writing

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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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

Radio Short Waves Showcase

Our Radio Short Waves writing course reached its conclusion on Thursday 15 December with a showcase performed to an invited audience of family and friends. Facilitated by playwright Tara McKevitt our group of 9 writers have been working since September on these short radio plays, each approximately 10 minutes in duration.

The Plays

A Chain of Events by John Logue
Windows by Michael Leddy
The Seventh Wall by Edwin Masterson
Pulse by Marie Kelly
The Lad’s Night Out by Pauric Gallagher
Rain by Fergal Lonergan
Cake by Meg Grehan
Clean by Averil Meehan
Sorry Wrong Target by Paul McCollum

Our Radio Short Waves cast: Fionn Robinson, Orlaith Gilchreest, Valerie Bryce and John D Ruddy.

Our Radio Short Waves cast: Fionn Robinson, Orlaith Gilchreest, Valerie Bryce and John D Ruddy.

The Cast

Valerie Bryce
Orlaith Glicreest
Fionn Robinson
John D. Ruddy

The Crew

Director: Guy Le Jeune

Stage Manager & Sound: Jude Barriscale

The Writers

John Logue was born in Derry, and has lived in Letterkenny for the past 30 years. He is married to Siobhan, and has two children, John F and Ali. John is a cabinet maker by trade, and a former Gaelic and Rugby footballer. He is currently Captain of Portsalon Golf Club. During the winter months he likes to enroll in night classes that challenge him. This Radio Play is his latest endeavour.

Marie Kelly has previously undertaken Creative Writing courses with Denise Blake, Ronan Carr and Patrick Kearney. She also has an interest in drama and has taken part in productions with Worklab, Bread and Roses, An Grianan Theatre, and An Grianan Actor’s Studio. This is her first radio drama.

Michael Leddy, originally from Leitrim, has lived in Donegal since 1999. He has been writing and acting on stage, and short films for thirty years. He collects various Old Time Radio shows from American radio, as well as Marvel Comics and rare, hard-to-find TV series. He wrote and directed a short film in 2013 Firefall. He previously had two short stories broadcast by RTE in the 90s. This is his first script for radio.

Edwin Masterson is from Northern Ireland and started writing with the Derry rehabilita- tion writers group after recovering from a serious illness. He is now an active member of Scribophile.com. An avid film aficionado and poetry enthusiast, he recently finished the NaNoWriMo challenge in November. He has previously completed an advanced course in scriptwriting at the Letterkenny Culture Centre as well as an International literary course at the L.Y.I.T.

Averil Meehan writes radio drama, poetry and fiction. Her radio play, “A Family Christmas” was broadcast twice by RTE. Her poetry collection, “Until Stones Blossom” is published by Summer Palace Press. Her writing has been published in literary journals and placed in various writing competi- tions.

Pauric Gallagher has been performing stand-up comedy all over Ireland since October 2013. He was a finalist in Forbidden Fruit Comedy Compe tition in 2015 and has played support for such names as Gearoid Farrelly, Pat McDonnell and Andrew Maxwell. He has recently returned from a tour of Canada. He is also a long standing mem- ber of the Diamond Writers group based in Raphoe and was a writer and director on the AyeTV1 webseries ‘Letterkenny People’.

Fergal Lonergan is a 16 year old nerd in 5th year in St. Eunans College. He first got into theatre with Letterkenny Youth Theatre and is focusing on comedy, writing sketches and directing for youth theatre the most notable being a stage adaptation of Blackadder. Fergal performs stand-up regularly, mainly in the Voodoo Vintage. After the Leaving Cert, he’s hopes to go on to study thea- tre and media, and eventually end up doing something in entertainment, be it comedy or writing weird, precipitation-based tragedies.

Meg Grehan is a writer and stage manager originally from Louth and now living in Letterkenny with too many pets, all with ridiculous names (Starbuck, Ororo, Catgar and Doctor George O’Malley). Likes include cake and pink things. Dislikes include the patriarchy and going outside. Meg’s first book The Space Between will be published in 2017 by Little Island.

 

Radio Short Waves course facilitator Tara McKevitt with its youngest participant Fergal Lonergan. A member of our youth theatre, Fergal was given a bursary by An Grianán to attend the course.

Radio Short Waves course facilitator Tara McKevitt with its youngest participant Fergal Lonergan. A member of our youth theatre, Fergal was given a bursary by An Grianán to attend the course.

The Facilitator

Tara McKevitt is from Moville, and has written for stage and radio, including RTE Radio 1, the Abbey Theatre, and Traverse Theatre. She has facilitated workshops in Higher Education, (NUIG VEC Galway), Youth Groups, Schools, Prisons, as well as various other community groups.

Project kindly supported by the Donegal County Council Arts Office.

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