Amplifying the voices and stories of Black women, Burn Bright have commissioned five Black writers to lead the next instalment of their acclaimed digital anthology series, Better In Person. Responding to the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement through artistic activism, the company hope to highlight the need for further representation in theatre, not only for women, but people of colour as they seek to provide a platform for diversity and equality in the arts.
The writers involved include; Sidney Belony (Wakes, Bunker Theatre; The Records, Theatre Royal Stratford East), Leanna Benjamin (BBC Writersroom Northern Voices 2020), Lekhani Chirwa (Can I Touch Your Hair?, VAULT Festival), Steffi Igbinovia (Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab), and Cherrelle Skeete (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, original London cast). The five short plays, directed by Abigail Sewell (I AM [NOT] KANYE WEST, Bunker Theatre), will be showcased via Zoom on Bank Holiday Monday 31st August at 8pm.
A talented cast have assembled to bring the commissioned texts to life online. Better In Person will involve; Morayo Adeagbo (The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, Greenwich Theatre), Saida Ahmed (Little Miss Burden, The Bunker), Nina Barker-Francis (Flack, UKTV), Jennifer Dixon (Willow, Bunker Theatre), Charlotte Dowding (Dumbledore is so gay, VAULT Festival), Martins Imhangbe (Death of a Salesman, Young Vic), Tolu Kingba (Noughts + Crosses, BBC), Mogali Masuku (Comedy of Errors/Winter’s Tale, RSC), Corinne Skinner-Carter (EastEnders, BBC), and Michelle Tiwo (Parakeet, Roundabout).
Better In Person will once again be hosted by Tori Allen-Martin, inviting audiences to be a digital fly-on-the-wall witnessing these human conversations, captured online in real-time. Exploring the ways in which we connect from digital dating, online activism, and the hardest goodbye, the anthology offers an intimate, hilarious and diverse insight into the new normal.
Sarah Henley, Co-Founder of Burn Bright, commented: “We could not be more excited to be platforming the writing of these amazing Black women and cannot wait to share their stories with you. As theatres begin to open up and programme their spaces again following the news at the weekend that indoor performances can resume, it is vital that they strive to create a more equitable theatre ecology whereby all of our voices are heard and represented. The talent is there – you just need to look.”
Allen-Martin added: “By commissioning diverse writers, we get diverse stories and casting – we are thrilled to have such an incredible company made up of Black and mixed-Black actors and actresses representing multiple ages, nationalities, sexualities, abilities and social backgrounds.”