Orange Tree Theatre today announces Inside/Outside; a collection of world première short plays by six emerging and established writers, performed and livestreamed from the Orange Tree Theatre’s auditorium. The first three plays, written by Deborah Bruce, Joel Tan and Joe White, focus on the theme of Inside, and will be streamed live 25 – 27 March 2021. The final three plays by Sonali Bhattacharyya, Zoe Cooper and Kalungi Ssebandeke explore the theme of Outside, streamed live 15 – 17 April 2021.
The collection, directed by Anna Himali Howard and Georgia Green, cover stories of estrangement and loneliness; of connection and redemption; of despair in confinement to hope found in life outdoors.
Paul Miller, Artistic Director, said today, “As we emerge from a bleak Winter, it’s appropriate that the OT commits to new talent and new initiatives. Literary Associate Guy Jones has curated a beguiling and moving series of short plays from some writers familiar to the OT and some new to us, to reboot our theatre. And these will also be our first venture into live-streaming: we want to live-stream all our work in the future and this is our first step towards that. We want to be back to full-scale productions that welcome audiences when it is safe. Until then I am proud to present this new play project as the best possible way of platforming the new and emerging talent that’s vital for the future.”
Inside/Outside is part of OT On Screen, the Orange Tree Theatre’s digital project launched in January 2020 with Maya Arad Yasur’s play Amsterdam, watched by over 25,000 people worldwide. The productions, filmed in collaboration with The Umbrella Rooms, mark the company’s first live-streamed project, and the first live performances at the Orange Tree Theatre since lockdown began on 16 March 2020.
All rehearsals and filming will be conducted in a Covid secure environment in line with current government guidelines.
Sonali Bhattacharyya was 2018 Channel 4 writer in residence at the Orange Tree, where she wrote Chasing Hares, winner of the Sonia Friedman Production Award. Her credits include Megaball (National Theatre Learning for ‘Let’s Play’), Slummers (Bunker Theatre), 2066 (Almeida Theatre), The Invisible Boy (Kiln Theatre) and White Open Spaces (Pentabus Theatre – South Bank Show award-nominated). She was one of three playwrights selected for the inaugural Old Vic 12, and is currently under commission to Fifth Word and Kiln Theatre, writer in residence at National Theatre Studio and recently shortlisted for the Woman’s Playwriting Award for her play Deepa the Saint.
Deborah Bruce’s theatre credits include The House They Grew Up In (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Distance (Sheffield Theatres/Orange Tree Theatre – finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Joanne (Latitude Festival/Soho Theatre), The Light (Live Theatre), Same (National Theatre) and Godchild (Hampstead Theatre). As a director, her credits include Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).
Zoe Cooper’s Out of Water had its world première at the Orange Tree in 2019 and was a finalist in the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She was also shortlisted for the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Awards 2019, and nominated for the Best New Production of a Play Award in the Broadway World UK Awards. Her playwrighting credits include Jess and Joe Forever (Orange Tree Theatre/Traverse Theatre/UK tour – Off West End Award for Most Promising Playwright Award 2017, longlisted for the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award) and Nativities and Utopia (Live Theatre).
Joel Tan is a Singaporean playwright based in London. His credits include Love in the Time of the Ancients (Shortlisted for the 2019 Papatango Prize), Tango (Pangdemonium Theatre – nominated for Life Theatre Award’s Best Original Script), Café (The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival), The Actors Tour (international tour), Mosaic (M1 Festival) and The Way We Go (Checkpoint Theatre). He is part of 503 Five, Theatre503’s residency scheme and an associate artist with Chinese Arts Now and Singapore’s Checkpoint Theatre
Kalungi Ssebandeke was selected for the BBC Writersroom London Voices, and Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab. He was also selected for the Lyric Hammersmith Ten Week Writers Programme and has written for the Young Vic, Bush Theatre and Talawa, his credits include Assata Taught Me (Gate Theatre). As an actor, his credits include Blood Knot (Orange Tree Theatre).
Joe White’s debut play Mayfly premièred at the Orange Tree in 2018, for which he won Most Promising New Playwright at the OffWestEnd Awards and was nominated for Best New Writer at The Stage Awards. He has written work for The Old Vic, Lyric Hammersmith, Bush Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Birmingham REP and BBC Radio 3. In 2014, he was selected for the BBC Writersroom 10 and won the Channel 4 Playwriting Award. In 2015, he was the Writer in Residence at Pentabus Theatre Company, and in 2017, he was selected for the Orange Tree Writers Collective and the Old Vic 12. In 2019, he was selected for the BBC TV Drama Writers Programme, through which he is developing a pilot with STV. He is currently under commission with Sheffield Theatres, Audible and Carnival Films.
Georgia Green directs. Her previous credits include The Mikvah Project (Orange Tree Theatre/BBC Radio 4) for which she was nominated for Best Director at The Stage Debut Awards.
Anna Himali Howard directs. Her forthcoming work as a director I STAND FOR WHAT I STAND ON (Strike A Light). Past work includes I Wanna Be Yours (Paines Plough/Bush Theatre), A Small Place (Gate Theatre), and Albatross (RWCMD/Paines Plough/Gate Theatre). Howard was Associate Director for Fleabag (Soho Theatre, international tour). She was Paines Plough’s Trainee Director in 2016 and is an alumnus of the Birmingham REP Foundry. She was recently a Staff Director at the National Theatre, London.
Orange Tree Theatre Listings
1 Clarence Street, Richmond, TW9 2SA
Box Office: 020 8940 3633
Inside: Thursday 25 – Saturday 27 March 2021
Outside: Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 April 2021
Performance Times: 7.30pm (Evenings) & 2.30pm (Saturday Matinees)
Tickets: from £10 on sale 23 February to OT Members and 25 February public sale
Audio described performances
Inside: 26 March at 7.30pm and 27 March at 2.30pm
Outside: 16 April at 7.30pm and 17 April at 2.30pm
Inside: 27 March at 2.30pm
Outside: 17 April at 2.30pm