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Total Theatre announces the 2018 Total Theatre Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

23 July 2018
Author: Total Theatre Awards

The Total Theatre Network has announced the launch of the 2018 Total Theatre Awards.

The awards, which are held annually at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, have been held 20 times since they began in 1997. Each year, 25 assessors and 20 judges from the UK and international performance communities come together in Edinburgh to  identify, and celebrate, excellence and evolving form in contemporary performance. The shows shortlisted by the assessors are then seen by a panel of judges, culminating in seven awards across five categories; Physical & Visual Theatre; Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form; Emerging Artists (supported by Theatre  Deli); Circus (supported by Jacksons Lane) and Dance (supported by The Place).

The Total Theatre Awards place a special emphasis on 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 creative talent in an ever-changing performance landscape. The process for assessing and awarding artists is thorough and rigorous, offering the opportunity for artists and senior industry professionals to engage in in-depth discussion, debate, dialogue and discourse about excellence.

• The Total Theatre Awards team of 25 Assessors will see over 500 shows at least once and often two, three or four times in the first twelve 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 16 August
• 20 judges will then see the shortlisted shows and announce their decisions at the Total Theatre Awards Ceremony on Thursday 23 August
• Alongside the prize attached to the Emerging Award, this year new supporter Theatre Deli and Chichester University will offer cash bursaries and residencies for two artists to develop their practice after the festival
• Audiences at the Fringe are also invited to submit recommendations for shows that should be considered across all categories on social media using the hashtag #TTAwards2018

Jo Crowley and Becki Haines for Total Theatre Network said “The Total Theatre Awards play a critical role in empowering, identifying and celebrating theatre makers, providing exposure and recognition for a network of makers pushing at boundaries, taking risks and innovating with form. We’re delighted to continue collaborating with a network of industry partners and peers to extend the reach, impact and influence the awards process has. Alongside the cash award provided to the Emerging Award Winner, this year, through partnerships with two of our
awards supporters – Theatre Deli and University of Chichester – a further two £500 commissions and the offer of creation and rehearsal residencies at Theatre Deli and University of Chichester's spaces in Sheffield, London and/or Chichester will be offered to the short listed / winning artists that the judges collectively feel most excited to see what comes next. For Independent Artists and Artist led Companies at the cutting edge of contemporary performance, operating without core funding and at pivotal stages in their professional practice, cash investments and industry partnerships like this prove invaluable to enabling the creation of new work, for garnering further support and ensuring wide audience reach”.

Jessica Brewster, Joint Artistic Director of Theatre Deli said ”Theatre Deli is delighted to be supporting the Total Theatre Emerging Artist award for the first time this year. Supporting artists at this transitional point in their careers has been at the heart of Theatre Deli’s approach right from the start. Partnering with Total Theatre on this award is a great way to celebrate our 10th anniversary, and particularly pertinent as we reflect on our own journey over that time period and everything we’ve learned from the incredible artists we’ve worked with."

Other supporters confirmed for this year’s Awards include Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), the Barbican, Cambridge Junction, The Empty Space, Farnham Maltings, HOME, Jacksons Lane, National Theatre Wales, Oxford Playhouse, The Place, The Point, Puppet Animation Scotland, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, Theatre Deli, Mobius Industries PR and The Touring Network. Without their support and The Touring Network. Without their support and the in-kind support provided by many of the 50+ strong team of Assessors, Judges and the Awards Producing team the Total Theatre Awards would not be possible.

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