This residency is based on the idea of facilitating collaborations between talented young artists.
This residency is developed and facilitated by Leitrim native Mary Blake who has been working in youth theatre for 17 years. She has written, devised and directed plays with young people throughout the county. She works as a drama facilitator in several schools and specialises in using improvisation and role play to explore issues important to young people. Mary qualified as a Youth Arts facilitator in NUI Maynooth and was recently awarded a distinction in Directing for theatre, also at NUIM. Having worked with young Leitrim people in many areas of the arts, Mary Blake was always acutely aware of the huge wealth of talent in this county and was interested in those adversely affected by the Covid crisis, she realised that opportunities that may otherwise have arisen for many young emerging Leitrim artists were curatailed by the crisis. She was motivated to develop this residency by fact that many of these artists find themselves at a loose end and this provided an unlikely opportunity for collaboration.
The following three writers are currently working on their contributions to phase one of this project. We are looking forward to seeing what they produce and seeing it passed it on to other artists whose disciplines will compliment the work. Ultimately, three or more artists will have contributed to each aspect of the project on its completion. It's a very exciting journey and we look forward to sharing the project's outcomes with you.
Jack Collum is a writer and poet from Drumsna, County Leitrim. Jack studies in UCD and is currently going into his final year of a History and Philosophy B.A. In April 2018 Jack's first collection of poetry, 'Perspective' was published. He has recited poetry on national and local radio, as well as public functions. Since the publication of his first collection, he has been steadily building up an extensive body of poetry. He also explores other fictional media, with particular emphasis on short stories and drama.
Alice Kelly is 22 years old and was raised in Leitrim Village. She studied English Literature in UCD and The Sorbonne in Paris. After graduating, Alice moved to New York to pursue a career in journalism but found herself returning home in the midst of the pandemic. As a writer, she typically writes short stories and essays, drawing most of her inspiration from ordinary daily encounters, mundane to most but compelling to her.
Vinny McBrien from Aughavas, Co. Leitrim, is a director, actor, stage manager, writer and all round theatre enthusiast. He has just completed his Bachelor Degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance in NUI Galway. While Vinny feels drama should highlight important issues in the world around us, he also believes that it can also be used as an escape from the worries and struggles of everyday life. To date he has Directed the play ''The Devil's Ceili'' By Philip Doherty and Kevin McGahern - Stage managed ''Zugzwang'' by Patrick Fogarty which was one of the plays picked to represent NUI Galway's Dramsoc at the Irish Student Drama Association Festival 2020.