Literature

DIANE PAGE WINS 2021 JMK AWARD

The Trustees of the JMK Trust announced that Diane Page wins this year’s JMK Award with her production of Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act by Athol Fugard. Continuing its partnership with the Orange Tree Theatre, the production forms part of the theatre’s upcoming Recovery Season, and opens on 2 September, with previews from 28 August and running until 2 October. It will also be streamed live via OT On Screen 23 – 24 September at 7.30pm.

This award provides Page with the opportunity to direct a full-scale Orange Tree show with the production values and nurturing guidance the building is famous for. She will work with designer Niall McKeever on her production.This year’s runner ups, and the recipients of £2000, are Rafaella Marcus and designer Anna Reid for their proposal for Peggy Pickett Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig.

As a director, Diane Page’s credits include Out West (Co-director), In Love and Loyalty (also as writer), Ghost Stories, Leave to Remain, Dick Whittington (Lyric Hammersmith), Yeggs (Wildcard Online), Love and Information (ArtsEd) and Krool Britannia (Rabbit Hole Theatre/Camden Fringe). Her credits as an associate director include Ghost Stories (Duke of York’s Theatre/UK tour); and as an assistant director, othellomacbeth (Lyric Hammersmith/HOME) and Bartholomew Fair (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Diane Page said today, “I am beyond thrilled to be the recipient of the JMK Award. It is such an incredible feeling to have the opportunity to stage Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act by Athol Fugard – a brilliant and poignant play that is in dialogue with the world now – and I’m overjoyed to be able to do it at the Orange Tree Theatre. I want to thank the JMK Trust for their support and keeping this award going – especially at this time. My creative team and I cannot wait to share the production with you.”

Stephen Fewell, Chair of the JMK Trust, also commented, “I’m really thrilled to see Diane and her team receive the JMK Award of £25,000, and cannot wait to be sat in the Orange Tree Theatre this autumn to see her production spark into life. As theatre audiences, like the lovers in Fugard’s play, meet together once more in the darkness, I’m anticipating what modern parallels may be drawn from his account of life under a corrupt, immoral and racially prejudiced government regime. 

Today sees theatre audiences beginning to return, and I hope audiences will come along to see Diane’s show, and support all our shortlisted directors’ future projects. They represent the future, and as we all decide what we want to regain and what to reimagine, who to mourn and how to rebuild, they deserve every opportunity that theatre can provide.”

Paul Miller, Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre added, “I am seriously delighted that Diane Page, this year’s winner of the JMK Award, will play a key part in the OT’s recovery season. Her passion and insight in to Athol Fugard’s seminal classic blew us away, and in particular her feeling for it as a powerful response to recent events. In Diane the JMK Award has once again struck gold. I can’t wait for audiences to return and experience this electric play, in the hands of such an exciting director.”

Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act premièred in 1972 in South Africa. This year’s award announcement can be streamed via WhatsOnStage’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/whatsonstageTV

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