To celebrate 30 years of Fishamble, we are publishing a series of blog posts focusing on a week in the life of our staff, colleagues and collaborators. We begin our series with a post by Fishamble's Artistic Director Jim Culleton, the week that Storm Emma sweeps across the country.
The day started by filming an interview for a tribute to Sebastian Barry that Sean Rocks from RTE's Arena is making. We plan to revive our production of Sebastian's play ON BLUEBERRY HILL in 2019 in New York so I was in touch with 59E59 and 1st Irish about this. Our General Manager and Producer Eva and I also discussed plans for Irish touring, following the off-Broadway run.
We recently called for submissions for Fishamble's A PLAY FOR IRELAND (APFI), so I finished reading the hundreds of submissions today and met with Gavin (our Literary Manager) and Tess (our Literary Intern) for an initial discussion about them, and the next phase in the decision making process.
I recently attended APAM, an Australian conference to network and promote work, as part of a Culture Ireland delegation of colleagues and fellow promoters of Irish culture internationally. I followed up on many meetings by sending further information on Fishamble's productions to presenters and promoters I met there.
Fishamble has been working on RUNNING OUT OF ROAD, a short piece by Rosaleen McDonagh, which I am directing as part of a day celebrating Traveller Ethnicity. This was scheduled to take place on Thursday 1st March at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham (RHK) but, due to extreme weather conditions the event is postponed for a couple of weeks. Rosaleen and I exchanged some thoughts on the final script for this, and I was in touch with the actors to see who is available for the new date.
We had further discussions on A PLAY FOR IRELAND, and our methods for processing of the submissions.
As part of Fishamble's theatre company-in-association status at UCD, I'm on a panel for their Ad Astra scholarship programme, and also meet their MA playwriting students and provide support to their directing students, so I caught up with Kellie Hughes, Eamonn Jordan and Finola Cronin in UCD about this work.
Gavin and I have been alternating attending meetings of a working group on gender equality in theatre. We discussed recent developments, and feedback from our board on Fishamble's policy, which has been developed over recent months, prior to Gavin attending today's working group meeting in the Lir.
Eva and I finalised our revised budget and plans for 2018, following consultation with the board in recent weeks, and we submitted these to the Arts Council. We also finalised an application to Culture Ireland which is due in tomorrow.
There is such strong interest from venues and audiences in Fishamble's recent production of HAUGHEY|GREGORY by Colin Murphy, Eva and I had a meeting to discuss possible future life for it. The programme for 2018 is already full, so we will plan to revive this as part of our 2019 plans.
Fishamble's TRILOGY by Pat Kinevane will run in repertory at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles from next week, so Eva, Chandrika (our Marketing & Fundraising Executive) and I met to discuss final preparations for this and I followed up with Beth Hogan and her colleagues at the Odyssey. I got in touch with our associate producer in LA, Georganne Aldrich Heller, and finalised details with her for the run too.
Eva and I met Neil Murray and Jen Coppinger from the Abbey recently to discuss our coproduction of Deirdre Kinahan's new play RATHMINES ROAD. Gavin, Deirdre and I discussed the play's development and organised a reading to inform this process. We have been in touch with Toryn Glavin from the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), and look forward to receiving this organisation’s support and advice in relation to the representation of a trans woman character in the play.
Today was meant to be spent in the RHK, so I used the unexpected time to read a couple of unsolicited scripts which Gavin has recommended to me.
Pat Kinevane, Denis Clohessy and I have been working over the past few months on the development of Pat’s new play BEFORE. Denis sent me the beautiful music he has composed for the production so far, so I listened to that, and chatted with him and Pat about it.
Eva and I finalised budgets and other details for our upcoming 11-venue revival of MAZ & BRICKS by Eva O'Connor. We had a meeting recently with our Production Manager, Eoin Kilkenny, so plans are at an advanced stage for this tour, funded by the Arts Council.
Chandrika and I worked on a proposal to a potential sponsor for one of our projects. We also discussed a planned new play conference, as part of our New Play Clinic activities, to mark our 30th year in 2018, with Eva and Gavin.
The process of shortlisting A PLAY FOR IRELAND submissions, and processing the partner venues’ preferences, continued.
Gavin and I discussed the applications for this year’s SHOW IN A BAG, which the Irish Theatre Institute and Dublin Fringe Festival run with Fishamble.
I caught up on emails, including: answering queries about Fishamble's development initiatives; sharing advice with previous mentees from those initiatives; promoting our work to international presenters and to Irish diplomats, whom I met recently at a networking event for arts organisations, organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Next week will be very different again, as Fishamble's programme of work develops, and the snow melts too! There is great satisfaction in the variety of the job, but I hope this diary gives an idea at least of a (reasonably) typical - and cold - week!