Black Theatre Live


Identity Crisis

Phina Oruche was born in Liverpool, England, to Nigerian parents. She began her career as a fashion model. In London before she emigrated to NYC. She represented Gap for five years in the United States, and was featured as a cover model on many US magazines. But had a special relationship with Essence magazine and was often featured on its pages and doing a cover. She was discovered for the TV screen by British commercial turned film director Tony Kaye he featured her in many of his TV commercials and her desire to be an actress was born.

Phina started her acting career in the States after an education at the Actors Studio in Los Angeles. She is best known for her role of Liberty Baker in Footballers Wives for which she won a Screen Nations award. She has appeared in American and British television shows including Footballers Wives, The Bill, Nip/Tuck, Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Diagnosis, & Hollyoaks.

Bill Hopkinson is a playwright, dramaturg and theatre director who has taught at conservatoires and universities for more than 20 years. He currently leads the MA Making Performance at Edge Hill University. As Artistic Director of Manchester Youth Theatre (1997-2000) he explored ways of integrating young disabled and non-disabled performers.  From 2000 to 2004 he was Literary Manager for Sgript Cymru, the national new writing company for Wales, his role including extensive work in school across Wales encouraging writing for the stage, and he has worked on TIE projects in primary schools with Liverpool Playhouse.

In Liverpool he worked with Commonground Sign-Dance Theatre for over a decade as director and dramaturg devising work with both the professional company and young people, in their ongoing project to integrate manual languages and expressive forms of European dance theatre. He has just returned from New Zealand where he is helping to establish professional Sign Theatre. As a playwright his credits include Scenes in a Mirror (ACE funded Short Film), Ludd (European Tour) and Song of Olwen (NW tour). As director new writing credits include Looking for K (SohoTheatre/Graeae/Writernet) by Danny Start, Henhouse (Arcola Theatre) by Kaite O’Reilly, Scaramouche Jones by Justin Butcher (Greenwich Playhouse), Our Lady of the Goldfinches (Lowry Salford and touring) by Jane McNulty and Illumination by Donna Worthington (Durham Cathedral and ACE funded tour). In 2009 and again in 2013 he received Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards for his dramaturgical work.