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#SaveStageLighting

If a proposed ban on the use of tungsten lamps in the entertainment industry comes into force the future will be dark for many theatres, An Grianán included.

The European Commission has begun the process of changing the regulations (EC) 244/2009, (EC) 245/2009 and (EU) 1194/2012 on EcoDesign Requirements and (EU) 874/2012 on the labelling of electrical lamps and luminaries, including those used in performance lighting.

These proposals pose an enormous threat to the way theatrical productions are presented. The impact of these proposals across Europe would be immediate, and overwhelming.

These new regulations, which come into effect in September 2020, will ban the production, sale or purchase of replacement tungsten bulbs for lighting fixtures such as those used in theatre lighting. This is being carried out in a bid to reduce energy usage across the sector by forcing the industry to move towards LED equivalents. While this may seem like a laudable endeavour, a number of key issues arise.

Tungsten and Arc light bulbs would rapidly become unavailable. This would mean that the majority of lighting fixtures in the majority of theatres – big theatres, small theatres, amateur theatres, colleges, schools, clubs, pubs, village halls – would immediately become obsolete. Fixtures that have given tireless service for years, sometimes for decades, with just a little regular maintenance and a new bulb every now and again would become yet more scrap metal and glass.

High-quality LED lighting units, which have made their way onto the market in recent years would also be banned under the proposals.

The entertainment industry will have almost no tools whatsoever with which to light plays, musicals or concerts.

Even if it was within the possibilities of physics to create a lighting unit that was capable of meeting these proposals, it would be completely unreachable in a financial sense. It would require the immediate overhaul of infrastructure and stock of almost every venue in Europe.

For larger venues, this would be both hard to budget for and impossible to implement within the next two years. For smaller venues, it would be ruinous. They would, quite literally, go dark.

Phil Jennings of the Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare, outlines the likely impact of the proposed legislation on their venue:

Expense:
Riverbank Arts Centre is estimating an incurred cost of approximately €400,000 to replace its current infrastructure with an LED equivalent. It is important to note that this does not necessarily constitute an upgrade or improvement in quality to the current equipment but merely the installation of an LED equivalent. The extent of the re-fit will not be confined to the individual lighting fixtures. New lighting infrastructure including control consoles, dimmers and improved cable and data management would also be required. This change will also mean that the number of personnel required to to fit-up a production will increase.

Time Frame:
For small to medium sized venues, it is unlikely that adequate, standalone funding could be arranged before 2020. The larger venues, for whom budgets may not be a problem, will find it difficult to implement sufficient ‘dark time’ to carry out such works before 2020.

Quality of the Product:
Currently, this is no commercially available LED lighting fixture that meets with the proposed regulations of 85 Lumens per Watt.

Assumed Energy Usage:
Studies at Seattle Rep and for the Mayor of London showed that on average, performance lighting forms less than 5% of the total power consumption of a theatre building. This is because performance lighting is only ever used for a small number of hours daily (typically between 8pm and 10pm) and even then, the lighting fixtures are never at full output or all operational at the same time.

This problem is far bigger than just Riverbank Arts Centre and will effect schools, colleges, town halls, cultural organisations, places of worship, tv studios and theatres locally, nationally and internationally.

For Riverbank Arts Centre, I estimate that from September 2020 when the ban is introduced, the theatre will continue to function unaffected for a period of approximately 18 months on pre-purchased, stockpiled tungsten bulbs. After this point however – and as supplies of pre-purchased tungsten bulbs diminish, the theatre will have fewer and fewer lanterns available for use until it gets to a point where there are simply not enough fixtures to light a production adequately. It is at this point that we will no longer be capable of receiving performances.

Sign the petition: “Keep stage lighting exempt from proposed legislation changes.”

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An Grianán Xtra

Pick up a copy of our magazine An Grianán A Little Bit Extra the next time you call in.

Or download a pdf copy now:

angrianan.xtra

 

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NASC Network 2019 Commission

The Nasc Network is currently offering a bursary of €10,000 to a production company or producer interested in collaborating with the network to produce a new or existing piece of theatre with a view to touring to all Nasc venues in 2019.

The Nasc Network is a partnership of eight venues, including An Grianán Theatre, which was conceived in 2006 when a number of venue directors met to harness joint programming and marketing opportunities and develop touring projects. To date, Nasc has collaborated with Druid Theatre Company, Rough Magic Theatre Company, Cois Ceim and Livin’ Dred Theatre Company (amongst others), on many successful productions and tours.

The chosen production company/producer will receive the following support from the Nasc Network:

• A commissioning fee of €10,000 to part-fund the development/creation of the theatre piece.
• Nasc will act as lead applicant, or network support, on an application under the Arts Council’s touring and dissemination scheme to fund the costs of the production and tour to all Nasc venues.
• The Nasc venues will each offer a guaranteed fee in support of the production run at each venue.

Please note deadline to submit applications is Fri 27 Apr 2018.

See the pdf for further information and submission details.

The NASC Network: An Grianan Theatre / Backstage Theatre / Dunamaise Arts Centre / glór / Lime Tree Theatre / Pavilion Theatre / Siamsa Tíre / Town Hall Theatre Galway

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We’re making some changes …

From Monday 9th April our online booking fee will be reduced from €1.50 per ticket to €1 per ticket, and it will now apply equally to all telephone and in person bookings. That means that all tickets sold by An Grianán Box Office will be subject to a €1 booking fee.

Our new box office opening hours for telephone and walk in bookings will be from 10 am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and also on the days when we have a show it will be open from 6pm to 8pm, this includes Saturdays and Sundays.

The Eatery Cafe hours will not be affected by these changes. Its opening hours are 9.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday.

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New local production premieres at An Grianán

The Letterkenny Music and Drama Group’s Beneath An Irish Sky, a new play by local author Kieran Kelly.Letterkenny Music & Drama Group are delighted to be presenting a brand new play for their drama festival production this year. “Beneath an Irish Sky” will receive its premiere in An Grianán Theatre on Tuesday 13th February 2018 prior to competing on the demanding Drama Festival Circuit.

Inspired by archive reports and eyewitness testimonies, “Beneath An Irish Sky” is written by Kieran Kelly and looks at the events of the ‘decade of change’ from a Donegal perspective. Set in the town of Letterkenny between the years 1914-1924, it tells the fictionalised account of one man’s journey through those turbulent times, questioning what made him pick up a gun to fight for his country.

Originally written as a dramatic reading as part of An Grianán Theatre’s 1916 commemorations two years ago, the overwhelmingly positive response to that performance prompted Kieran to return to it and adapt it for a full production. “When it was first performed as a reading in 2016, it concerned an elderly man being interviewed in 1966 as he looked back on the events that affected him as a young man,” said Kieran. “However, when it came to adapt it for a full production, I found it more interesting to focus on the actual events in the past to drive the story forward rather than a piece of retrospection and so it is now set firmly between 1914 and 1924.”

Direction is in the sure hands of Pluincéad O’Fearraigh who is very much looking forward to producing a brand-new play for the Letterkenny audience and beyond. “I’m thrilled and delighted to be directing and producing this thought provoking and intriguing play by Kieran for its world premiere in An Grianán Theatre and then on the 3-act drama festival circuit. It’s not that often that you get the opportunity to direct a newly written play and I hope I do justice to the challenge of bringing the characters and the situations portrayed in this play to life for the audiences to enjoy. I cannot praise Kieran highly enough for his courage and skill in writing such a fantastic play.” Although he is keen to point out that you don’t have to be from Letterkenny to enjoy it. “While the situations and characters in the play are based in the town of Letterkenny, they are as relevant in any part of Ireland during the turbulent times in which this play is set.”

The play depicts how the central character of Brendan McDevitt (Eoin Callaghan) was affected by the seismic events unfolding around him – from World War 1, through the War of Independence and up to the Civil War – and shows how these events convinced him to gradually move from the peaceful Nationalism of the Ancient Order of Hibernians into the more militant Republicanism of Sinn Féin. This life altering decision will have far reaching implications for both himself and his family. The various decisions he makes throughout his journey are all influenced by those around him, from the attitude of his parents Barney (Kieran Kelly) and Cassie (Elaine Gillespie), the actions of his brother Michael (Loic Cech), his neighbour Mary (Laura Doherty) and the political allegiances of both the local priest Father Crawford (Michael Leddy) and the persuasive Doctor McBride (Martin Hasson).

The play opens in An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny on Tuesday 13th February 2018 at 8pm prior to touring the drama festival circuit throughout February and March. It will also be performed in the Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair on Wednesday 21st February. For more details, find the Letterkenny Music & Drama Group on Facebook and for tickets for what promises to be a dramatic night of entertainment contact An Grianán Theatre on 0749120777 or www.angrianan.com.

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Workshop for theatre practitioners and educators

Workshop with Cliodna Noonan for theatre practitioners, drama facilitators and educators

UPDATE 26/1/18: THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULLY BOOKED.

A special workshop for theatre practitioners and drama facilitators.

When: Monday 12 February 10 AM – 1 PM

Where: An Grianan Theatre.

Who is it for? Theatre practitioners, drama facilitators and educators who work with early years and younger children.

How much does it cost? It’s free but places are very limited so book quickly!

We are delighted to offer a free workshop with Cliodhna Noonan. Cliodhna has been funded through the Arts Council YPCE scheme to develop a new work for young children based on the theme of the book Swedish Fairy Tales illustrated by John Bauer.

To date she has worked with a mentor in Lithuania. Vitalijus Mazuras, a puppet maker of grotesque trolls to create a puppet experience for young babies and their families on the theme of John Bauer’s Swedish Fairy Tales.

In her workshop she aims to share these skills with educators and theatre practitioners and draw feedback for the development of the new work which will be produced later in the year.

Below is the outline of the workshop:

· Introduction of the YPCE bursary and the ideas I came up with. (10 mins)

· Presentation storytelling activity with the Troll landscape and the story (15 mins)

· Challenging artistic practice: learning to do something new like the children are asked to do daily

· Storyboard activity – Make a grotesque scene and present the story in groups of three with sounds. (30 mins)

· Video and explanation about my research – intergenerational expertise; perspectives on a different way of doing things in the past; (20 mins)

· The grotesque style and its place in Mazuras’ life history. (10 mins)

· Playing with the 3 puppets of Mazuras. Give a voice to something you want to say in 3 groups. (30 mins)

· “We all have the grotesque inside” Make your own troll and present it. Build the troll kingdom and take a photo. Use the lights provided. (45 mins)

· Feedback forms – Siolta reference : points to consider especially regarding artists and the bridge between education and culture/the arts. (30 mins)

The workshop is free but places are very limited. Please call the box office on 0749120777 to register.

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Job Vacancies

An Gtianán Theatre - playlist in progress for Little John Nee and the Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra, Culture Night 2017. Photo by Paul McGuckin.
We wish to recruit the following staff under the Community Employment Scheme:

Box Office Assistants

Front of House Ushers

Community Employment Rates and Conditions apply. Please note the eligible age for participation on Community Employment is 21 years. Please contact your local Department of Social Protection office for details of any exceptions to this.

To apply please send your CV and PPS number to:

Martina Murphy

Community Employment Supervisor

An Grianán Theatre

Port Rd

Letterkenny

Co Donegal

eMail

 

 

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Swan Lake: Why you should go see this show

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala comes to An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny in January 2018.Our costume designer Anne-marie Kilfeather on why you should definitely go and see Swan Lake / Loch na hEala:

You can go to one show this year, just one, and feel unbridled satisfaction for the rest of your days.

I saw Loch na hEala last year in Belvedere’s theatre during the Dublin Theatre Festival. I didn’t know what to expect, I just heard it would be pretty special and that the entire ensemble had been living together, not just practicing moves but breaking bread together each day and generally following a holistic lifestyle in preparation for performances. I was intrigued and rightly so.

The energy of that performance remains with me.

Live music was performed by seated musicians upstage, while dancers who moved as though channelling another realm, twisted and turned, even balanced majestically on breeze blocks.

It was mesmerising.

The simplicity of the colours in the costumes and set only heightened the tremendous prowess of these wonderful people as their stories unfolded. Every movement, from lightness to gut-wrenching torment was somehow translated through motion and stillness. I hardly remember the dialogue, even though it was delivered by the fantastic man that is Mikel Murfi.

I left that theatre with one thought, that I was so glad to be alive at that moment, witnessing it.

That is what great live theatre can do  – show you that there is magic in this world and all it takes is being there to know this.

Watching a documentary on the making of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ album, I was struck by these words as they said what I feel about the power of being at a live performance. This was how I felt when I saw him live a few years ago, but it also applies to all live experiences. I felt this way when I saw ‘Swan Lake’ too.

I’ll leave it to The Boss and Patti Scialfa to explain it better. Patti begins by describing the live experince…

Patti:
“First time I saw Bruce was in 1978. I’d never seen anything like that. It was shocking! I was surprised that you could be in such a large venue and still feel that you’re having a personal experience.”
Bruce: “When you come out there in that dark, and you make that magic, you pull something that doesn’t exist out of the air. Doesn’t exist until any given night when you’re standing there in front of your audience. Nothing exists in that space until you go, “One, two, three, four, voom!” Then you and the audience together manifest an entire world, an entire set of values, an entire way of thinking about your life and the world around you, and an entire set of possibilities. That can never be taken away.”

You only need to go to one thing in the theatre for 2018 but perhaps go on the first night as you might just want to go again.

Swan Lake / Loch na hEala is here for two nights only, Wed 31 Jan and Thur 1 Feb. Tickets available at our box office on 0749120777 or online at www.angrianan.com.

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Christmas and New Year Opening Hours

We are open:

Saturday 23rd December 10am to 5pm
Sunday 24th December Online Only
Christmas Day Online Only
St. Stephen’s Day Online Only
Wednesday 27th December 6pm to 8pm
Thursday 28th December 6pm to 8pm
Friday 29th December 6pm tp 8pm
Saturday 30th December to Monday 1 January Online Only
Tuesday 2 January 9.30am to 5.30pm

 

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Christmas Posting and Christmas Holidays Opening Hours

The last day for guaranteed Christmas posting (within Ireland) is Wednesday 20th December before midday.

We close on Sat 23rd December at 5pm

We will be open for 2 hours from 6pm- 8pm on December 27th, 28th & 29th. We then close again until Tuesday 2nd January at 9.30am.

you can still book online at any time during the holidays, and there will be no online booking fees during the time we are closed.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at An Grianan Theatre.

 

 

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