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Roy Alexander Weise wins Young Director Award

Roy Alexander Weise - JMK Award winner 2016
Roy Alexander Weise – JMK Award winner 2016 – Photo credit Rob Logan

James Menzies-Kitchin Young Director Award 2016

Roy Alexander Weise wins £25,000 award with proposal for The Mountaintop.

The Trustees of the JMK Trust are happy to announce today that the winner of the 19th annual James Menzies-Kitchin Young Director Award is Roy Alexander Weise. Chosen after a rigorous selection process from another record-breaking number of applicants this year, Roy has chosen Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. Winner of the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play, the fictionalised account of the night before Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination will be staged in the autumn at the Young Vic, with tickets on sale soon. The two runners up this year were Chelsea Walker for Low Level Panic and Tom Bailey for The Human Voice. They will each receive a £1,000 award.

28-year- old Roy Alexander Weise from South West London, was most recently Trainee Director at the Royal Court Theatre and is now Associate Director for Harts Theatre Company. He trained on the BA Hons Directing course at Rose Bruford College and after graduating became a member of the Genesis Directors Network at the Young Vic and Associate Artist at The Red Room. He was first runner up for the JMK Award in 2014 and, in the same year, was the BBC Theatre Fellow at the Bush Theatre and the Lyric Hammersmith. Roy’s professional directing debut is Stone Face by Eve Leigh (currently playing at the Finborough Theatre until 11th June). Assistant director credits include: Hangmen (Royal Court and West End); X, Escaped Alone, You For Me For You, Primetime 2015, Violence and Son, Who Cares, Liberian Girl (Royal Court); Albion, We Are Proud to Present…(Bush Theatre); Public Enemy (Young Vic – Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director); Hamlet, The Government Inspector (Young Vic – Taking Part); The Serpent’s Tooth (Talawa /Almeida Theatre). Television includes Trainee Director on Invisible (Red Room/Ballet Boys/C4).

Roy Alexander Weise and Clare Menzies Kitchin
Roy Alexander Weise and Clare Menzies Kitchin – Photo credit Rob Logan

On winning the award, he said: “Fifteen years ago I walked into a theatre to use the bathroom. I’d never even been in one before. And now, I’m directing this play – a story that means so much to me and so many other people – at one of the best theatres in the world with the JMK giving the kind of support that says “we trust you and believe in you“”.

JMK Trust Chair Stephen Fewell commented: “We first encountered Roy’s work two years ago, when he was runner up for the JMK Award in 2014, and in the meantime he has shown not only great tenacity in getting his own work on, but the ability to adapt and learn as part of the dynamic teams at the Bush and Royal Court theatres. His winning reflects the crucial importance of well-funded, long term artist development: diverse pathways offering a distinct series of opportunities to directors nationwide. Like James, who the award itself commemorates, Roy’s journey began in acting; he has a definite skill and facility with performers alongside the acumen and drive so essential for building both creative teams and a career. All this makes him precisely the sort of artist we set out to support, so I’m particularly thrilled that he has won this opportunity to bring his work to a wider audience. It’s a privilege to be part of his journey.

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