the last two decades, blazed a trail of recognition for independent artists and companies creating innovative, artist-led theatre and performance. Resisting too narrow a definition of the term ‘total theatre’ the awards focus on artists and companies leading innovative work beyond the classical cannon and new writing – within the fields of devised theatre, live art, visual performance, mime, puppetry, physical theatre, experimental theatre, clown, circus, street, immersive, outdoor, dance, site specific performance and more.‘In Edinburgh the Total Theatre Awards recognises experimental work that truly tries to push at boundaries in a landscape of work that conforms. For me: winning a Total Theatre Award helped me to get my foot in the door with a whole host of venues, spurred international interest and gave me a huge quality stamp. Totally and utterly invaluable.’ Bryony Kimmings, Total Theatre Awards Winner 2010

    Press & Industry Enquiries – For further information please contact:

    Jo Crowley, Producer, on 07843 274 684, email crowley.jo@gmail.com | Elin Morgan, Press contact on 07984816948, email elin@mobiusindustries.com

Key Dates:

  • Applications for assessors open Friday 10 June. Applications close Monday 27 June
  • Applications for artists & companies open Friday 10 June. Applications close Monday 1 August
  • Awards assessment dates Saturday 6 – Wednesday 17 August
  • Nominees shortlist announced Thursday 18 August
  • Judging dates Thursday 18 – Wednesday 24 August
  • Awards ceremony Thursday 25 August

For more on the Total Theatre Awards, including links to download the Artists Pack, Assessor Pack, and a PDF of the Total Theatre Awards 2016 press release, see the Total Theatre Awards page on this website.

Featured image (top of page) is 2015 Total Theatre Award winner Can I Start Again Please by Sue MacLaine

Dorothy Max Prior

Dorothy Max Prior

Dorothy Max Prior is the editor of Total Theatre Magazine, and is also a performer, writer, dramaturg and choreographer working in theatre, dance, live art and street arts. Under her alter-ego Dorothy’s Shoes she creates performance work that both honours and usurps the traditions of popular dance and theatre, and plays with the relationship between performer and audience. Much of her work is sited in public spaces or in venues other than regular theatres. She is also co-director of street theatre/dance company The Ragroof Players.

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