Dael Orlandersmith’s plays include Stoop Stories, Black n’ Blue Boys/Broken Men, Horsedreams, Bones, The Blue Album, Yellowman, The Gimmick, Monster, and Forever. Ms. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Yellowman and the winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick. Dael is 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 honors. Her play, Forever, was commissioned and performed at the Mark Taper Forum/Kirk Douglas Theatre in Fall of 2014, followed by performances at the Long Wharf Theatre Winter 2014/15, New York Theatre Workshop in Spring 2015, and at Portland Center Stage in Winter 2016. Her play Until the Flood was done 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 done at Rattlestick Theatre in 2018 and Milwaukee Rep in 2019; it was done at Portland Center Stage, ACT Seattle, the Arcola Theatre in London, The Galway Arts Festival at the Druid Theatre/ and at the Traverse at Edinburgh Festival. The play is scheduled to be performed in Berlin at the Schaubruhner Theatre in April of 2022 and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC in June 2022. Ms. Orlandersmith is working on a Commission for Rattlestick Theatre called Watching the Watcher, and has two plays opening at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre in 2022: New Age – to be directed by Jade King Carroll, and Antonio’s Song/ I Was Dreaming Of A Son – co-written with Antonio Suarez Edwards and directed by Mark Clement. She is also working on a new work with writer/performer David Cale called You Don’t Know The Lonely One, and is working on a new piece called Spiritas. In 2020 Ms. Orlandersmith received the Doris Duke award.
Kwaku Fortune will next appear on our screens as Josh Ola alongside Angeline Ball, Peter Coonan, and Simone Kirby in “Hidden Assets” directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan; “Redemption“ directed by John Hayes for ITV; and “Burn It All“ opposite Toni O’Rourke, directed by Jack Hickey. He has most recently been cast as Ray in The Beauty Queen of Lenane directed by Rachel O’Riordan for the Lyric Hammersmith & Chichester Festival Theatre, and as the voice of Gael in the Skydance / Apple+ animated feature “Luck.” Further screen credits include “Line of Duty” for the BBC (broadcast earlier this year); “Normal People” directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald for BBC 1, BBC 3, and HULU; and “Animals” alongside Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat, directed by Sophie Hyde. Stage credits include the role of Eli in Asking For It at Birmingham Repertory Theatre; Peat directed by Tim Crouch; and the role of Dara Mood Caitríona McLaughlin’s acclaimed production of Marina Carr’s Raferty’s Hill directed for the main stage at the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre. Kwaku trained at the Lír Academy, Dublin (in association with RADA). He is highly skilled in football & motocross, and has some boxing experience.
Jade Jordan is a mixed-race Irish actor and author of Nanny, Ma & Me. She studied screen acting at Dublin’s Bow Street Academy. Jade’s television credits include upcoming roles in ITV drama “No Return,” ITV/Virgin Media drama “Redemption,” Channel 5 drama “Witness No 3,” as well as guest roles on “Kin“ RTE1, Channel 4’s “The Virtues“ and BBC’s “Doctors.” This year will see her in a number of productions, Kate Dolan’s feature film “You Are Not My Mother,” Shaun Dunne’s film documentary “How To Tell A Secret,” and, as a writer and producer, her own short film “The Colour Between.” Her theatrical appearances include Citysong and Dear Ireland for the Abbey Theatre, Coole Park Poetry Series and Four Days in July for Druid Theatre Company.
FELISPEAKS (Felicia Olusanya) is a Nigerian-Irish Poet, Performer, Playwright from Co. Longford; currently based in Dublin City. FELISPEAKS has been nominated ‘Best Performer’ by Dublin Fringe Festival Sep. 2018. As well as being a Member of the Poetry Ireland Board of Directors appointed June 2020, Felicia is a member of the Poetry Collective, WeAreGriot. FELISPEAKS’ poem: ‘For Our Mothers’ is in the English Ordinary Level Leaving Cert Curriculum for the examination year 2023. Also in 2020, FELISPEAKS was commissioned for a new piece for RTÉ’s “The Big Picture” on the theme of ‘The New Normal’ – this poem, entitled ‘Still’ captured the minds of the nation and has been performed to audiences all over the country. In 2021, FELISPEAKS continued to climb, with a Visual Carlow Residency and Arts Council Bursary supporting her work. She wrote and performed Do You Miss It?, commissioned by Guinness for their national advertising campaign, ‘The Best of the Pub’. She also wrote More Than Ever for Tullamore Dew X District Magazine advertising collaboration, performed by Adam Mohammed. FELISPEAKS has also recently performed at “Dignity, A Celebration of Bob Dylan at 80” at the US Ambassador’s Residence, and was nominated for JCI Ireland’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the Year in the category of Cultural Achievement. FELISPEAKS ended 2021 as an Irish Tatler Woman of the Year with a win in the Catalyst Category – which recognises a woman who has affected change in Irish society in a pivotal way!
CN Smith is a playwright and director from County Louth. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from The Lír Academy and is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where he directed Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (Samuel Beckett Theatre, 2019), and Eden (ISDA, 2019). Writing work includes the radio play Ode to a Postcode (Dublin Fringe, 2019), and At the Very Beginning (Civic Theatre, 2020/21), both written for young audiences. He was an inaugural member of the Abbey Theatre’s Young Curators programme in 2018/2019, and was a recipient of The Lír Academy’s Patricia Leggett Playwriting Scholarship for 2020. He also participated in Smock Alley’s Baptiste Programme, and Dublin Fringe’s WEFT Studio Group, both in 2021, where he developed his plays A Trip to the Beach and Before You Head Off.