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), M.E.N. 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. She was a finalist in the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2009 for her play about memory and brain injury The Almond and the Seahorse. Widely published and produced, she works internationally, with plays translated/produced in eleven countries worldwide.

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.

 

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 recently was awarded a Creative Wales Award from Arts Council Wales for exploratory work into ‘The Performative power of Words with Music’ in 2017. She has recently been announced as the recipient of an Unlimited International Commission, supported by the British Council, to develop The Singapore ‘d’ Monologues in 2017/18.

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 is reflecting 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 Disability Arts Cymru, DaDa (Disability arts Deaf arts) and Agent 160. Dramaturg for The Llanarth Group, she co-creates work internationally with renowned theatre director Phillip Zarrilli.