About us


Empty Deck is an international theatre company that makes work that is both local and global in reach.

Our company’s aims are twofold: to create long-lasting collaborations with some of the most prominent writers as yet un-produced in the UK and to challenge our own preconceptions of theatre-making in an ever changing world.

We bring some of the best international new writing to the forefront of the UK’s theatre scene, developing strategies to foster and showcase international playwrights’ interest in the UK, enabling the development of translations, rehearsed readings and ultimately productions.

We run workshops to scratch new ideas and to open up what ‘participation’ might mean to fellow artists and audiences.

Empty Deck is a space of possibility.

In 2015 we were nominated a Peter Brook Award for Emerging Company for our ‘stunningly performed and deftly directed’ Then Silence

In 2016 we were a New Diorama Graduate Company

In 2016 we were nominated a Fringe Sustainable Practice Award for our production of Cosmic Fear or The Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia for its high quality artistic integrity and engagement with the issues of sustainability.

In 2017 we have been awarded seed funding for a new project in development from the House and TippingPoint Commission ‘Doing Nothing is Not An Option’.

2017 also saw the move of Empty Deck to the UK’s ‘Ocean City’, Plymouth.

The core creatives are:
Kay Michael

Kay Michael | Director
Kay trained at Drama Centre, after reading English & Theatre Studies at Warwick University. She is a founding member of award-winning curious directive with whom she has devised, performed and directed. In 2014 she was Trainee Director at Paines Plough and she was a 2016 JMK Finalist for her production of Jon Fosse’s Winter. She is the 2017 – 2018 Resident Assistant Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Beyond Empty Deck, directing credits include: Katzelmacher (MA Acting Workshop Production, Drama Centre); Pelican Daughters (Shakespeare in Shoreditch Festival, RIFT); A Local Boy (Invertigo, Pleasance); English Settlement, Property, and Clarion (staged readings at PlayWROUGHT, Arcola); True or False (Theatre Uncut, Arcola); Free Fall (Invertigo, Guildhall School of Music and Drama); The Lodger (Oval House); The Nth Degree (Old Red Lion and Rosemary Branch); An Ordinary Spectacle (curious directive, Powder Blue Orthogonal Pavilion); Mercury Fur (site specific, Leamington Spa).

Kay was the Associate Director on the critically acclaimed Clarion (Arcola), starring Clare Higgins (winner of Best Female, OffWestEnd Awards) and Greg Hicks (nominated Best Male, OffWestEnd Awards), written by Mark Jagasia (nominated Best New Play, OffWestEnd Awards)

Credits as assistant director include: The Winter’s Tale (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, The Globe Theatre); 2071 (Royal Court Theatre); An Intervention (Paines Plough, Watford Palace Theatre); Don Gil of the Green Breeches (Theatre Royal Bath; Arcola; Belgrade Theatre Coventry); Return to the Silence (curious directive, Pleasance); Tender Napalm (Southwark Playhouse).


Lucy Rose Coren | Dramaturg

Lucy is a Canadian dramaturg, theatre-maker and writer. She completed her BA hons at the University of Toronto in Music, Philosophy and Literature, and MA in Dramaturgy and European Theatre at the University of Kent. She is the co-artistic director of Live Others, a verbatim theatre company specializing in working with non-professional performers.

Credentials: Dramaturg (Beyond Face Theatre Company); Young People’s Producer (Theatre Royal Plymouth); Participation Coordinator (Pegasus Theatre); Assistant Facilitator (Tobacco Factory Theatres); Dramaturg Assistant (Tinderbox); Production Assistant (Theatre of Europe A Doll’s House); Mobilizer and Dramaturg (Creative Europe-funded project Playing Identities, Performing Heritage); Drama Facilitator (Kent Refugee Action Network); Assistant Director (Hart House Theatre, Toronto).

Publications: The Dramaturgical Notion of Counter-Text (The Theatre Times); Foreign and Familiar (Intermission Magazine); How We’re Hard-wired to Ignore Climate Change (Winnipeg Free Press); Judging Refugees by Actions of a Few (The Toronto Star); Victimhood and the Politics of Representation (Migrant Voice).

Presentations: “The Dramaturgical Notion of Counter-Text” Collective Encounters,University of Liverpool; “Dramaturgy and the Refugee Crisis” Counterpoints Arts; “A Love Story in Dramatic Compounding and Grammatical Affixiation”, Paris Lit Up

Denisa Dumitrescu | Associate Designer
Denisa is a designer hailed from Romania, and trained at Central Saint Martins on the Performance Design and Practice BA (2011 – 2014)

Credits include: Production Designer: Dare to Sea (UK tour) and The Tin Soldier (Roundhouse) both with Peut-être Theatre.

Set and costume design: Leonce and Lena (Brockley Jack Studio Theatre); Most People are Other People (Tristan Bates Theatre); Deja Blue in collaboration with BirdGang Dance Company (Panarmonion Stage); Minions Collective Fashion Performance, Universal Pictures in collaboration with Central Saint Martins; ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Opera, by English Pocket Opera Company (Royal Albert Hall); Orpheus and Eurydice in collaboration with English Pocket Opera Company (Platform Theatre, CSM); Raw Footage (Dance Umbrella Festival); Carnival Messiah (Harewood House).

Design Assistant: I Do (Dante or Die, Almeida Festival and Sitelines Festival, Reading);

Production Design Assistant: Two Days in the Smoke, feature film (Slate4Films);

Personal website


Sara Green | Associate Movement Director
A post-graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance.

Movement Direction/Choreography credits include: Anita & Me (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); The Window (Hope Theatre); Ages Old Vic (New Voices); Embodied Mind Project (Derek Jarman Lab); Sometimes There’s Light (Sometimes There’s Dark) [Asst. Choreo] (Moving Dust UK Tour); Animaled (LSFF 2014); Then, Silence (Tristan Bates Theatre); Late in the Day (Reckless Moment Productions), Hen&Chickens Theatre; No Assets (Spring Offensive); IceScream Development (Arcola Theatre) [Assistant]; Body in Light (Curious Directive for the CAPITAL Centre); Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Freshblood for Warwick Arts Centre); Return to the Silence (Curious Directive for Warwick Arts Centre, NSDF & Shunt).

Dance/Devising credits include: Beyond the Treeline (Bonnie Bird Theatre, Laban); 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony LOCOG; Moonscapes (Hoxton Theatre); Exoplanets (Curious Directive for Latitude Festival); Science Museum Lates Curious Directive for the Science Museum; An Ordinary Spectacle (Curious Directive on the Powder Blue Orthogonal Pavilion).

On each project we’re joined by other brilliant artists and performers. Take a look at our production, workshops and play readings pages to see more.

If you are interested in working with us please drop us a line at info@emptydeck.co