International Competition for
Directing, Set and Costume Design
in Music Theatre
in Graz/Austria


The RING AWARD is the foremost international competition for stage direction and set & costume design in music theatre. It offers emerging, not yet established stage directors, set and costume designers a professional platform for planning and realizing actual theatre performances and awards prizes to them for outstanding achievements in their work.

The competition is organized by Bühnen GrazOper Graz, Schauspielhaus Graz, NEXT LIBERTY, art + Event | Theaterservice Graz – in cooperation with the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.

For almost three decades the RING AWARD has been stimulating the creative potential of present-day music theatre. As still the only institution of its kind it reflects recent developments in the staging of works for the music theatre and has gained a solid reputation for being a stepping stone for promising young talent both in Europe and beyond.

The competition is held in Graz/Austria and has reached a wide-ranging international dimension through the participation of contestants and high profile jury members from all over the world.  It is organized in three stages, its unique feature being actual stage performances at the final.

At the first stage each participating team submits a complete general concept for the staging of the competition opera including drawings of set and figurines. The RING AWARD jury reviews all anonymized competition entries and nominates nine teams for the semifinal.

Stage two is the semifinal, where the nine teams are invited to Graz to present their concepts before the jury and a public audience. This stage also includes practice rehearsals by the competing directors, in-depth discussions of the concepts, and a critical reviewing of the stage designs by experts. The jury then nominates three teams for the final.

At stage three, the RING AWARD Final, the teams prepare the stage performance of a given passage of the competition opera. The three productions premiere within 24 hours at Schauspielhaus Graz, before the jury and audiences.

Thus not only theoretical concepts are being evaluated but the skills and abilities of young artists to realize their visions on stage.