Bright O. Richards
is an actor and writer. In 1993 he fled the Liberian civil war and came to the Netherlands. Richards went to theatre school in Arnhem and then acted in various productions and companies. With New Dutch Connections he won the prestigious Gieskes-Strijbis Podium Prize in 2017, for "being an opinionated thespian who builds bridges between people who don't know each other yet." His 2009 play As I Left My Father's House tells his own story of flight, interspersed with the stories of a Jew in hiding and an Islamic refugee. Through New Dutch Connections, Richards aims to bring together old and new Dutch citizens. In 2018 he created The Bright Side of Life with Theater Utrecht, inspired by the arrival of more than 60,000 refugees in the Netherlands and the resulting challenges for both these people and Dutch society.(WN 2020)
Archive available for: Bright O. Richards
This show by and featuring Bright Richards is a funny and confronting musical play (with live music) about an actor who must flee his home country, where he was famous and beloved. In the Netherlands, he goes in search of integration and a new audience.
The Bright Side of Life, a co-production of Theatre Utrecht and New Dutch Connections, shows a person in the process of leaving behind the old world an integrating in a new one. Ultimately, it turns out that home is not where you come from, but where things are good for you.
Bright was once a famous actor in Liberia, who fled that country 20 years ago due to the civil war. Theatre helped him build up a new existence in the Netherlands. He went to theatre school in Arnhem, created shows for Ro Theater, and has been touring the play As I Left My Father's House through the whole country since 2009. The arrival of more than 60,000 refugees in the Netherlands and the associated challenges for these people as well as for Dutch society inspired him to create this new show.
Following the performance, writer Vamba Sherif speaks with Bright O. Richards.
Concept, text and play: Bright O. Richards
Directed by: Ko van den Bosch
Music from and by: Oleg Fateev
Also with: MC Innocent Ekhator and some ten young refugees