“The Orange Tree has it all: a hugely rich theatrical history, filled with more important names than you could list, and a thrillingly adventurous approach to programming new work. Having my play staged in Paul Miller's first season there will always be a career highlight for me.” Alistair McDowall
The Orange Tree aims to challenge, move and amaze with a bold and continually evolving mix of new and re-discovered plays in our unique in-the-round space. We’d like to change lives by telling remarkable stories from a wide variety of times and places, filtered through the singular imagination of our writers and the remarkable close-up presence of our actors.
We have presented new plays by writers in formative moments of their careers, and provoked radical re-evaluations of others by revisiting earlier work. New plays by Zoe Cooper, Alistair McDowall and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and have sat alongside early plays by Bernard Shaw, Caryl Churchill and Arinze Kene, amongst many others.
We are committed to discovering and nurturing the next generation of theatre artists through the OT New Artists programme, including our Writers Collective, and readings and workshops where possible.
We are proud to partner with the JMK Award to discover and develop the directors of the future. Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu was the first winner of the JMK Award at the Orange Tree, with his five-star production of Little Baby Jesus by Arinzé Kene.
This prestigious, annual award is presented to one young theatre director of outstanding potential enabling them to mount a professional production. At its new home here, the JMK Award will offer one director aged 35 and under the opportunity to direct a full-scale Orange Tree show.
The JMK Trust was established in 1997 following the death of James Menzies-Kitchin, a young director of exceptional talent and promise.
Winning the JMK Award has been instrumental in launching the careers of some of Britain’s finest directors including Thea Sharrock, Natalie Abrahami, Bijan Sheibani, Roy Alexander Weise, Polly Findlay and Joe Hill-Gibbins.
Submissions for the 2020 Award have now closed. Please check back for details of the applying for the Award in 2021.
Some restrictions apply.
The Collective is an opportunity for a group of establishing writers to share skills, techniques and obsessions, and to fire up conversations and collaborations. It is run by the Orange Tree’s Literary Associate Guy Jones, alongside masterclasses from practitioners making work at the theatre.
Alumni of the OT Writers Collective have gone on to be produced and commissioned by the theatre, and championed by us in the industry elsewhere.
We will announce when applications open for the Collective on this page, and through our social media platforms. If you would like to be notified when we have opportunities for playwrights and other artists, you can send us your details using this form.
We will only contact you with information about opportunities at the Orange Tree.
For more information about the OT Writers Collective alumni click here.
Ross Willis has been awarded an attachment to the Orange Tree as part of the Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme. He will spend a year working with the OT team , developing a new play for the theatre.
Previous Channel 4 Playwrights at the Orange Tree:
2018: Sonali Bhattacharyya (winner of the Sonia Friedman Productions Award for her play Chasing Hares)
2016: Melissa Bubnic (joint winner of the Sonia Friedman Productions Award for her play Monkey Work Baboon Chop)
We love to hear what theatre artists are up to, at whatever stage in their career. We are a small team, and as a result we are not in a position to accept unsolicited submissions of work, but we do engage with as much work through readings and performances as we can.
If you would like to invite us to see your show, or a reading or sharing of your work, click here to send us the details of the show.
Your invitation will be read and discussed by the Orange Tree team, but we will only be in touch if we are able to attend.