About

 

Kaite O’Reilly is a playwright, radio dramatist, writer, and dramaturg who works in disability arts and culture and mainstream culture. She has won many awards for her work, including the Peggy Ramsay Award for YARD (The Bush, London), Manchester Theatre Awards best play of the year for Perfect (Contact Theatre), Theatre-Wales Award for peeling (Graeae Theatre company) and the Ted Hughes Award for new works in Poetry for her reworking of Aeschylus’s Persians for National Theatre Wales in their inaugural year. Persians is published by Fair Acre Press in 2019. She was a finalist in the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play about memory and brain injury The Almond and the Seahorse and honoured in the 2018 Elliot Hayes for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy for And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore/UK ‘d’ Monologues. Widely published and produced, she works internationally, with plays translated/produced in eleven countries worldwide. Productions in 2019 include peeling, by Taking Flight Theatre, Aesop’s Fables with Unicorn, the Costa Rican premiere of the 9 fridas and a reworking of Orestes in Singapore with Phillip Zarrilli.

The Almond and the Seahorse, adapted fore the screen with Celyn Jones, is in development with Mad as Birds Films.

2016 productions included Cosy at Wales Millennium Centre (The Llanarth Group), The Almond and the Seahorse in Estonia and Germany, and the Taiwanese production of the 9 Fridas in Mandarin transferring to Hong Kong Repertory Theatre.

These plays are collected in her critically acclaimed Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors, published by Oberon in 2016.

 

Her Unlimited International Commission And Suddenly I Disappear premiered in Singapore in 2018 (Access Path Productions/The Llanarth Group) and then transferred to London’s Southbank as part of the Unlimited Festival. This text, along with a Crip’ feminist reworking of Richard III -richard iii redux - co-written and directed by Phillip Zarrilli, is published in The ‘d’ Monologues (Oberon, 2018).

A leading figure in disability arts and culture in the UK, she received two Cultural Olympiad Commissions for In Water I’m Weightless, produced by National Theatre Wales/Southbank Centre as part of the official festival celebrating the 2012 London Olympics/Paralympics. She has received bursaries from Literature Wales and two prestigious Creative Wales Major Awards from Arts Council Wales.

In 2003-06 she was AHRC Creative Fellow at Exeter University, developing ‘Alternative dramaturgies Informed by a Deaf and disability Perspective.’ This work has continued as fellow of international research centre ‘Interweaving Performance Cultures’ at Freie Universitat in Berlin (2010-17), where she reflected on her practice between hearing culture and Deaf culture, disability culture and ‘mainstream’ culture, with four essays forthcoming in books by Routledge.

She edited FACE ON: Disability Arts in Ireland and Beyond for Arts Disability Ireland and Shelf Life, an anthology of writing by those with reduced life expectancy for National Disability Arts Forum.

She is the patron of DaDa (Disability arts Deaf arts). Dramaturg for The Llanarth Group, she co-creates work internationally with renowned theatre director Phillip Zarrilli.