Black British Theatre Awards

FOUNDERS & patrons

“It’s such a pleasure to witness such a positive impact to theatre, watching it grow and develop. We can’t wait to celebrate at this iconic venue, the national theatre in London, again this autumn.”

Solange Urdang OBE


Solange comes from an impressive family of activists. Born to the late leonie urdang (founder of the urdang academy), who fled south africa in the sixties to london after witnessing apartheid and its injustices, she became ceo of the academy in 2001. Solange has spent her career pushing boundaries and building cultural bridges. She sits on various panels in order to promote diversity in professional musical theatre and dance training. Solange is also a patron of the palace of dogs and founder of link talent agency.

Omar F. Okai


Omar has a wonderful heritage, coming from fourth generation british born, his roots hail from africa, ghana, ireland and brazil. His parents were circus performers in austria way before his birth. The dance and theatre line runs deep within his family roots; stemming from his grandmother, annie barnes, who was part of britain’s first black african ballet company, ‘ballet negre’. Omar starred in the olivier award winning ‘five guys named moe’, and went on to form the award-winning okai collier company with simon james collier, creating new works and giving a springboard to developing creatives.