We are thrilled to announce that Mountview is launching The Mountview Prize to celebrate trailblazers who inspire social change and whose lived experience is inspirational to others.

In June 2020 Mountview pledged to support Black and other underrepresented communities and committed to taking a proactive stand in the fight against racism, inequality and discrimination with an Action Plan for change. In 2021 this commitment has focused on listening, learning and celebrating different lived experiences and the launch of The Mountview Prize is part of that on-going work.

The inaugural Mountview Prize is being awarded to Dawn Walton, who has been rehearsing her production of Alfred Fagon’s The Death of a Black Man which will run at Hampstead Theatre from 28 May until 10 July. Walton is founder and former Artistic Director of Eclipse Theatre Company and her most recent productions include The Gift (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Red Dust Road (National Theatre of Scotland) and Black Men Walking (Royal Court).

As the recipient of The Mountview Prize, Walton will talk and deliver a provocation which will be made available on YouTube. Walton’s talk, entitled ‘Filling the Space, Taking Your Space’, will explore the notion of cultural leadership, referring to her own experiences as a theatre practitioner.

The Mountview Prize will also include an award of a £2,800 bursary in the winner’s name to a talented young person from an historically excluded community who is in financial need to enable them to attend Mountview’s part-time Foundation in Acting course. In this way it is hoped the Prize becomes an active part of Mountview’s commitment to supporting the next generation of theatre makers who remain underrepresented in the industry. Over the coming year, the bursary winner will also meet with Dawn for mentoring sessions.

Mountview’s Joint Chief Executives, Sarah Preece and Stephen Jameson said:

“We are delighted to award the inaugural Mountview Prize to Dawn as she epitomizes how one individual can lead by example and inspire others to shift the ecology of their profession. She has been an agent and catalyst for change, challenged orthodox thinking and has used theatre to empower, celebrate, acknowledge and spotlight the work of Black artists. We eagerly look forward to her talk in June.”

Dawn Walton said:

“This is an amazing honour no more so because the bursary will provide support for training  in this profession to talented individual who like me had no obvious pathway. This is a wonderful intervention by Mountview and one that I would be proud to have my name attached to.”