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22 November 2021 / News

STR Theatre Book Prize 2022

STR Theatre Book Prize

Established to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Society for Theatre Research in 1998, the aim of the Book Prize is to encourage the writing and publication of books on British-related theatre history and practice, both those which present the theatre of the past and those which record contemporary theatre for the future.  It was first awarded for books published in 1997.

The award is presented annually for a book on British or British related theatre which an independent panel of judges considers to be the best published during the previous year.  All new works of original research first published in English are eligible except for play texts and studies of drama as literature. Publishers who wish to enter titles for the prize should contact theatrebookprize@str.org.uk and this is also the address to which all queries about the prize should be directed.

The three judges, who are different each year, are drawn from the ranks of theatre practitioners, theatre critics, senior academics concerned with theatre, and theatre archivists, with a member of the committee of the Society for Theatre Research as chair.

Entry for titles published © 2021 is now open and will close on 17 January 2022.

2022 Theatre Book Prize Judges (for books published in 2021)

The judging panel for this year’s STR Theatre Book Prize will be: Jatinder Verma, MBE, theatre director co-founder of Tara Arts and its artistic director from 1977-2019 and now developing new work as JV Productions, Erin Lee, head of the National Theatre Archive and Paul Vale, theatre critic and feature writer who has been writing for The Stage since 1998. It will be chaired by Howard Loxton, Society for Theatre Research committee member.

Jatinder Verma

Jatinder grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and arrived in the UK as part of the “Exodus” of Kenyan Asians in February 1968, aged 14. He founded theatre company Tara Arts in 1977 as a response to the racist murder of young Gurdip Singh Chaggar in West London. His ‘Binglish’ approach characterised a range of productions: from Gogol’s The Government Inspector in 1988 and Buchner’s Danton Death in 1989, to Moliere’s Tartuffe, which was staged at the National Theatre in 1990, where Jatinder was the first-ever non-white director.

Along with designer Claudia Mayer, Jatinder led the re-building of Tara’s home in south London to create Britain’s first multicultural theatre, fusing Edwardian brick and Indian wood. The new Tara Theatre was formally opened in September 2016 by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. In 2017, Jatinder was made an Honorary Fellow of Royal Central; in the same year, he was awarded an MBE for services to diversity in the arts.

Erin Lee

Erin is Head of Archive for the National Theatre. She is a current PhD candidate at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she is researching how to improve the archiving of process in theatre. She is a member of BAFTA’s Heritage Committee and the Chair of the Association of Performing Arts Collections, a subject specialist network of archives, libraries and museums in the UK and Ireland holding performing arts content.

Paul Vale

Paul has been a theatre critic and feature writer for The Stage for more than 20 years. Other titles he has written for include Musical Theatre Review and Makeup Artist Magazine. He has acted as a judge for the Off-West End Awards, the London Cabaret Festival, the Lost One-Act Play Festival and also reviews on the Edinburgh Fringe as part of The Stage reviews team.