The judges

Graham Cowley has produced plays in a wide range of theatres, from West End and large-scale tours to tiny fringe theatres. While at the Royal Court, he transferred several hits to the West End and submitted the Lottery application that funded the theatre’s rebuilding. In 2003, while serving as producer with Out of Joint, he founded Two’s Company with Tricia Thorns and Ian Talbot. Best known for its six-year project Forgotten Voices from the Great War, their company continues to present rediscovered plays that offer authentic voices from the 20th century.

Donald Hutera is a dance critic for The Times and has written widely about theatre, especially on dance, mime and circus both in print and online publications including The New York Times, Dance Magazine, Time Out and Exeunt as well as curating festivals, mentoring aspiring critics, serving on award panels and creating performances. He is co-author of The Dance Handbook and edited The Rough Guide to Choreography.

Edith Hall is Professor in the Classics Department of King’s College London, a broadcaster and lecturer, co-founder of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama and a consultant to theatres. She has written more then twenty books including Greek Tragedy and the British Theatre, 1660-1914 (co-authored with Fiona Macintosh), which was shortlisted for the Theatre Book Prize.

Howard Loxton was an actor and stage manager in rep, the West End and with the English Opera Group before switching careers and becoming an editor with leading publishing houses Jonathan Cape and William Collins and then a writer and critic. He has served on the STR Committee for many years with particularly responsibility for this prize and is part of the team that organises the Poel Workshops for STR.

At the Theatre Book Prize live presentations, the judges have shared their thoughts about their choices and it is hoped that they will do so online when announcing the winner this year. Meanwhile, if you want detailed information about the shortlisted titles, in the next section are the publishers’ descriptions of each of their own books.

You can find a full list of the books that were entered on the STR web site. They range from biographies and autobiographies (including the first graphic book entered for the prize), studies of metropolitan and provincial management and surveys of contemporary theatre architecture to the work of particular directors and performers, with lavishly produced illustrated books on how Harry Potter was put on stage and the work of the National Theatre’s costume department. In the wider sphere of performance were a “partial history“ of British live art and an encyclopaedic presentation of the work of immersive company Punchdrunk.