Druid initiatives to fire up young theatremakers


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Druid initiatives to fire up young theatremakers Druid initiatives to fire up young theatremakers

Sound designer Martha Knight has been awarded Druid Theatre’s Marie Mullen Bursary for 2024.

The company has also selected it four artists for FUEL its annual nine-month artist residency programme.

These initiatives are part of Druid’s policy to support the future of Irish theatre.

The Marie Mullen Bursary is an annual award for female theatre artists working in Ireland, in the fields of design, directing and dramaturgy. Named for actor and Druid co-founder, Marie Mullen, the bursary aims to address the under-representation of women in Irish theatre as it supports their professional development of women. It’s now in its sixth year.

Martha, who is from Tallaght and studied Music and Drama in Trinity before going on to work with Dublin companies including Carousel and Freshly Ground, which is based in Tallaght, will have several paid work opportunities with Druid this year. These will include working as assistant sound designer on a major production. She will also receive a stipend, mentoring, access to workshops and Druid’s other development programmes such as FUEL and the Arts Festival Druid Debuts.

The artists selected for the FUEL artist residency programme are Raphaël Adams, Dylan McGloin, Áine Ní Laoghaire and Emily White. All are based in the West of Ireland, which is one of the prerequisites for being chosen.

Raphaël lives in Galway and has worked locally with Macnas and Baboró. He is developing an experimental piece for FUEL, which involves setting Jonathan Swift’s early-18th Century satire, Gulliver’s Travels, in the world of modern-day dating. As well as giving this old work a new context, Raphaël is also interested in audience delegation. With this adaptation, he will continue exploring how audience involvement can be used to create affective theatrical experiences.

Dylan, a set designer and director who lives in Leitrim, will adapt Deaf Republic, a collection by Ukrainian-US poet Ilya Kaminsky for FUEL, and will devise a theatre piece based on Kaminksy’s account of a small Russian town invaded by foreign soldiers, who shoot a young, deaf boy as he watches a puppet show.

Actor, writer and director, Áine Ní Laoghaire, who’s based in Galway. has written for Cork based company Corcadorca and Smock Alley in Dublin.  Her directorial debut, The Scratcher by Kelly Shatter, was nominated for a Little Gem Award at Dublin Fringe 2023.

For FUEL, she will develop My Boyfriend Plays Pretend, exploring the phenomenon of live action role-play (LARP). This is a character-driven gameplay that takes place in committed spaces and combines elements of improvisation, costume and role-play. This event is set in 1942 and involves role-players immersing themselves in the daily experience of villagers living under German occupation during World War II.

Emily White, who is originally from Dublin and now based in Galway, was previously selected by the Town Hall Theatre for its Young Curators’ programme.  In 2022 she presented the immersive theatrical audio installation, Possession, at the Galway Theatre Festival. During her residency, she will develop All My Friends Are Bots, a sci-fi tragedy told on a domestic scale, that combines live performance and voiceover as it explores connection and companionship in an increasingly automated world.

During their nine-month mentorship, the four will receive mentorship, workshops, residency periods, a showcase event and networking events, as well as funding and producing advice.

FUEL, which Druid first introduced in 2014, has supported more than 35 artists to develop their creative practice while in residency at the company’s Mick Lally Theatre.

Pictured: Theatre-makers Raphaël Adams, Áine Ní Laoghaire, Emily White and Dylan McGloin who have been selected for this year’s FUEL development initiative at Druid. PHOTO: DECLAN COLOHAN.


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