Artistic Collaborations Apr-Aug 2020

March 5, 2020

Included in Draíocht’s 5 Year Strategy 2018-2022 ‘Space For The Arts’, is our commitment to building strong and effective collaborative partnerships and supporting artists to develop their practice and work.


Image: Mary Lou McCarthy, Dan Colley, Sian Ní Mhuirí, Deirdre Dwyer

Draíocht and Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris

Draíocht is delighted to continue our partnership with CCI, supporting an artist to travel to Paris to participate in the 2020/2021 Residency Programme, tapping into the resources of the CCI and the city of Paris, as well as having the opportunity to showcase their work on an international stage. The recipients of Draíocht supported residencies are artists working in any discipline with a clear focus on children and/or young people. To date, 4 people have been awarded Residencies; theatre makers Mary Lou McCarthy and Dan Colley (2018/2019); writer and theatre maker Sian Ní Mhuirí (2019/2020) and theatre artist Deirdre Dwyer (2020/2021).

During her Residency, Mary Lou McCarthy developed a show for audiences aged 10-12 years entitled, ‘The Dead Letter Office’. She researched the French postal system and the history of the Dead Letter Office in Europe and also worked with Paris based director John McIlduff. Dan Colley worked on ‘Dance Plague’, a dance/theatre piece aimed at teenagers, to be produced by Collapsing Horse. Sian Ní Mhuirí developed her piece, Knapsack, a survivalist romp for children aged 8+.   

Deirdre Dwyer is the 4th and latest Draíocht recipient of a CCI Residency (2020/2021). During her month long residency, Deirdre plans to research and explore the children’s stories of Charles Perraut and Madame d’Aulnoy with a view to creating a play for young audiences focusing on their female protagonists, investigating the similarities and differences between ‘Cinderella’ (Perraut) and ‘Finnette Cendron’ (d’Aulnoy).


Louise White
Life Story Work with Older Migrants

Draíocht is delighted to be working with theatre-maker and facilitator Louise White. Her shows have taken place in theatres, arts venues, community halls, decrepit Georgian buildings, psychiatric hospitals and abandoned warehouses. Louise works with real people, stories and events in order to create performances. She has worked with Dublin Youth Theatre, The National Women’s Council of Ireland, The SAOL Project, The Abbeyleix Bog Project and The Lantern Centre’s International Women’s Group among others. Her theatre work includes: This is the Funeral of Your Life (National Tour 2019 which included Draíocht); Mother You, Way Back Home (winner Spirit of the Fringe), and From The Heart, all for Dublin Fringe Festival.

Louise is currently developing a programme of creative activities to engage older members of migrant communities in Dublin 15 to take part in Life Story Workshops. Life-story work offers a means of opening up communication, creating understanding between people from different cultures and sharing commonalities among neighbours.
If you or your group are interested in learning more about this project and are based in Dublin 15, please contact Louise by visiting her website or by emailing Emer McGowan, Director Draíocht,
This project is funded by The Arts Council and supported by Draíocht and Fingal County Council.


Sorcha Fox

The word addict comes from the Latin ‘Ad Dicere’, and means ‘Without Voice’. It came from slavery - when you were sold as a slave, you surrendered your voice. When you surrender your voice, other people get to tell your story.

‘Amplify’ is a 9 month collaboration with writer and actor Sorcha Fox, Ashleigh House addiction recovery centre in Damastown, Dublin 15 and Draíocht, Blanchardstown. Funded by CREATE and Arts Council Ireland, ‘Amplify’ is a devised piece of work that will come from and belong to the women in recovery in Ashleigh House. It is a project of empowerment and exploration through writing and performance and a reclamation of voice and narrative. ‘Amplify’ will culminate in a performance in Draíocht in 2020.

Sorcha Fox teamed up with Rachel, a woman in recovery in Ashleigh House, as part of Draíocht’s ‘Home Theatre Ireland’ project in 2018. The short play ‘2 Squirrels’ was the result of that collaboration and was one of 30 plays in total that were created and performed all over Dublin 15 on the same night in people’s homes. ‘2 Squirrels’ was also included in the selection of plays performed as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2018 and can be seen in full on YouTube. Sorcha devised the concept for ‘Amplify’ as a result of meeting with Rachel and the other women in recovery during ‘Home Theatre Ireland’, in Ashleigh House.


Dublin Regional Network
An informal coming together of Draíocht, Axis, Civic and Mermaid takes place to offer support and tours to invited artists enabling them develop a specific strand of practice. To date, we have worked with Anna Newell who makes work for children and young people with profound and complex needs as well as a range of work for babies aged 0 to 6 months, including shows ‘Sing Me to the Sea’, ‘I AM BABA’ (pictured above) and ‘GROOVE’ (see pg 25). 2020 will see us support both Anna Newell and Branar theatre to make new work for their respective audience demographics.


Draíocht and Axis Ballymun are supporting (through some seed funding) THISISPOPBABY and theatre artist, Thommas Kane Byrne to develop a new piece of work called ‘Mrs Macushla’. It will have an in development showing as part of the ‘Where We Live’ programme in March 2020 in Project Arts Centre. The Macushla Ballroom was situated between Foley St, Amiens St and Buckingham St in the heart of Dublin’s North Inner City. Once a dance hall haunt, it went on to become a Bingo Hall that was cherished by locals. This is the story of Gertrude Kelly, the bingo caller in Macushla. When she’s calling numbers, she’s untouchable. When she’s not, her story begins to fray.


Further information about Artistic Collaborations from Emer McGowan, Director, 01-8098027 /


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