The Orange Tree Theatre has announced the full cast for the major London revival of Dael Orlandersmith’s Yellowman. Diane Page, 2021 JMK Award winner returns to the venue to direct Aaron Anthony (Eugene) and Nadine Higgin (Alma). The production opens on 8 September, with previews from 5 September, and runs until 8 October, with audiences able to watch on demand thanks to the continuation of OT On Screen between 11-14 October.
Alma and Eugene have grown up together. Alma, an African American woman, dreams of a life beyond the confines of their small town. But when her friendship with the light-skinned Eugene develops into something more serious, his fate becomes tragically intertwined with hers and they can’t escape the legacy of racism and the tensions within their own community.
Twenty years after it premièred and received a Pulitzer Prize nomination, Dael Orlandersmith‘s Yellowman, set in the 1960s Deep South, is a moving and deeply pertinent play for now.
Aaron Anthony plays Eugene. His theatre credits include Lose Yourself (Sherman Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Eastville Park Gardens), A View from the Bridge, Macbeth (Tobacco Factory Theatre), ‘Tis Unmanly Grief (Theatre N16), Twelfth Night (Royal Exchange Manchester), Human Emotional Process (Chaskis Theatre) and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe). For television, his credits include Emmerdale – as series regular Ellis Chapman, Behind Her Eyes, The Other One, Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators, Delicious and Hidden.
Nadine Higgin (watch our interview on YouTube) plays Alma. Her theatre credits include Legally Blonde (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Savoy Theatre), A Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe), Allelujah! (Bridge Theatre), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre), The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Kilworth House Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre) and High School Musical (Hammersmith Apollo). For television, her credits include Doctors; and for film, Military Wives.
Dael Orlandersmith’s other plays include Stoop Stories, Black n’ Blue Boys/Broken Men, Horsedreams, Bones, The Blue Album, The Gimmick, Monster, and Forever. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Yellowman, winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick, and the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim, along with several other awards and honours.
Her play, Forever, was commissioned and performed at the Mark Taper Forum/Kirk Douglas Theatre in Autumn 2014, followed by performances at the Long Wharf Theatre Winter 2014/15, New York Theatre Workshop Spring 2015, and Portland Center Stage Winter 2016. Her play Until the Flood was performed at St Louis Repertory in the fall of 2016. She is currently working on two commissions for Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.
Until the Flood was staged at Rattlestick Theater in 2018 and Milwaukee Rep. In 2019 it was performed at Portland Center Stage, ACT Seattle, the Arcola Theatre, The Galway Arts Festival at the Druid Theatre and at the Traverse at Edinburgh Festival, The Schaubruhner Theatre in Berlin and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston SC.
Diane Page returns to the Orange Tree to direct – she was the 2021 JMK Award winner and directed Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act for the company. Her other credits include Julius Caesar (Shakespeare’s Globe and Globe on Tour), Lost and Found (Royal Opera House), and Out West (Co-director, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre).