The 5th Dartmoor Society Award was presented to Mark Beeson by Dr Tom Greeves, Chairman of The Dartmoor Society, in Moretonhampstead on Friday 20 December 2002.
The award, like the four previous ones, is in the form of a specially commissioned unique ceramic plate, beautifully designed and decorated by the renowned Devon potter Penny Simpson, with a calligraphic inscription by Susanne Haines. The centre of the plate shows a version of the enigmatic ‘three hares or rabbits’ motif; this forms the logo of MED (Manaton & East Dartmoor) Theatre, of which Mark Beeson is the founder and artistic director. The inscription includes the following dedication: ‘Presented to Mark Beeson for his creative enrichment of Dartmoor theatre’. Tom Greeves said, ‘For nearly a quarter of a century, Dartmoor has been the focus of the remarkable talent of playwright Mark Beeson of Manaton. His single-minded dedication to Dartmoor theatre, through his own writing, production and research, has resulted in an outstanding body of work and a terrific commitment to performance involving bothadults and children. He has developed a particular empathy with Dartmoor, its stories, its animals and its people. Besides his numerous plays, which always have a direct Dartmoor theme or relevance, Mark has written and published a significant quantity of poetry on Dartmoor topics. In two pioneer papers, based on extensive original research and published in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association in 1998 and 1999, Mark drew attention to the rich thread of performance and theatre on Dartmoor from medieval times to the present day. ‘The Dartmoor Society, through this award, is delighted to recognise his wonderful achievement. (from Newsletter 16 February 2003)