Katori Hall is an Olivier Award-winning playwright from Memphis, Tennessee and the showrunner of P-VALLEY, a new Starz television series based on her play Pussy Valley. She also wrote the book for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, the West End hit based on the life and catalogue of Tina Turner. Tina opens on Broadway in Fall 2019.
Katori’s play The Mountaintop, premiering at Theatre503 in 2009, transferred to the West End and won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2010. Following its West End run, the play opened on Broadway in October 2011 to critical acclaim. Katori’s other work includes the award-winning Hurt Village which is currently in development as a feature film, Hoodoo Love, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!, Our Lady of Kibeho, Purple is the Colour of Mourning and The Blood Quilt.
In addition to her Laurence Olivier Award, Katori’s other awards include a Susan Smith Blackburn Award, Lark Play Development Center Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellowship, two Lecompte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, NYFA Fellowship, the Columbia University John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, National Black Theatre’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award.
Katori has been published in publications such as The Boston Globe, The Guardian, and The New York Times. She has also been a Kennedy Center Playwriting Fellow at the O’Neill, and is currently a resident playwright at The Signature Theatre in New York City. In 2012 and 2016, her play Children of Killers was performed as part of the National Theatre’s Connections Festival. Katori is a proud member of the Ron Brown tScholar Program and the Coca-Cola Scholar Program.
James is Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate, Northampton. He is a Board Director of Spirit of 2012, a Trustee for Talawa Theatre Company and a Franco-British Young Leader. He was previously Associate Director at the New Vic Theatre and Theatre503.
Theatre credits for Royal & Derngate include: Our Lady of Kibeho, Soul (with Hackney Empire); The Herbal Bed (with English Touring Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston, UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production); Brave New World (with Touring Consortium Theatre Company); The Hook (with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse); King John (with Shakespeare’s Globe and Salisbury International Festival); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (with Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre and Northern Stage) and The Body of an American (Evening Standard Award nomination). Other credits include: Verdi’s Macbeth (English Touring Opera/UK tour); Holy Warriors, As You Like It, Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Accrington Pals (Royal Exchange Theatre, UK Theatre Award); King James Bible (National Theatre); The Mountaintop (Trafalgar Studios 1/Theatre503, Olivier Award for Best New Play); Precious Little Talent (Trafalgar Studios, London Theatre Festival Award for Best Play, Evening Standard Award nomination); The Thrill of Love (New Vic/Stephen Joseph and transfer to St James Theatre); 4000 Miles (Bath Theatre Royal); Orpheus and Eurydice (Old Vic/National Youth Theatre); Nightshifts (Traverse); The Unconquered (UK tour and off-Broadway transfer); Judgement Day (The Print Room); Desire Under the Elms, Copenhagen and Bus Stop (New Vic). Work Off-Broadway includes Baal, The Error of Their Ways, Work and Come and Go.
James has directed and developed new work by Arthur Miller, David Eldridge, Dawn King, Mike Poulton, Ron Hutchinson, Rachel Portman, These New Puritans, Roy Williams, Katori Hall, Amanda Whittington, Dan O’Brien, White Lies, Dic Edwards, Suzan Lori Parks, Ed Kemp, Molly Davies, Torben Betts, Bekah Brunstetter and Ella Hickson amongst others. He has been awarded Fulbright and Schubert Fellowships in Theatre Directing and trained on the ITV/Channel 4 Regional Theatre Director’s Scheme.