Actors Touring Company makes international, contemporary theatre that travels. We create shows which activate and entertain the audience whilst asking questions of the world around us. We seek out new ideas, artists and perspectives and question what theatre is and can be through openness, invention and curiosity. Placing the actor at the heart of our work, and employing a lean aesthetic which promotes environmental sustainability, we have toured the UK and Internationally since we were founded in 1978, reaching audiences far and wide, using theatre to encourage them to examine the world around us.
76 UK performances so far throughout 2016/17, reaching audiences of over 18,124
— Dominic Cooke, former Artistic Director Royal Court Theatre
Ramin Gray is one of Britain's most ground-breaking, enquiring and theatrical directors. He is also a passionate advocate of new plays, especially those with a contemporary form and sensibility. I'm excited to see how he brings these strengths to his leadership of ATC.
After directing, designing and acting in many plays at University, Ramin began directing professionally in 1988 with a production of John Marston’s The Malcontent at the Latchmere Theatre in London. In 1990 he was awarded a Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme bursary which took him to the Liverpool Playhouse where initially he directed classic texts such Franz Wedekind’s Spring Awakening and Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge.
At Liverpool Ramin began directing new plays. He forged a particularly close relationship with playwright Gregory Motton, directing among others the world premieres of A Message for the Broken-Hearted at Liverpool Playhouse and BAC, Cat and Mouse (Sheep) in Paris at the Odéon Théâtre National de l’Europe and Gate Theatre (in English) and Théâtre National de Gennevilliers (in French). Also at the Gate he directed premieres by Paul Godfrey and the first British production of a Jon Fosse play, The Child.
From 2000-09 Ramin was at the Royal Court, first as International Associate, then as Associate Director where he directed over fifteen world or British premieres. In the Theatre Upstairs these included: Push Up by Roland Schimmelpfennig, Terrorism by the Presnyakov Brothers, Ladybird by Vassily Sigarev, Way to Heaven by Juan Mayorga, Woman and Scarecrow by Marina Carr, Just a Bloke by David Watson and Scenes from the Back of Beyond by Meredith Oakes. In the Theatre Downstairs he directed Simon Stephens’ Motortown (also Wiener Festwochen, Falter critics’ prize), Max Frisch’s The Arsonists, Martin Crimp’s Advice to Iraqi Women, two plays by Marius von Mayenburg, The Ugly One and The Stone, and Over There by Mark Ravenhill (also Schaubuehne, Berlin). Ramin also did play development work for the Royal Court on almost every continent.
Ramin’s freelance theatre work in the UK includes two plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company, David Greig’s The American Pilot and Leo Butler’s I’ll Be The Devil, and Alistair Beaton’s King of Hearts which he co-directed with Max Stafford-Clark for Hampstead Theatre and Out of Joint.
Internationally, Ramin has directed two plays by Simon Stephens, the German language premiere of Harper Reagan at the Salzburg Festival and On The Shore of the Wild World at Volkstheater Wien (Karl-Skraup Prize). His 2010 Viennese production of Dennis Kelly’s Orphans was nominated for the Nestroy Prize. His Russian production of The Ugly One won Best Director at the Textura Festival, Perm in 2010.
In 2009 Ramin directed Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, conducted by Simone Young. In 2010 he directed the European premiere of Brett Dean’s Bliss at Hamburgische Staatsoper. Most recently, he has directed the UK premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Ernest for the Royal Opera House.
Ramin has also directed all of ATC’s productions since 2011. Thus far, these have been The Golden Dragon by Roland Schimmelpfennig, the first major revival of Crave by Sarah Kane and a new Russian play, Illusions by Ivan Viripaev. He has most recently directed David Greig's The Events, voted by critics in The Guardian as the 'Best Play of 2013'. An ATC co-production with Young Vic Theatre, Brageteatret in Drammen, and Schauspielhaus Vienna, Ramin also directed the Norwegian and Austrian productions of The Events.
Andrew Smaje is a theatre producer, consultant and mentor. He is currently Executive Director of ATC, leading the company alongside Artistic Director Ramin Gray.
Known for his work producing contemporary theatre, particularly new writing, Andrew’s productions and commissions were nominated at the TMA UK Theatre Awards in 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016.
He is also a consultant for leading theatre companies, organisations and artists, with clients including Theatre Royal Plymouth, Greyscale and The Empty Space. Andrew supports the development of emerging companies such as Curious Monkey and sits on the advisory board of Cap-a-Pie.
Andrew was Chief Executive of Hull Truck 2010 - 2012, producing work by contemporary playwrights both in Hull and on tour, and co-producing with partners including Headlong, Paines Plough and The Gate. His productions were nominated for the Renee Stepham Touring Award (TMA UK Theatre Awards) in 2012 and Best Visiting Production (Manchester Theatre Awards) in 2013.
Andrew was Associate Director of Theatre Royal Bath 2000 - 2010, supporting and developing new and innovative theatre across a broad spectrum of performance genres and practice, principally new writing. He supported many artists who are now key figures in British theatre, such as Lorne Campbell and Theatre Ad Infinitum. His final production as Artistic Director of the Ustinov, the world premiere of Herding Cats by Lucinda Coxon, was nominated for Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards 2011 and subsequently transferred to Hampstead Theatre.
Andrew created the Bath International Puppet Festival, a showcase for adult puppetry; he was co-Director of the Bath Shakespeare Festival, an unplugged festival of contemporary perspectives on Shakespeare’s work; and produced plays on both large and small scale, by writers such as Gregory Burke, David Greig and David Harrower.
Andrew was an Artistic Assessor for ACE from 2009-17 .
Jess first worked for Actors Touring Company in 2011 as Stage Manager on The Golden Dragon, she has returned to the company on several occasions including the productions of Illusions and The Events.
In 2007 she completed a degree in Stage Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and then followed a varied career as a freelance stage manager working across the board in theatre, dance, opera and musical theatre.
Jess has toured the UK extensively and on occasion dipped her toe in International waters. Her life on the road has taught her a great deal and she is excited to be working with Actors Touring Company as General Manager.