The four month campaign running up to the website’s awards will be held in honour of Stage One, and will include an online theatrical auction West End Lots, which will take place in November to raise money for the scheme.
Stage One was established in 1976 to help develop new producers and productions in order to sustain the future of quality commercial theatre in the UK. Supported by the Society of London Theatre and the commercial theatre industry, the initiative now offers a range of programmes and schemes to help people break into a notoriously hard industry.
As well as a three day workshop designed to give new producers an overview of producing commercially, Stage One has also run bursary and apprentice schemes since 2007 at major theatrical producing companies including Playful Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions.
It was announced earlier this month that the apprentice scheme had been extended to provide new producers the chance to work within the subsidised sector, with placements available at companies including the Royal Court, Royal Shakespeare Company and Chichester Festival Theatre.
The support received from SOLT and the commercial theatre industry also allows Stage One to invest in new productions. In 2010 the Start-Up-Fund for New Producers was launched, giving the best graduates of Stage One’s training schemes a £25,000 investment for their first major commercial production. The first recipient was Becky Barber who co-produced the critically acclaimed Birdsong in the West End.
Nick Salmon, chairman of Stage One, 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 theatrical experiences for theatre-lovers to bid for.”
Previous charities to have been adopted since the awards launched in 2000 include The Theatrical Guild, Masterclass and Mousetrap Theatre Projects.