Youth to the fore for Lasta Arts Festival


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Youth to the fore for Lasta Arts Festival Youth to the fore for Lasta Arts Festival

Galway’s Town Hall Theatre is one of seven venues nationwide hosting events for the third annual Lard Lasta National Arts Festival, which is programmed by young people for young people. Lasta is taking place from June 1 to 12, and local highlights will include touring Galway DJ Shampain, who will bring the Irish silent cinema classic, Irish Destiny, back to life with a new soundtrack mixed live as the film is being screened.

Pioneering theatre company Brokentalkers will bring their critically acclaimed production Masterclass to Galway and Lasta will also feature the chart-topping podcast, I’m Grand Mam, from Corkonians PJ Kirby and Kevin Twomey.

The Lasta Festival, based on a project that was conceived by Backstage Theatre in Longford two years ago, has expanded to include venues and curators nationwide and a growing programme of multidisciplinary work.

Nineteen young curators have been engaged by seven regional venues, including the Town Hall Theatre, to programme Lasta under the guidance of theatre artist Maisie Lee, as venues work to nurture future programmers and producers.

The other venues involved are Backstage Theatre, Longford; Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise; Glór in Ennis; An Grianán, Letterkenny;  Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre; and Siamsa Tíre, Tralee.

The Town Hall Theatre’s programme has been curated by three young Galway-based curators, selected through an open call – Lucy Birmingham, Tara Mackin and Noel Minogue.

During the past year, they’ve met fellow curators from the other venues and have received mentoring from industry professionals.

Originally from Meath, Lucy Birmingham recently graduated in Drama, Theatre and Performance from the University of Galway. The winner of ‘Best Lighting Design’ at the Irish Student Drama Awards 2023, she has worked as lighting designer for local bands and production companies.

Tara Mackin, from Louth, graduated with a BA in Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies and Gaeilge from UG. She was involved with the University’s dramatic societies, directing, in stage management and as a performer.

Noel Minogue, who works in marketing and administration for Branar Theatre has an MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and a BSc in Computer Science and IT, both from UG. He is involved with a new Galway theatre and events company, Púca Productions, and performs regularly at the monthly Galway Drag show, Club GASS.

The Young Curators Programme is for young people aged between 18 and 25 who want to gain experience in working in the arts, especially those interested in venue and festival management and programming.

For more information on the programme and Lasta, visit Full festival details will be announced next month.

Pictured: Galway DJ Shampain will bring the Irish silent cinema classic, Irish Destiny, back to life at Lasta.




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