Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham, announces programming for Spring 2021, including a live stream of the staged rehearsed reading of Girl on an Altar – a newly commissioned work by Marina Carr, and Kiln Collaborations, a series of online panel discussions from leading industry figures. Also announced today, Tom Piper joins Kiln Theatre as Associate Designer and recruitment is live for brand new scheme Kiln Resident Assistant Designer which sees the creation of two opportunities for early career designers.

Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham said today, “As we continue to work on reopening it is important we keep finding ways to connect with our communities. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to embed Tom into the organisation, advocating for freelancers and to add a Resident Assistant Designer into our team. These are firsts for Kiln and we couldn’t do it without the support of Backstage Trust. It is vital in these difficult times that we continually look at how to support and engage with the pathways into theatre careers.

“The play-reading of Girl on an Altar is an opportunity for audiences to have an insight into a process of play to stage. They will be watching a commissioned play before it’s first production and will witness a part of the process rarely seen by the public.

“The Collaborations series will create much needed conversations about how we want to collaborate and how we want to move forward as a whole industry.”

The cast of Girl on an Altar includes Adjoa Andoh (Clytemnestra), Ayesha Antoine (Cassandra), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Cilissa), Finbar Lynch (Aegisthus), Joseph Mydell (Tyndareus), Patrick O’Kane (Agamemnon). The reading will be live streamed for free online on 5 March at 7pm.

With many freelancers and theatre workers facing isolation and uncertainty, Kiln Theatre has created Kiln Collaborations – a series of online panel discussions where theatre creators come together to share experiences, approaches and advice on how to navigate the theatre industry by sticking together and working collaboratively. The initial panels will take place on 24 Feb 2021 and 11 March at 6.30pm, and will feature discussions from creatives Ayesha Antoine, Polly Bennett, Kinnetia Isidore, Tony Jayawardena, Shelley Maxwell, Coral Messam, Tom Piper, Kiln Associate Directors Taio Lawson and Susie McKenna and Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham. The panels will also discuss current difficulties facing freelancers and how to plan and prepare for the future. Both events are free and will be via Zoom.

Tom Piper joins Kiln Theatre as the first Associate Designer and has been integral to the creation of a brand new scheme to support and diversify opportunities for early careers designers in the face of the uncertainties facing the industry and those attempting to forge careers in theatre design specifically.  The scheme will see the creation of two 9 month full-time roles over the next 18 months, and will involve training, mentoring and the opportunity to work alongside Piper to support opening up pathways into theatre design for those of all backgrounds. This has been made possible by the generous support of Backstage Trust. For more information and to apply, visit

Piper has a longstanding relationship with Kiln Theatre Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham and has designed numerous shows for the company including Red VelvetThe House That Will Not StandThe Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes and most recently White Teeth. He also supported the redesign and refurbishment of Kiln Theatre in 2018.

Tom Piper said “I am passionate about design education and early career opportunities, and the status of freelancers within the arts. I hope that this will be the first in a number of opportunities to help diversify and give those wanting to pursue a career a valuable start.”

Jean Chan, a theatre designer who was previously part of the RSC trainee designer which Piper set up, said today “the [RSC] scheme gave me one of the best starting opportunities to learn first-hand how theatre productions are put together in the real world. The scheme helped me grow in knowledge and confidence to become the designer that I am today, I am sure the new Kiln Theatre scheme will offer the same great opportunities.”

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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