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 new plays by Isley Lynn, Zoe Cooper, Alistair McDowall and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins have sat alongside plays by Somerset Maugham, Bernard Shaw, Caryl Churchill and Arinze Kene, amongst many others.

OT New Artists

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.

Orange Tree Writers Collective

The Collective is an opportunity for a group of writers to share skills, techniques and obsessions, and to fire up conversations and collaborations. It is run by the Orange Tree’s Associate Directors. In the past the programme has included masterclasses from practitioners including Paulette Randall, Martin Crimp and Ned Bennett.

The writers in our current Writers Collective are: Lydia Sabatini, Anne Odeke, Oli Higginson, Ric Renton, Kelly Jones and Clarisse Makundul. 

Click here to find out more about the current OT Writers Collective.

JMK Award

We are proud to partner with the JMK Award to discover and develop the directors of the future.

The winner of the JMK Award 2023 is Kalungi Ssebandeke with his production of Meetings by Mustapha Matura.

Previous winners of the JMK Award at the Orange Tree include:

  • Indiana Lown-Collins with award-winning The Solid Life of Sugar Water by Jack Thorne (winner of the Off West End award for Best production in 2023).
  • Diane Page with her acclaimed production of Athol Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act.
  • Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu with his production of Little Baby Jesus by Arinzé Kene (★★★★★ The Guardian).

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 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.

Channel 4 Playwrights

We have been proud to host a number of attachments for writers under the Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme.

Previous Channel 4 Playwrights at the Orange Tree:

  • 2020: Ross Willis
  • 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)
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Script Submissions and Invitations

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.