Catharine Brickenden

The Brickenden Awards recently announced several changes to this year’s presentations and the registration procedures.

A new category, Outstanding Drama, has been added to the list of awards voted on by the core panel and members of the public. The previous Outstanding Youth Production has been split into two new awards, Outstanding Youth Drama and Outstanding Youth Musical, with both voted on by the youth panel and the public.

As previously announced, the touring category has been retired; in addition, the award for outstanding ballyhoo will no longer be presented.

The awards for outstanding original script (determined by a new script-reading panel last year), bravest production (previously publicly voted), and the Chris Doty Award (chosen by the adjudication panels and the Brickenden board) are now “discretionary”: they will not necessarily be given each year, and there will be no public nominations or voting.

Finally, on the recognition side, although there won’t be an award for them per se the contributions of stage managers will be recognized during the audio-visual presentation. Theatre companies are asked to provide “a photo, title of the play and a picture of your stage manager” to the committee.

Two registration policy changes were also announced: productions can now be registered up until two weeks before their first performance date—previously registrations were only accepted a month in advance—and productions can now be considered for only one of the musical or comedy categories, not both.

The 2010 Brickenden Awards will be presented on January 31, 2011 at the Wolf Performance Hall. Dates for public nominations and voting have not yet been announced.

4 thoughts on “Brickrolling”

  1. T. Marie says:

    Great new additions!

  2. Loopdogg says:

    Why would the Original Script category be “discretionary”? There are more original scripts written each year and the whole point of the awards is to encourage the ‘local’ aspect of theatre and new local works.


    @Loopdogg: That’s a good question, and I’ve posed it to the Brickenden committee chair. It gives the impression that local work isn’t necessarily of sufficient quality to present an award, which I’m sure isn’t the desired intent!

    By the way, you can see the list of current original script candidates on the Brickenden site.

  4. Ashleigh Barney

    Regarding the question of “discretionary awarding” of the Outstanding Original Script Award. I would first like to say the Committee can’t even imagine a year when we would have a shortage of Original Scripts to consider. London playwrights have been prolific in the past and each year the number and quality of plays seems to go up. Although, to be completely honest, at this point in this season we have fewer scripts than we have had in the past several years.

    As was stated on the TiL website, the choice of the winner of the Outstanding Original Script Award is based strictly on the written work and not on the performance. It is viewed by the Original Script Panelists at their own discretion, and on their own dime. These Panelists do not receive complimentary tickets. The statement dealing with the award being given at the discretion of the Awards committee is based on providing a Policies and Procedure document that would serve the needs of the Awards Committee in the long run. Although it is doubtful that such a thing could happen, it provides for the eventuality that there might be a season that only produced a handful of new works all of which were not found to be deserving of the award. It is preferable that we maintain a high level of expectation of excellence in writing rather than choose a winner simply because we are required to give an award.That scenario would devalue the hard work of those who came before.

    What must also remain a discretionary decision is the awarding of a monetary prize for this category. It is entirely possible that in future there might not be a sponsor for this prize or that the prize amount would have to be reduced or foregone in a year when there isn’t money in the budget for it. This is only responsible financial management.

    One thing that is evident is that the Theatre scene in London is alive and well and busier than ever. Just try to find a venue to produce a show and you’ll find very little space available. This is a good thing. In the same way the Brickenden Awards is not a static organization either. We have changed a lot over the first 8 years as a live event. We get a lot of questions and suggestions from the theatre community and have tried to remain open to new ideas and are trying to implement changes in an orderly way. We are always happy to hear from everyone.

    A last thought, we can’t adjudicate original scripts if we don’t receive copies of them. If you registered a play with an original script and haven’t yet submitted a copy, please do so ASAP. You can contact us through the Brickenden website,, to make arrangement to get a copy to us.

    Ashleigh Barney,
    On behalf of the Brickenden Committee

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