An Grianán Supports

A Live show for a Real Live Audience, in the theatre!

Orson Sterritt stars in The Adventures of the Exotic Dr. Proctor

For the first time since September 2020 An Grianán Theatre are preparing to welcome a live audience back into the building. Orson Sterritt’s The Adventures of the Exotic Dr. Proctor will bring the curtain up on the stage again this coming Friday 25th and Saturday June 26th June with two shows on each day. 

‘It’s a big moment for us’ said Marketing Manager Daithí Ramsay. `We’ve been busy producing and sharing online content throughout but live is where we really shine, and our main purpose is to bring performers and audiences together. All the technology in the world still has nothing that can replicate that experience of a room full of people enjoying a show together’. 

The current Covid Guidelines mean that up to 50 people can attend each show and Covid safety will be strictly adhered to. 

‘We’ll be announcing some outdoor shows for the Summer soon’, said Daithí, ‘and those will have a capacity of 100. We very much see these as positive steps along the way to when we will be safely allowed to go back to packed houses and sold out shows and we hope that isn’t too far off’’. 

The Adventures of the Exotic Dr. Proctor is a family show recommended for ages 5 and up. It’s the story of an intrepid explorer who travels through different worlds in his magic Horsebox. Follow the magical doctor as he tries to create his camp, so that he can continue his adventures while exploring the exotic land that he has arrived in. This is a fun family show with a twist of magic and a hint of circus and tickets are only €5 and you can book online now at angrianan.com.

Creator of the Exotic Dr Proctor, Orson Sterritt has been juggling from a young age. He learned his craft performing in parades and as a walk around act. He has been performing in theatre for many years in musicals and various other shows. This is the first show he has written and also his first solo performance. The show is presented by Giddy Up Theatre in association with An Grianán Theatre and Directed by Sinéad O’Donnell-Carey.

This production is a recipient of a bursary award from An Grianán’s Make Some Noise scheme.

Pre-booking essential – find out more here.

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Little Acorns – Online Mass WATCH NOW

Mass in the time of Covid – Packie is unimpressed when his wife Kathleen starts to deliver mass at the breakfast table. Charlie Bonner and Cathleen Bradley star in the third of our Little Acorns commissions. Online Mass was written by Seamus McDermott and directed by Karen Quinn.

Little Acorns: Online Mass from AnGrianan Theatre on Vimeo.

Online Mass

Commissioned by An Grianán Theatre

Cast

Charlie Bonner
Cathleen Bradley

Written by Seamus McDermott
Directed by Karen Quinn
Lighting and camera: Niall Cranney
Sound recordist and camera: Peter Rose
Set design/camera: Robert Attewell
Costumes: Anne-Marie Kilfeather
Editor: Emory Ramsay
Credits/Captioning: Nicola Burns
Little Acorns animation: Daniel McGarrigle at Rezolve Media
Producer: Patricia McBride

Filmed using equipment kindly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Capacity Building Support Scheme

Recorded at An Grianán Theatre in April 2021. All rights reserved.

About the author

Seamus McDermott lives in Convoy. This is Seamus’ first play. At school Seamus struggled with writing, reading and spelling. This resulted in a lack of confidence in his creative ability. Two years ago at the age of fifty-two Seamus completed a part-time creative writing course facilitated by Avril Meehan in Lifford Court House. It was here he discovered a passion for writing. Seamus’ main interest is in poetry and he has been shortlisted in the Allingham Arts Poetry Competition 2020, published in Little Gems magazine’s Spring and Winter editions, Pendemic (online), Stories From The Waterside (online), and had a video-poem selected for screening at Reel Poetry / Houston Texas 2021 Film Festival.

About Little Acorns

At the end of January 2021 we put a call out for writers to submit short plays, 5 to 10 minutes long, that we could film and share on our social media platforms. We had over 50 plays submitted and chose 6 in all to turn into short films. We’ve been filming and editing them throughout April and May and will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

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Little Acorns – The Author WATCH NOW

The second of our Little Acorns short plays is The Author by Andrew Tinney. Louise Conaghan plays a character demanding better character development from author Laura Douglas.

The Author

Commissioned by An Grianán Theatre

Cast

Laura Douglas
Louise Conaghan

Written and directed by Andrew Tinney
Director of photography: Karen Quinn
Lighting and camera: Niall Cranney
Sound recordist and camera: Peter Rose
Set design/camera: Robert Attewell
Costume (An Grianán): Anne-Marie Kilfeather
Editor: Daithi Ramsay
Title/Credits/Captioning: Nicola Burns
Little Acorns animation: Daniel McGarrigle at Rezolve Media
Producer: Patricia McBride

Filmed using equipment kindly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Capacity Building Support Scheme

Recorded at An Grianán Theatre in April 2021. All rights reserved.

About the author

Andrew Tinney is an actor and writer originally from Newtowncunningham who now lives in Strabane and is very well known on the Drama scene in the North West. He has penned numerous short plays, as well as the 3-act tragedy Silence, which premiered in 2018. He is also the creator and director of Bard Theatre. He holds an MA in Creative Writing and a BA Hons in Drama. His novels currently include Shadow Rises and Shadow Falls from the Thousand Paths Series, as well as A Ballad of Faith and Blood from the Immortal Bard Chronicles.

About Little Acorns

At the end of January 2021 we put a call out for writers to submit short plays, 5 to 10 minutes long, that we could film and share on our social media platforms. We had over 50 plays submitted and chose 6 in all to turn into short films. We’ve been filming and editing them throughout April and May and will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

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Little Acorns – Blue Roses WATCH NOW

Here’s the first of our Little Acorns short plays. Conspiracies abound in this comedy drama written by Anne Gallagher.

Blue Roses (or Bombay Gin by the Blue Bin)

Commissioned by An Grianán Theatre

Cast

Anne Gallagher
Ronan Carr
Cassie Riggs

Written by Anne Gallagher
Directed by Karen Quinn
Lighting and camera: Niall Cranney
Sound recordist and camera: Peter Rose
Set design/camera: Robert Attewell
Costume (An Grianán): Anne-Marie Kilfeather
Original songs: words and music by Ronan Carr
Editor: Daithi Ramsay
Title/Credits/Captioning: Nicola Burns
Little Acorns animation: Daniel McGarrigle at Rezolve Media
Producer: Patricia McBride

Filmed using equipment kindly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Capacity Building Support Scheme

A special thanks to Paul Anthony Harkin

Recycling bins provided by DM Waste

Recorded at An Grianán Theatre in April 2021. All rights reserved.

About the author

Anne Gallagher is an actor and theatre-maker with over 20 years experience originally from Muff and now based in Bridgend. She first performed on the An Grianán stage in the 2007 production of The O’Neill and most recently in 2016’s Waving Not Drowning, both as an actor and contributing writer. She is one half of Mockingbird Theatre Group and has kept herself busy in lockdown making short films and sharing them online.

About Little Acorns

At the end of January 2021 we put a call out for writers to submit short plays, 5 to 10 minutes long, that we could film and share on our social media platforms. We had over 50 plays submitted and chose 6 in all to turn into short films. We’ve been filming and editing them throughout April and May and will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

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Little Acorns: Short Play Selections Announced!

Little Acorns … 
Clockwise from top: Andrew Tinney, Anne Gallagher, Michelle Dennehy, Eve Li, Peggie Caldwell, Seamus McDermott

Clockwise from top: Andrew Tinney, Anne Gallagher, Michelle Dennehy, Eve Li, Peggie Caldwell, Seamus McDermott

An Grianán Theatre have announced the 6 writers from the North West whose Short Play Scripts will be filmed for broadcast on An Grianán’s Social Media channels. They come from Convoy, Newtowncunningham, Falcarragh, Carrigart, Muff and Greencastle in County Tyrone, and are Seamus McDermott, Andrew Tinney, Eve Li, Peggie Caldwell, Anne Gallagher and Michelle Dennehy.

 

51 scripts were submitted in total. ‘It was fantastic to see the response we got to the call out’ said An Grianán’s Marketing Manager Daithí Ramsay, ‘and the quality of the plays blew us away. We had a really hard time whittling it down to the final selection, in the end we decided to do six instead of five, which means more work for us but they were too good to pass up! The ones we chose were the ones that really hit the criteria, there were others we thought were great too, but they presented more challenges for us to film them, considering the restrictions we are currently working under What’s been fantastic about both this call out, and the Let’s Make Some Noise one at the end of last year, and the recent Young Curators one, is we’ve engaged with so many talented people in the North West, many of whom we haven’t engaged with before. There’s an absolute wealth of talent out there, and it’s so great to be able to work with these people and to help them along to the next step in their artistic journey.

 

Seamus McDermott

 

Seamus lives in Convoy. This is Seamus’ first play. At school Seamus struggled with writing, reading and spelling. This resulted in a lack of confidence in his creative ability. Two years ago at the age of fifty-two Seamus completed a part-time creative writing course facilitated by Avril Meehan in Lifford Court House. It was here he discovered a passion for writing. Seamus’ main interest is in poetry and he has been shortlisted in the Allingham Arts Poetry Competition 2020, published in Little Gems magazine’s Spring and Winter editions, Pendemic (online), Stories From The Waterside (online), and had a video-poem selected for screening at Reel Poetry / Houston Texas 2021 Film Festival.

 

Peggie Caldwell

 

Peggie grew up in Carrigart, Co. Donegal. She currently lives and works in Dublin, but Donegal will always be home. She has been writing drama and poetry for a number of years. She says that people and places influence her greatly because we are all connected through our shared experiences and we can learn a lot from the ordinary, everyday moments in the lives of others, as well as our own.

 

Andrew Tinney
Andrew Tinney is an actor and writer originally from Newtowncunningham who now lives in Strabane and is very well known on the Drama scene in the North West. He has penned numerous short plays, as well as the 3-act tragedy Silence, which premiered in 2018. He is also the creator and director of Bard Theatre. He holds an MA in Creative Writing and a BA Hons in Drama. His novels currently include Shadow Rises and Shadow Falls from the Thousand Paths Series, as well as A Ballad of Faith and Blood from the Immortal Bard Chronicles.

 

Eve Li

 

Originally from London, Eve now lives in Falcarragh and is a member of the Donegal Intercultural Platform and the Pobail le Cheile committee. Her interests are writing and using theatre to bring awareness to social issues such as human right violations, racism, homelessness and mental health. She has recently completed a Community Development course with Maynooth University and has provided voluntary assistance to asylum seekers in Donegal and around Ireland.

 

Anne Gallagher 
Anne is an actor and theatre-maker with over 20 years experience originally from Muff and now based in Bridgend. She first performed on the An Grianán stage in the 2007 production of The O’Neill and most recently in 2016’s Waving Not Drowning, both as an actor and contributing writer.  She is one half of Mockingbird Theatre Group and has kept herself busy in lockdown making short films and sharing them online.

 

Michelle Dennehy 
Michelle lives in the Sperrin mountains in County Tyrone, and is a passionate environmentalist. She studied English at Oxford University, and holds a Masters degree in Novel Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her plays have been performed by theatre groups on both sides of the border, and her poetry has been published in Irish and U.K. journals.

 

This was the call out :

We have an idea.

We want to broadcast some original short plays on our social media platforms, free to the general public. They should be between 5 and 10 minutes, and ideally uplifting and fun. Obviously the language used and subjects covered should be able to be broadcast on social media platforms such as Facebook.

Applicants should be over 18 and from the North West.

If chosen you’ll be given a budget of €1000 to create your play. It should have a maximum cast of 4, and a minimum of 2. An Grianán will provide the space and the team to record and edit it, if done in the theatre, adhering to the strictest coronavirus regulations and taking all possible health and safety steps.

The set and lighting design should be very simple, the actors will have to stay at least 2 metres apart, and come from within the permitted travel area under the regulations. Props should be kept to a minimum too.

The plays can be in any language, or indeed in a dialect. There’ll be up to five chosen for recording, hopefully, in March or April, and you can submit your script anytime from now on.

Send your script and a little bit about you to this address.

We’ll put a deadline of the end of February on, but if you miss the deadline we understand and will still consider your idea, we’re here to receive and work with good ideas not to exclude them.

We are particularly interested in receiving submissions from people we’ve never worked with before, of any age, any race or ethnicity, and any gender.

We’re also interested in hearing from people we have worked with before.

Please note: Our stage and backstage area are fully accessible to wheelchair users.

Some helpful hints for your script:

  • A general rule of thumb is one page of dialogue runs about 1.5 minutes long, so you should aim for 4 to 7 pages of dialogue.
  • You should ideally use line spacing between speakers and put stage directions in italics. It makes it much easier for us to read and understand.

And remember, from little acorns tall oak trees grow!

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Young Curators – apply now

Young Curators - apply now

18 to 29 years of age? Interested in the arts? Would you like to curate a programme of events for us?

An Grianán and its partner venues in the Nasc Theatre Network have teamed up to present a Young Curators Festival programme across all eight venues in the network in June 2021.

We are looking for two young people to be the curators for An Grianán. You’ll be supported by a member of staff at An Grianán as well as receiving mentoring from two arts practitioners who will mentor you on programming and negotiating deals, and will assist you in establishing connections with artists.

You will also engage with the young curator panels in our partner venues, sharing ideas and information on programming opportunities. We’ll kick off with an introductory session at which three young curators will share their experience and learning from last year’s Young Curators Festival at the Backstage Theatre. Agreed expenses will be paid, and the Curators will be allocated a programme budget to manage.

The project will require intensive and regular online meetings and research to develop the festival programme from 1st April to early June, and then delivery of the festival in mid-June (with a time commitment of roughly 5 hours each week). Agreed expenses will be paid, and the Curators will be allocated a programme budget to manage.

Programmed by young people for young people, the festival aims to feature a high quality hybrid of online and live performance and workshops in a variety of disciplines such as theatre, spoken word, dance and music. All work will be selected with adaptability in mind, should COVID restrictions prevent any of the live programme from happening.

If interested please contact Patricia by email no later than 5pm on Monday 29 March telling us a little bit about yourself and why you want to participate in this project (max 300 words).

SUBMISSIONS CLOSED

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Little Acorns: Short Plays, Submissions closed.

Submissions for this are now closed.

We have an idea.

We want to broadcast some original short plays on our social media platforms, free to the general public. They should be between 5 and 10 minutes, and ideally uplifting and fun. Obviously the language used and subjects covered should be able to be broadcast on social media platforms such as Facebook.

Applicants should be over 18 and from the North West.

If chosen you’ll be given a budget of €1000 to create your play. It should have a maximum cast of 4, and a minimum of 2. An Grianán will provide the space and the team to record and edit it, if done in the theatre, adhering to the strictest coronavirus regulations and taking all possible health and safety steps.

The set and lighting design should be very simple, the actors will have to stay at least 2 metres apart, and come from within the permitted travel area under the regulations. Props should be kept to a minimum too.

The plays can be in any language, or indeed in a dialect. There’ll be up to five chosen for recording, hopefully, in March or April, and you can submit your script anytime from now on.

Send your script and a little bit about you to this address.

We’ll put a deadline of the end of February on, but if you miss the deadline we understand and will still consider your idea, we’re here to receive and work with good ideas not to exclude them.

We are particularly interested in receiving submissions from people we’ve never worked with before, of any age, any race or ethnicity, and any gender.

We’re also interested in hearing from people we have worked with before.

Please note: Our stage and backstage area are fully accessible to wheelchair users.

Some helpful hints for your script:

  • A general rule of thumb is one page of dialogue runs about 1.5 minutes long, so you should aim for 4 to 7 pages of dialogue.
  • You should ideally use line spacing between speakers and put stage directions in italics. It makes it much easier for us to read and understand.

And remember, from little acorns tall oak trees grow!

Read more

Let’s Make Some Noise! with Lorcan Strain

Last month Lórcan Strain, from Milford, was the first of our Make Some Noise ! Bursary Award Winners to come into the theatre to take some time and space to work on his play.

Early on in the week he worked with a Director and playwright, and at the end of the week Dance DJ, Producer and Record label boss Louise DaCosta who came in to work on some music for the play, and its fair to say those two hit it off immediately !

 

This is going to be a really exciting show.

We’re delighted to be able to support local talent this way, made possible by our grants from the Arts Council and Donegal County Council.

 

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Looking ahead to 2021 with Little John Nee

“If you’d  told me last year that I wouldn’t be allowed to travel more than two kilometres from home and that even sitting in a nice room with good people might be dangerous I would have smiled and felt sorry for you.”

In the new year we welcome back Little John Nee who will be joining us a theatre artist in residency in a new project supported by the Arts Council. The residency is a partnership between An Grianán, Town Hall Theatre Galway, Galway Co. Arts Office, Donegal Arts Service and Árus Éanna Arts Centre Inis Oírr Island, Galway. 

Tea Dance by Little John Nee & The Tea Dance Triode

I had no notion this time last year that all my upcoming plans, hopes and dreams would evaporate so fast. Things seldom go exactly as planned, I make allowances for that, but I hadn’t pencilled in the possibility that all the theatres would close or that live performance would almost exclusively occur online. If you’d told me last year that I wouldn’t be allowed to travel more than two kilometres from home and that even sitting in a nice room with good people might be dangerous I would have smiled and felt sorry for you. All I know how to do is make shows. That’s nearly my solution to everything. So I just kept going, working in my garage/studio. I was lucky, preparedness meets opportunity, and thanks to support from An Grianán I got to tour as part of Earagail Arts Festival, performing “Tilt of the Sky” for small socially distanced audiences outdoors. Arriving in mostly wee towns and villages, the time of the show not advertised so as to avoid large crowds gathering. That last sentence needs to be followed by a string of emojis. I am so glad and grateful I got to do it, it was magical, setting up, telling the story and singing the songs with those tentative audiences at the mercy of the summer weather. And my leopardskin brothel creepers caused a stir in Raphoe before the show even started.

Little John Nee performing Tilt of the Sky at the Earagail Arts Festival in July 2020.

“it feels like we’ve arrived in the right place at the right time, more aware than ever that adaptability is at the core of creativity.”

We began talking about this 2021 residency in 2019, we had no idea how dramatically things were about to change but strangely it feels like we’ve arrived in the right place at the right time, more aware than ever that adaptability is at the core of creativity.

I think we’re all different people now but the heart of the residency remains the same. I was part inspired by the legendary Johnny Doherty, Donegal’s beloved Traveller fiddle player. Nowadays we pride ourselves on our sophistication yet I often marvel at the sophistication of the artists who travelled this country for centuries, or those that stayed put in the one place but brought their neighbours on extravagant journeys of the imagination nevertheless. There was an emotional intelligence at play in the exchange between performer and audience that we seldom see now, a unique transmission of complex ideas and a world of information.

So as part of the residency I’d like to celebrate people coming together to tell stories, “in the one place”, connecting us not dividing us. It’s my belief that art makes us feel more like ourselves. I have a notion of including a sort of encyclopaedia of local artists that have made an impression but are in danger of being forgotten, likely they never considered themselves artists. I have no notion the best way to go about that yet, maybe online, possibly on audio or possibly we’ll meet in a car park late at night and you’ll surreptitiously pass me a scrap of paper with a name on it. I think it would be good also to look at how come there came to be a festival of world music and culture in Letterkenny way way before it was fashionable. Did Peter Gabriel pass through town during the International Folk festival in 1976 and get the idea for WOMAD? Did he rob our idea?

In this short blog it’s not practical to cover all the ideas or projects we hope to realise. It is a hope to have “In the one place” performances on the islands of Arranmore, Inisheer and Inishboffin Co. Galway and if the good islanders are willing we might add Inishboffin in Donegal to the list.

Half of the residency takes place in County Galway and at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway City and there will be similar events there on themes specific to the localities.

So there are plenty of details to follow, but I’d like to finish here by telling you there will be two new theatre production one in April and one in Autumn/Early winter. The first is a collaboration with the brilliant Laura Sheeran, “Drone Bone Jetty” A filmic/live performance hybrid set in a dystopian future where travel is limited, the climate is in peril but at least the pubs are open. The working title of the second show is “All the Small Ocean” and is a galivanting post pandemic spin from Donegal to Kerry hugging the Atlantic coast all the way like a teddy bear.

Little John Nee, December 2020.

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Sister Black – watch online this weekend

An Grianán Theatre has the fourth of its series of online shows broadcast this weekend and it’s very much a local affair. Ramelton based actor and playwright Maggie Hannon brings her first show to the stage, and to the audience, virtually.

The play has been directed by the very experienced Gweedore actor Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhrighde. It’s been recorded by the team at An Grianån Theatre with assistance from the team at the RCC in Letterkenny, and the play is about Catherine Black, a nurse from Ramelton who became King George V’s private nurse in the last seven years of his life.

The show can be watched at any time on Saturday and Sunday and tickets are €10 each. You only need one ticket no matter how many people are watching with you.

‘It’s been a great learning experience’, explained Daithi Ramsay, Marketing Manager of An Grianán Theatre, Daithi is from Letterkenny and now lives in Ramelton.

‘I myself have been doing the video and sound editing, and it’s a steep learning curve! It’s great though at a time like this to be able to support a local artist in this way. We had Maggie’s show booked in but obviously in level 5 we couldn’t go ahead with an audience, but this way she will get paid, the audience can get to see her in the comfort of their own homes, and with the video she also has a calling card to take to other venues.’

‘Broadcasting has obviously come about as a stop gap until we can work at full capacity again but I really think it’s here to stay, I think it’ll go hand in hand with live performances in the future, which is why it’s so important for us to skill up in this way, and it’s been a fantastic way to connect with the Donegal diaspora all over the world. We’re getting a tremendous response from all over the world!’

Written and performed by Margaret Hannon. Catherine Black (1878-1949) MBE, was born in Ramelton. She trained as a nurse in England and worked in the slums of Whitechapel, at the Somme in World war 1, and as King George V’s private nurse in the last 7 years of his life. Her memoir ‘King’s nurse Beggar’s nurse’ was published in 1939 and there’s a copy in the library at Buckingham Palace. This one-woman play is based on that memoir. She is coming to the end of her remarkable life. She has been exposed to the best and worst of humanity, and has always focused valiantly on forgetting the latter. At last she realises that the past doesn’t go away, and that the only way to forget is to remember.

See Sister Black online this weekend, 25th and 26th November – book here.

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