The RING AWARD is the foremost international competition for stage direction and stage design in musical theatre. It offers emerging, not yet securely established stage directors and designers a professional platform for planning and realizing actual theatre performances and awards prizes to them for outstanding achievements in their work. The RING AWARD is still the only institution of its kind setting the task of reflecting most recent developments in the staging of works for the musical theatre. It gives young artists a chance of finding international resonance for their ideas of what contemporary musical theatre should be like. By thus stimulating the creative potential of present-day theatre the RING AWARD has gained a solid reputation for being a stepping stone for promising young talent both in Europe and beyond.
The RING AWARD is held in three-year intervals 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 finals.
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 practise 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 finals. 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 in a public performance at the 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.