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 young artists are currently working on their contributions to this project which will see the production of 5 short films. 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.
Dylan McGloin is an actor/designer from Glenade. Co Leitrim, he is 19 years old, he is studying performing arts design in ITSligo. He has major interest in writing and directing plays but loves learning and doing a variety of projects which let him broaden his experiences, such as video editing, lighting, stage design, costume design, stage management. He loves the possibilities of what writing can do when it comes to everyday lives and showing off what we can say about our states of minds and well being and who we are behind closed doors.
Mia Blake is from Leitrim Village, Co. Leitrim. From a young age, she has had an interest in most aspects of theatre and music. She is 19 years old and is going into her second year of studying a B.A Performing Arts at the Institute of Technology Sligo. Mia was a long-term member of Leitrim Youth Theatre and enjoyed performing in the club’s annual production. In 2020, She was Stage Manager for Exit Does Theatre’s production of Hairy Jaysus by Donal O’Kelly and Sound Operator for the immersive performance of Knock Me Down Co-Created by Rhona Trench and Holly Maples. Mia plays the part of Jess in Live Stream by Vinny McBrien.
Niamh Geoghegan is 22 years old and is from Leitrim Village. Niamh studies Instrument and Music Technology in Athlone Institute of Technology. During her time in AIT, she has made a mandolin, cajon drum, an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar. She also has produced songs and was a voice actor and Foley artist for one of her AIT projects. Niamh plays the part of Jenny and did the sound recording for the film 'New Normal'.
Saoirse Gibbons is 23 years old. She studies Drama, Theatre and Performance with Gaeilge in the National University Ireland Galway. This year, she performed in Kipps Half a Sixpence the Musical with Galway University Musical Society. This is her first opportunity to act in a short-film and has really enjoyed the experience. Saoirse plays the part of Steph in 'New Normal'.
Ivan Crosbie is an 18 year old college student from Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim, who is currently studying Performing Arts in Sligo IT. He has been involved in Theatre since the age of 10 and has acted in numerous plays with Leitrim Youth Theatre. Ivan had also attended the Kilkenny National Festival of Youth Theatre in the Summer of 2018.
Conor O’Rourke is 19 years old and from Fenagh. He has been studying Film and TV Production in Dublin for two years and is an aspiring writer and director for cinema. Throughout his years of study he has written and directed 10 of his own short films. During the pandemic he been mostly writing or drawings up new film concepts, which he hopes to bring to life as soon as he can with the great artistic people he has met from participating in this project.
Caoimhe Gallagher Lawson is a 19 year old artist and filmmaker from Drumkeeran, Leitrim. She is currently in her second year studying Film & Television production in IADT. She has been making films since she was sixteen and has won several awards for her short films. She has a keen interest in Art and was awarded the highest grade in History of Art in northern Ireland for her A levels. As an artist, she tends to try to break the rules and conventions of filmmaking and uses her art as a platform to highlight and express her thoughts and opinions on various subjects.
Patrick Sweeney is 21 years old and from Drumshanbo. He studies Medicine in NUI Galway and is currently a Postman for the summer. Patrick is involved with GUMS- Galway University Musical Society, and has taken part in various shows such as ”Kipps, the new half a six pence musical”, “Pippin”, and last years inter varsities winner “The Lost and Found of Beanotown”. Patrick worked with the National Youth Theatre in their production of “Salt Mountain” written by Carmel Winters, and also took part in this years Scene and Heard festival in the Smock Alley theatre. He has worked with Leitrim Youth Theatre throughout his childhood and is delighted to be back working with the arts in Leitrim