Derby Theatre receives great recognition at The Stage Awards 2021 and through The Stage 100

Derby Theatre is absolutely thrilled to have been greatly recognised and awarded for their work through two high profile awards and listings as run by The Stage, one of the UK’s leading arts publications.

The Stage Awards are the highest profile awards celebrating theatre across the whole of the UK and beyond. For 2021, the awards have been reimagined to recognise the extraordinary achievements of organisations and teams up and down the country in arguably the most challenging year the industry has ever faced.

The awards comprised of seven accolades, with winners chosen and recognised for their achievements and impact in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time ever, the judges decided to honour three organisations with a highly commended award in the Regional Theatre of the Year award category, and we are delighted and incredibly proud to be one of those organisations awarded.

On announcement of the awards, and in awarding us with the high commendation, The Stage described us as:

“Few theatres are as sure of their civic purpose as Derby Theatre. Under the leadership of Sarah Brigham, it has signposted the way for others in creating a theatre that is genuinely connected, local and networked. That means it has the trust of the local community, a role to play as a learning theatre – training the theatre workers of the future in partnership with Derby University – and a close and supportive relationship with freelancers.

During 2020, it built on the trust established over many years, and delivered a programme of support, audience engagement and artist development that has been much needed and much appreciated. Derby’s not just a theatre – it’s a marvel.”

The Stage 100 list for 2021 celebrates theatre’s exceptional figures in a year like no other. The list usually intends to reflect the 100 most influential people working in the theatre and performing arts industry but for this year, recognises organisations and individuals who have gone above and beyond in helping theatre to survive the Covid-19 crisis. The awards this year have been divided into five areas, and again, we are delighted that
Sarah Brigham, our Artistic Director and CEO, has been recognised, on behalf of the Theatre, in the area of serving the community.

The Stage acknowledged our contribution and listing with:

“Throughout 2020, Derby Theatre, brilliantly led by Brigham, continued to deliver its already far-reaching and accomplished creative, educational and community work. This included providing care parcels and online clubs for young people in care, hosting digital schools programmes and connecting with freelancers to ensure theatremakers are at the heart of its recovery.”

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Derby Theatre) said:

“We are delighted by this recognition from The Stage.  This award and listing is testament to the brilliant staff team who have worked tirelessly throughout 2020.  Derby Theatre places its civic responsibility at the heart of everything we do and this last year, more than ever before, the team have stepped up to the plate to ensure that whilst we are unable to put on shows to full houses, we can continue to be there for our community.  From delivering food parcels to Care Leavers, to offering wellbeing sessions for the community, we have been busier than ever during lockdown. Our learning and artistic teams have been working face to face in the community with schools, key workers’ children and the most vulnerable; and our digital output has also soared with Zoom plays, an online festival, interviews with directors, designers and others for young people to engage with and a wealth of other online content to keep connected with our audiences. We have also led vital training for theatre makers across the city and when we were able to open for one brief evening late summer, we welcomed 100 members of the community together to eat and reflect on the first lockdown.  All of this work helps to keep our community connected, and ensures Derby Theatre fulfils its role as a hub for the city of Derby and the region. I would also like to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to our audiences, supporters, artists and communities for their ongoing, unfailing support.”