Posts Tagged ‘Drogheda Arts Festival’

Mix Tape by Droichead Youth Theatre

April 19, 2011

The Drogheda Arts Festival will welcome Mix Tape to their stage on Saturday the 30th of April for three nights. Mix Tape is a collection of short plays written, devised and directed by Droichead Youth Theatre. With a cast full of fun and energy Mix Tape is definitely one not to be missed!

Mix Tape

Interview with Niall Cleary, Director and Co-ordinator of  Droichead Youth Theatre.

Hi Niall, so can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be involved in Droichead Youth Theatre?

I’d been working as an actor for a few years when the Director of the Galway Youth Theatre asked me to direct a show for GYT.  I was quite reluctant at first but it was one of these scary things you got to do!  I did and I loved it.  I’ve been working with youth theatres ever since.  I then  did a course called ArtsTrain with NAYD, shortly after the post as Director of Droiched YT came alone.  I applied  and here I am!

So whats Mix Tape all about?

Good question!  The nature of any devised piece is that you are constantly searching for it until you perform.  We put a proposal together for NYCI to create unconnected scenes written and directed by the youth theatre and put them together and we’re amazed to find that we all felt like we we’re watching a tv chat show.  We persued that idea and we’re still chasing it.  Richard and Judy meets the Front Line meets MTV!

What are the cast like that you work with?

The cast are fantastic to work with.  The challenge of working with a big group is hearing all the voices and sharing ideas without descending into chaos!  The group are from the town and surrounding areas.  All aged between 14 and 18.  We’ve got a very mixed bag of personalities working on Mixed Tape.  Pardon the pun.  They are a talented group that keep on surprising me.

If you could describe Mix Tape in three words what would they be?

Live. Controlled. Chaos.

Is everyone looking forward to the show and what is it like now in rehearsals with only a little over two weeks left until they preform?

Two Weeks aaaggghhhh!  We’re looking forward to the the show.  It’s exciting to engage with an audience.  You need that interaction to motivate you towards the final push.  It’s hard work at times, easy to get carried away having fun.  I’m starting to put my serious face on.  The group aren’t fazed.  We want to have fun with our audience!

What’s all the drama about?

June 3, 2010

It’s always good news to see young people exploring their talents on stage, it’s even better when that stage turns out to be the springboard to success. Keep reading and be inspired, because here is some great news!

Droichead Youth Theatre has been selected as one of 10 groups to be part of the National Festival of Youth Theatres in Wexford from the 30th June to the 4th July. Eight members will represent Droichead Youth Theatre at this event. This is a great opportunity to meet with other leading Youth Theatres in Ireland, to exchange experiences, to take workshops together and to share their passion for acting.

In addition to this, Youth Theatre Member Danny Thompson has been cast for a part in the National Youth Theatre Production which will be on stage in the Peacock from 23rd – 28th August. The production will be directed by Jimmy Fay.

And finally, Casting Director Louise Keeley visited the group last week as a result of seeing MOCK during Drogheda Arts Festival. She is currently casting for a film called Superhero’s…

Does all this great news make you a tiny bit jealous? Have you been thinking about a career on stage? Or have you always wanted to break free and do something different? Is this story incredibly inspiring and do you suddenly feel like acting too? Do you have other reasons to think that taking up drama classes would be a great idea, however crazy they are? Well, in that case we have even better news for you because Droichead Youth Theatre is recruiting.

Following on from the success of their production MOCK during Drogheda Arts Festival this year, Droichead Youth Theatre is recruiting new members for its summer introductory programme. This workshop programme will give you a chance to see if the youth theatre is really for you!

Drama workshops will be held every Saturday beginning on the 10th of July for a 10 week period.  The emphasis is on having fun, exploring creativity and learning about drama in a safe and supportive environment.   No previous experience is necessary. This introductory programme will give members a taste of what’s in store when the formal youth theatre schedule resumes in September.

For further information or to sign up, please contact Carol Ann Brodigan on 041 9875140/

Splendid impressions of the Arts Festival

May 17, 2010

What a fabulous weekend it was. Four days full of art, culture, electric vibes and happy faces in the town. Isn’t that what it is all about? Even the weather gods were on our side, the weekend was mostly sunny and mild, despite a few showers on Sunday.

Enjoy the pictures, relive the wonderful atmosphere and let us know what you think…

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Interview with Jacqui McIntosh

May 6, 2010

Installation View, ‘The Marienbad Palace’, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda

Installation view, Laura Buckley, 'In framing light the light frames us', 2010, 'The Marienbad Palace', Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda

The Marienbad Palace opened on the Friday the 30th of April. This exhibition is curated by Jacqui McIntosh on the occasion of the Drogheda Arts Festival and is co-produced by The Highlanes Gallery and Droichead Arts Centre.

I came, I saw, I concluded that the exhibition was not only amazing, but also incredibly clever. I wondered who the mastermind behind this project was and shortly after that I met the curator Jacqui McIntosh in person. We had a highly interesting chat about ‘the art of curating’.

Could you tell me some more about your background?

I’ve had an interest in art since I was a child and originally imagined that I would become an artist. At seventeen I went to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee where I moved into Textile Design, but always regained an interest in fine art. When I left college I worked as a freelance textile designer and then interactive/graphic designer in London before moving into writing about visual art and working in galleries. In 2003 I won a competition for critical art writing called ‘Bloomberg New Writers’ and from there started writing for the Guardian and various art magazines – that’s really where things began in terms of working in the arts.

How did you get started as a curator? How did you find your route to this career?

Curating has been a natural progression really from writing about art and working in galleries. I moved to Dublin in 2004 and began working with Kevin Kavanagh Gallery where I remained for four and a half years before moving back to London at the end of 2008. My role as Director at Kevin Kavanagh was really varied, encompassing everything from the day to day running of the gallery to marketing and artist management. I was involved in exhibition programming and curated a number of shows whilst I was there, incorporating more artists from outside Ireland into the gallery programme. I learnt a lot from that process, and from the artists that I worked with at the gallery such as Mark O’Kelly, Stephen Loughman and Diana Copperwhite. Kevin was great to work with and gave me lots of freedom and opportunities to develop as a curator.

How do you define a concept for a new exhibition? Where do you find your inspiration?

I’m inspired by lots of things. I grew up in a family where arts and science mixed (my grandfather was a violinist and music was a huge part of our upbringing thanks to my mum – on the other hand my dad and sister are both electrical engineers) with a mix of the rational and creative around me. That has definitely informed my way of seeing the world and I’d draw from a wide variety of sources for inspiration. In terms of ‘The Marienbad Palace’, the initial idea came from an interest in the idea that reality isn’t really what we perceive it to be and a questioning about what it may actually be. I’m intrigued by ideas of modern physics such as superstring theory and the crossover of ideas within science and philosophy but also the thought that all of these theories may give us only a partial glimpse of what reality may be – ultimately there are no certainties. Just as in Plato’s allegory of the Cave, everything presents only a shadow of truth. At the same time I was rediscovering the work of the writer JG Ballard and reading his short stories and the ideas all kind of coalesced around that.

How long did it take to fully organise and curate “The Marienbad Palace”?

Aoife Ruane, Director of the Highlanes and I have been discussing the idea of my curating a show for over a year, and then it was decided that the show would be part of the Drogheda Arts Festival which I was delighted to be part of. When that was decided the process of getting the show together happened quite quickly over the course of a few months.

Which skills do you need to have in order to be a good curator?

Good people and organisational skills, an ability to see and make connections between artists and works, an understanding of a wide variety of art practices and inquisitive mind.

Do you have any favourite artists?

Francis Alys, Mariele Neudecker, Rebecca Horn are some of my favourites – but I’m also really excited by the work by all the artists in the show that I selected – Laura Buckley, Diana Copperwhite, Jorge De La Garza, Alicja Kwade, Haroon Mirza and Ian Monroe. It was a pleasure to work with all of them.

Do you have any media that you prefer to work with in the shows you curate?

I get most excited about combining different types of media

What is your impression of Drogheda?

I’ve had a great time during my stay in Drogheda. Everyone I’ve worked with at the Highlanes and Droichead Arts Centre has been brilliant and has made me feel really welcome. I’ve been to Drogheda quite a lot previously, whether visiting the Highlanes Gallery or en route to Termonfeckin where I’ve spent numerous weekends at An Grianán playing chamber music.

Droichead @ Drogheda Arts Festival, the sequel

April 28, 2010

Only a few more days…

The Arts Festival is about to kick off, so be prepared for lots of artistic fireworks and shooting stars. Friday evening at 6pm the festival will officially open in the Highlanes Gallery. From then on, you can expect plenty of art, culture and events happening all around the town. Put on your arty outfit and enjoy the 6th Arts Festival in Drogheda.

About these stars, we have a wonderful play lined up on Sunday and Monday evening by Upstate Theatre called “The ones who kill shooting stars”. Conall Quinn’s new play is a surreal tale of love and death set on a County Louth beach during World War II. Did you know that Conall’s last play “The death of Harry Leon” won the Stewart Parker Major Bursary Award 2009? Be prepared for this fantastic new play. We are very excited about it, and we hope you are too. For tickets ring 041 9833946.

And there will be more stars in the making in Barlow House during the Arts Festival. With workshops such as “So you want to make a movie” (age group 14-17) and “So you want to write a song” (age group 16-21), we hope to put Drogheda on the map of stardom this weekend.  Are you young, creative and mad for an exciting Saturday afternoon, than quickly grab the phone, ring 041 9833946 and secure your place. And why not bring some friends? Who knows the seeds for new stars will be sown this very weekend.

Droichead @ the Drogheda Arts Festival

April 20, 2010

The countdown has begun, only one more week until the artistic fireworks will be unleashed to the town of Drogheda. And Droichead is busy, very busy to get everything ready to offer you a splendid weekend.

On the 30th of April Drogheda’s 6th Arts Festival kicks off and Droichead is once more very excited to be part of this vibrant cultural events weekend in the town.  The May Bank Holiday weekend offers something for everybody: Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, Performances, Workshops, Family Day… you name it.

Droichead has a range of events lined up. The Marienbad Palace exhibition, in conjunction with the Highlanes Gallery brings works together by Laura Buckley, Diana Copperwhite, Jorge De La Garza, Alicja Kwade, Haroon Mirza and Ian Monroe.  The works shown within the exhibition explore ideas of reality beyond our everyday experiences of space and time. We are also delighted to have ME (Mobile/Evolution) lined up. This show threads together humorous stories with amazingly challenging ways of using crutches. On Saturday the 1st of May West Street turns into Wonderland and Droichead also offers plenty of workshops for teenagers in film and music.

And this is only a selection of the wide range of activities lined up for the May Bank Holiday weekend. All the venues are in the town centre and on walking distance from each other so dive into the world of creative wonders and enjoy every bit of the Drogheda Arts Festival. Check out the website for full details of all the events.