I didn’t write much in 2016. I saw lots of theatre but I wasn’t involved in making any. My final post was What to do when you’re feeling over-whelmed by the state of the world, advice to myself and others.
February 2015 – In Protest Of…, as part of the Collaborations Festival
I spent the first two of months of the year writing and directing a play for the Collaborations festival. This was the first time that something I’d written made it to the stage and was performed in front of a paying audience. It was very exciting and a little bit nerve-wreaking. I wrote a bunch of blog posts about it, which you will find here.
The play was called In Protest Of… and it was a short, 20 minute two hander performed by Mary Conroy and Rachel Munga. I really enjoyed taking something I’d written and then handing it over to the actors and eventually the audience. It was an enjoyable, collaborative process and one I hope to repeat something soon. I also spent a lot of 2015 working on the follow-up but it didn’t make it to the stage this year.
October/November 2015 – #WakingThe Feminists
At the end of October, the Abbey launched it’s Waking The Nation programme and I watched the theatre community critique the programme for it’s shameful lack of female artists. I watched the Abbey dismiss these complaints, telling people that they had simply put together the best programme possible and if that meant a majority of male artists, well surely that wasn’t their fault, was it? This patronising dismissal fanned the flames of discontent. Irritation turned to anger as female artists across the industry shared stories of the sexist treatment they’d received throughout their careers, and the things they were told to justify that sexism. I was out of the country at the time, so I watched all this play-out online and felt proud of and connected to the theatre community as these women came together, shared stories, supported each other and with a shared voice said “Enough”. This was the birth of the #WakingTheFeminist movement and it was glorious to behold!
I wrote about one of the initiatives that came out of those discussions #FairPlayForWomen, which now has a Facebook page. I also wrote about my own reactions to the Waking The Nation and the discussions that happen afterwards.
#WakingTheFeminists burst off-line and onto the Abbey stage when they hosted a sold-out public meeting on November 11th. I wrote about that here: A Turning Point in Irish Theatre.
Since then, #WakingTheFeminists have got big, powerful organisations taking about gender balance, recognising their prejudices and checking their privilege. At a second meeting in March 2016, many high-profile arts organisations made pledges to do something to equality in theatre. The issue is also being studied in a way that it wasn’t before. Irish Equity performed a survey on bullying and harassment in the workplace, Dr. Brenda Donohue and Dr. Tanya Dean are beginning to gather statistics on gender balance in Irish theatre over the past 10 years.
It is making a difference and I’m sure I will be writing about it again!
March 2014 – Adventures in Failure by Jessica Carri
Adventures in Failure was a physical dance piece performed for 6 nights in the Boys’ School at Smock Alley Theatre. It was devised by the director Jessica Carri with the cast Isabel Macedo, Fiona Lucia McGarry, Rachel Mungra. I enjoyed working as a producer on this piece. I was involved very early in the process, before there was a show or even a cast. I also ran my first Fund:it campaign for this show.
April 2014 – Dublin Writers Festival
I wrote a number of blog entries for the Dublin Writers Festival website. I reviewed a couple of literary events and interviewed author Erika McGann.
September 2014 – Singlehood Tour
At the end of May I started working with UMCK Productions on the Singlehood tour, which starting in Belfast in September. I wrote about the tour here – Singelhood Experiences – and there is lots more information about Singlehood on the UMCK Productions blog.
April 2013 – IETM
In April, IETM came to Dublin for the first time. I learnt lots about the organisation and wrote a User’s Guide for anyone who was equally clueless. I also attended some of the social events and really enjoyed it.
June 2013 – All-Ireland Performing Arts Conference
In June, the All-Ireland Performing Arts Conference was held in Derry. This was a joint event hosted by Theatre Forum and NITA. I was working with Theatre Forum at the time so it was a busy couple of days, but also very enjoyable. Derry was beautiful, particularly the Guild Hall.
I spent most of 2013 working with Theatre Forum. I went to members meetings and other events around the country. I particularly enjoyed the Open Space meetings and the Testify meeting in Project Arts Centre because it was a chance to hear what people working in the arts were experiencing and the challenges they were facing.
September 2013 – Dublin Fringe Festival
In July my JobBridge with Theatre Forum came to an end and I spent a couple of months working as a Freelance Producer. I worked with Come As Soon As You Hear! on their show Whelp, which was part of the Dublin Fringe Festival. I also worked with Una McKevitt and Maeve Higgins on another Fringe show, Moving City. I was Assistant Producer/Directer and had a great time. Both shows went down very well with the Fringe audiences.
When I wasn’t working, I was running around seeing lots of other Fringe show, particular shows by women (A very female Fringe) and really enjoyed the festival.
November 2013 – The Circus of Perseverance
In November, I started work on The Circus of Perseverance a play about post-boom Dublin. We were in the Main Space in Smock Alley for a week at the end of the month. It was a lively show with a very energetic cast and live music.
February 2012 – NUIG Theatre Week
Early 2012 was all about rehearsals for the One-Act Play Festival at NUI Galway. I performed in one production and directed another so it was a busy few months. All the preparations lead up to Theatre Week, when as well as the One-Acts, I also took part in my fourth production of The Vagina Monologues, performing ‘My Angry Vagina’.
The play I directed for the One-Act Festival, Ahh Lad!!!!, won the Jerome Hynes Award for Best Play. I was very proud of the cast and crew.
May 2012 – MA Showcase
At the beginning of May, my classmates and I put together an end-of-year showcase. We performed a selection of scenes for invited guests in Bewley’s Cafe Theatre. It was great fun to put together and perform in and the evening was a great success.
June 2012 – Fishamble Internship
As part of my MA, I spend five weeks as Production and Literary Intern with Fishamble: The New Play Company. At the time they were touring Silent, Forgotten and The Wheelchair on my Face. Rehearsals began for The Great Goat Bubble which premiered at the Galway Arts Festival that July. I learned a lot about production and read a lot of plays. I enjoyed it immensely.
October 2012 – Theatre Forum
I started working for Theatre Forum at the beginning of October, in the middle of their Next Stage programme. I was very excited to work with this busy and dynamic organisation. I learned a lot about all aspects of theatre across Ireland and in December, I attended my first Open Space meeting in Limerick.
April 2011 – The Vagina Monologues
For V-Day 2011, I organised a production of The Vagina Monologues in The Sugar Club on Wednesday 13th April. Our one night was completely sold out and all the ticket money went to charities that work to stop violence against women.
The V-Day spotlight charity was the women and girls of Haiti, and the spotlight monologue is a beautiful tribute to Myriam Merlet, a V-Day activist in Haiti, who died in the earthquake in 2010.
September 2010 – Trilogy
In September 2010, I had the incredible privilege of performing in Trilogy at the Dublin Fringe Festival. Trilogy by Nic Green was a celebration of modern feminism in three parts. I was one of 40 women who took part in the “naked ensemble choreography” that ends the first part. Read more →
April 2008 – Do You Know What You Know You Know?
This piece was created over the course of my final year at university and was my Dissertation performance. It is a piece about perception and the things we choose to believe about the world we live in. Part fairy tale, part dystopia, it was a riotous performance, filled with strange images and ideas. Read more →
February 2008 – The Vagina Monologues
My first V-Day experience was with a production of The Vagina Monologues that was staged at Brunel University in February 2008. Read more →
April 2007 – We Bleed
This performance was created in three months for a module called Contemporary Performance Practice. Our group wanted to create a performance that said something about the people we were at that time. It was a funny and entertaining piece about being a young woman in today’s society and looked at all the ideas we are fed by the media and how that conflicts with our real day-to-day lives. It received a rapturous response from the audience and we had a great time making it. Read more →