Home Theatre Ireland - Key Dates for 2018

January 7, 2018

We were delighted to see so many people at our Home Theatre Ireland Information Session on 25th November with Veronica Coburn, the Artistic Director of the Project.

A slide show presentation was given followed by a Q&A.
If you were unable to attend, you can access that PDF Presentation HERE ... 

The Key Dates of the preparatory workshops with Veronica in 2018 are:
•April 7th 2018
•May 12th 2018
•June 9th 2018
•July 14th 2018
•August 11th 2018
•Performances Oct 6th 2018 -5pm, 7pm and 9pm

We are looking for Home Hosts and Community Ambassadors spread all over Dublin 15.
You can fill in and return this Application Form to us by email or by hand to Draiocht's Box Office.

If you have any further questions or would like to express interest in becoming a Home Host or Ambassador, please get in contact with Marcella Bannon, Project Manager, email hometheatre@draiocht.ie or Emer McGowan, emer@draiocht.ie / 01-8098027.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Home Theatre Ireland,

New Season New Strategy

January 6, 2018

2018 sees the first year of Draíocht’s new Five year Strategy (2018 to 2022), developed in 2017 through consultation with internal and external stakeholders, using workshops, interviews and importantly for us, a public online survey. We wanted to hear from you and take into consideration what you were saying about Draíocht. We reviewed what we have achieved and the experiences from which we learned since our Opening in 2001. This process was invaluable. It defined our ambition and laid out a clear set of priorities to achieve it.

Our new strategy presents a vision of an Ireland where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy and be enriched by the arts. It is a vision shared by many organisations and individuals working in the arts and beyond with each of us contributing to its realisation. How we work towards that vision stems from our name: Draíocht meaning magic. We seek to share the magic of the arts through presenting a year-round programme of work, by creating opportunities for participation and by close collaboration with artists, all the while bringing our values of welcome, fun, magic, belonging and nurture, to life.

This strategy sets out where we will now focus our efforts and continue to distinguish Draíocht as one of Ireland’s foremost arts centres, grounded in its community and a model of best practice in work for children and young people. That being so, our priorities over the next five years are, with imagination and ambition to develop our programme, respond to our community, create outstanding work with and for children and young people, build strong and effective partnerships and ensure our sustainability.
Our strategy will be downloadable from our website and available in hard copy in early 2018.

For me, the most important achievement is our connection with our locality. Over 50,000 people come through our doors every year. To build new connections and develop established ones, 2018 will also see Draíocht bring the Home Theatre (Ireland) project to Dublin 15. 30 new plays, performed simultaneously, inspired by the stories of people living in Dublin 15. I can’t wait! 2018 will also see our commitment to artists cemented through initiatives including the engagement of a Visual Arts Advisor (Sharon Murphy), the establishment of Artist Support teams, an opportunity for an artist whose practice focuses on children/young people to have a Residency in the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris as well as a range of Residencies across artforms. And with all of this, we will continue to provide you with the quality and variety of programme that you have come to know us for.

I look forward to seeing you in Draíocht soon.

Emer McGowan

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By Draíocht. Tags: Strategy 2018-2022,

Artistic Collaborations Jan-March 2018

January 5, 2018


Included in Draíocht’s New 5 Year Strategy 2018-2022, is our commitment to building strong and effective collaborative partnerships, to ensure our sustainability and to continue to support other arts organisations and artists. In January, as part of our early years programme, Draíocht will be supporting Ceol Connected to re imagine ‘The Quiet Tree’ for children with disabilities. We’ve established a new Artists Panel to support a small group of ten artists with whom we have worked over a sustained period of time. Draíocht and Youth Theatre Ireland will partner in February to present a free one day seminar, ‘Youth at the Centre‘, for those with an interest in developing new youth theatre opportunities in their venue. We will support First Fortnight, Ireland’s Mental Health Arts Festival 2018 by running Free Workshops. Draíocht will also partner this Season with Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris to support the 2018 Residency Programme. We also continue our collaborations with Collapsing Horse and the Irish Film Institute’s Education Department.

The Quiet Tree
January 2018 will see Draíocht support Ceol Connected to re imagine ‘The Quiet Tree’. This show, originally made for children aged between 3 to 6 years, includes traditional storytelling and music together with puppetry. This process will see two artists (Thomas Johnston and Orla Kelly) and an expert in Early Year’s education for children with disabilities, explore and develop this extant piece as a music and theatrical performance for very young children with additional educational needs. In particular, they will develop the show as a multi-sensory experience using sound, movement, light, smell, touch and taste. The artists will reimagine ‘The Quiet Tree’ as an immersive installation where children and their adults have a truly mutli-dimensional experience. The development period (15-26 January 2018), supported by Draíocht, through financial, space and technical assistance, will include a Work in Progress showing to an invited audience. Taking place on Friday 26th January 2018 in Draíocht’s Studio Space, this event will showcase the work and process as well as give the artists the opportunity to get some feedback on work done.  

Draíocht and Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris

Centre Culturel Irlandais’ annual residency programme offers great opportunities for artists of all disciplines to tap into the resources of the CCI and the city of Paris, as well as being an important means of showcasing Ireland's dynamic contemporary culture on an international stage. Draíocht is delighted to partner with CCI to support the 2018/2019 Residency Programme. CCI and the partner organisations share the costs of residencies in CCI enabling the Centre to increase the number of residencies it can offer. Draíocht is supporting a residency (one to two months) for an artist working in any discipline with a clear focus on children and/or young people articulated in the proposal. Residencies of 1 to 2 months will be awarded for the period August 2018-June 2019. Travel from Ireland, accommodation and a monthly stipend are included.
Full guidelines, terms and conditions available on CCI's website: www.centreculturelirlandais.com.
Applications to be made on-line by Wednesday 10 January 2018.

The Artist Panel
JAN-DEC 2018

With the development of The Artist Panel, Draíocht aims to support a small group of ten artists with whom we have worked over a sustained period of time. Made up of dancers, musicians, visual arts and theatre practitioners, these artists are the backbone of Draíocht’s artistic projects and programming. Through facilitated meetings and invited guests, we will support and nurture these artists by providing time and space to explore, think and reflect on both their personal and facilitative arts practice, consider cross disciplinary engagements and collaborative practices as well as the evaluation of the quality and type of engagement they have with Draíocht’s programmes and with the community of young people whom we serve.



Putting Young People At The Heart Of Your Arts Venue
Youth Theatre Ireland in partnership with Draíocht

THU 22 FEB  11AM–4.30PM   Draiocht Studio   FREE
"A room with a youth theatre in it is a machine for generating happiness".
Join us for a day-long seminar exploring how your venue can become a home for quality youth theatre work and create opportunities for young people to engage in excellent arts experiences. This is an opportunity for staff and practitioners from arts venues to:
- Share best practice approaches from youth theatres around the country;
- Explore current national and local arts strategies that will impact on the future development of youth arts initiatives in venues;
- Discover from youth theatre members how your venue can become a real ‘home’ for creative young people;
- Find solutions with your peers to some of the practical challenges you’ve faced running a youth theatre in your venue.

The seminar will include inputs from: Arts Council staff members Val Ballance (Head of Venues) and Seóna Ní Bhriain (Head of Young People Children and Education); a Local Authority Arts Officer; staff, practitioners and members from venue-led youth theatres. The seminar is aimed broadly at staff and practitioners who are running youth theatres in arts venues, as well as those with an interest in developing new youth theatre opportunities in their venue.
Attendance at the seminar is free of charge, however registration is essential. Booking will open on January 10th via the Youth Theatre Ireland website: http://www.youththeatre.ie/news/press/
For more information, please contact Rhona Dunnett (rhona@youththeatre.ie) at Youth Theatre Ireland.

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By Draíocht. Tags: CCI Paris, Collaborations, Collapsing Horse, Theatre Artist in Residence,

Collapsing Horse - January-March 2018

January 4, 2018


Draíocht is delighted to continue working with Collapsing Horse as Theatre Artists in Residence during 2018.

Collapsing Horse is a theatre company that makes comic, lo-fi, spectacular, tactile and virtuosic work and are the makers of ‘MONSTER/CLOCK’; ‘Distance from the Event’; ‘Bears in Space’; ‘The Aeneid’; ‘Conor: at the end of the Universe’ and ‘The Water Orchard’, written by their very own Eoghan Quinn.

2018 will see Collapsing Horse, with Draíocht’s support, develop their new show ‘Dance Plague’, a show for teenagers inspired by the dancing plagues of the middle ages. Their ongoing work with D15 Youth Theatre will feed into the development of same.

‘One of the most exciting collectives on the Irish theatre scene.’
Totally Dublin

The Collapsing Horse Draíocht Residency is supported by Fingal County Council and The Arts Council.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Collapsing Horse,

Des Kenny Visits Incubate Artist Studio – Ella Bertilsson and Ulla Juske

January 4, 2018

The Incubation studio residency is an initiative by Draíocht, offering recent art graduates studio space and support while creating new work. After graduation the sustaining assistance college offered disappears and the next step towards an art world career can prove daunting. The provision of studio and auxiliary services by Draíocht help alleviate the loss of the college support base while allowing young artists time to formulate new strategies that counter this disadvantage.

Ella Bertilsson and Ulla Juske are recent recipients of the Incubation residency. The two artists met while completing their masters degree in NCAD. In that hothouse atmosphere of inquiry and research they discovered a common outlook and decided upon leaving college to collaborate in making art. It was a cold wet morning in December when I made a studio visit in Draíocht and the beckoning warmth of the studio was welcome. Casting a casual eye around the unadorned space, that showed little evidence of artistic output except for the residual marks on floors and walls of previous occupants.  I apprehensively wondered where a conversation on their art would lead. My pressing sense of anxiety dissipated as it soon became apparent that their work and art practice was stored on a laptop. I was invited to sit and watch videos of completed projects that demonstrated a broad range of subject matter and artistic presentation.

Their work explores ideas surrounding identity, community and social history and creating narratives which combine these themes to a site specific installation. The discovery of a large chest on a Dublin street containing dispossessed belongings of an unidentified individual led to creating a work that reflected upon the connection between a hidden personal biography and  objects that contain the complex history of a personality. The contents of the chest were displayed like museum artefacts in a transit van situated in the Tree Line Project installed in a park beside Foley Street. They called the exhibition “The Museum of The Unknown Person” and they hoped visitors from the locality would recognise the owner of the chest and unveil the mystery of a forgotten life. A disenfranchised history of the unknown person is reconfigured, when what is lost is found to have a relevance to the viewer’s life.

While in Reykjavik on a three month residency with the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists the two artists developed audio work around the theme of time as understood by amateur astronomers and professional astrophysicists. The recorded conversations do not display a hieratical distinction between professional and amateur but blend their points of view into a unified meditation on how humanity finds a place in a universe governed by time which appears unending. These interviews were situated in a large glass enclosure called the Nordic house near a lake. Visitors listened to the recordings on the immensity of the universe while observing the snow filled stark landscape of Iceland. The audience feels momentarily anchored in a motionless landscape yet understanding they are moving through space and time in an unstoppable indifferent universe. Driven by wonder our imagination expands to comprehend our place in this infinite cosmic journey.

During their residency in Draíocht they worked with various groups that have an affinity with the locality. They were invited to talk about themselves and their community. The local youth theatre was asked to respond to questions and their answers were superimposed over veiled curtains found in houses in the immediate area. This is an ongoing project and may be included in a group event scheduled in Draíocht for 2018. 

After the Draíocht residency the artists are participating in similar opportunities in Norway and Estonia. These two artists not only collaborate but wander this floating earth together and quietly allow each destination inform their art.


Ella Bertilsson and Ulla Juske - Studio Incubation Award 31 October – 22 December 2017

Ella Bertilsson and Ulla Juske are a Swedish-Estonian visual artist collective based in Dublin. They produce site-specific audio-installations about the relationship between time and memory; place and identity. They are interested in gathering narratives which explore the boundary of fact and fiction in relation to specific communities or places. During their Incubate Residency, Ella and Ulla invited people who live and work in Blanchardstown into their studio to share stories of their profession/job, their place of work and the memories that it triggers.


Desmond Kenny is an artist based in Hartstown, Dublin 15. He is a self taught painter, since he began making art in 1986 he has since exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad, solo shows include Draíocht in 2001, The Lab in 2006 and Pallas Contemporary Projects in 2008. His work is included in many collections including the Office of Public Works, SIPTU, and Fingal County Council. Kenny's practice also incorporates print making and he has been a member of Graphic Studio Dublin since 2004.

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