Anna Himali Howard
Anna Himali Howard is a director, theatremaker and dramaturg. She trained on the Birmingham REP Foundry, as the Paines Plough Trainee Director, on the NT Studio Directors’ Programme and the Royal Opera House Directors’ Course. Her work with international companies includes directing for BE Festival, New Nordics, and the Royal Court International Playwrights Residency. She is interested in new writing, co-creation and working across genres to uproot classic texts.
In 2023 her production of ORPHEUS for Opera North received the Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, and the UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Opera.
Anna’s work as a Director includes GRACELAND by Ava Wong Davies (Royal Court), ORPHEUS (Opera North), KABUL GOES POP by Waleed Akhtar (Brixton House), I STAND FOR WHAT I STAND ON (upcoming, Strike A Light), INSIDE (Orange Tree Theatre), I WANNA BE YOURS by Zia Ahmed (Paines Plough/Bush Theatre), YOURS SINCERELY by Will Jackson (Birmingham REP), A SMALL PLACE by Jamaica Kincaid and Season Butler (Gate Theatre), ALBATROSS by Isley Lynn for NEW (RWCMD/Paines Plough/Gate Theatre).
As a theatremaker work includes JANE ANGER (Yard Theatre Live Drafts), MAHABHARAT/A by Anna Himali Howard and Zarina Muhammad (Camden People's Theatre), THE BEANFIELD by Breach Theatre (New Diorama, National tour 2016).
Anna was Associate Director on FLEABAG by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Drywrite/Soho Theatre international tour), Staff Director on SMALL ISLAND (National Theatre) and Assistant Director on OTHELLO at Shakespeare’s Globe. Anna is an Associate Artist at Brixton House and a visiting tutor on MA Dramaturgy at Birkbeck. Anna was Senior Reader at the Royal Court and is a reader for theatres and awards including the Royal Court, Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre and the Bruntwood Prize.
“Sheer boldness of vision… an outstanding cross-cultural success.” ★★★★★ (The Stage, ORPHEUS review, 2022)
“This production’s significance cannot be overstated” ★★★★★ (The Independent, ORPHEUS review, 2022)
“The execution is exquisite. Anna Himali Howard’s bare-stage touring production for Paines Plough and Tamasha makes ingenious use of sign language to ironise and amplify as well as to translate.“ (The Guardian, I WANNA BE YOURS review, 2020)
“Directed with subtlety and grace by Anna Himali Howard” (The Stage, INSIDE review, 2021)
“Howard directs with a light touch, emphasising and embracing the humour which is soaked throughout Kincaid’s text, giving the piece this playfulness which ultimately comes around and knocks you on the head for laughing too readily…Not one moment feels extraneous.” (Exeunt Magazine, A SMALL PLACE review, 2018)