The Stage has announced five illustrious ambassadors for The Stage Supports, the publication’s campaign to celebrate and nurture on- and offstage talent in theatre and the performing arts.
The five ambassadors, actor Noma Dumezweni, director Michael Grandage, producer Sonia Friedman, actor Preeya Kalidas and casting director David Grindrod, have a total of 67 Olivier Awards between them, and will offer experience and insight from all areas of the performing arts and raise awareness of The Stage Supports.
The flagship event of The Stage Supports is The Stage Debut Awards, which recognises professional debuts from actors, designers, directors, writers and composers. The inaugural awards ceremony will take place in September this year, where the ambassadors will help celebrate new talent by presenting awards at the ceremony.
The Stage Supports is a collection of activities that help people at all phases of their careers in the performing arts. The initiatives include The Stage Scholarships providing £500,000 worth of performing arts training. Other schemes in The Stage Supports include mental health support and a range of other awards recognising outstanding achievement on and off-stage.
Editor of The Stage, Alistair Smith said: “We were thrilled that these five ambassadors have become champions of the work The Stage Supports is doing.”
“Their breadth of experience reflects the ambition of The Stage Supports and the impact the campaign we are undertaking can have for our industry.”
Noma, currently playing Hermione in Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, said: “I’m very honoured to be a The Stage Supports ambassador. Having not got into drama school, I am fully aware of the importance of taking advantage of as many opportunities for support as you can when you’re starting out as an actor.”
Producer Sonia Friedman, recently named most influential person in theatre in the Stage 100, commented: “I am delighted to champion The Stage Supports. My company is constantly on the lookout for fresh, dynamic, curious and smart creative people within the theatre industry. So a scheme like this which supports the development of those people gets my full support. It is vital that we all shout about the creative opportunities and training available to safeguard a vital, strong industry for future generations.”