Time at the Well offers short residency opportunities to performers, and is open to practising performance artists with a proven track record. The residents for 2021 are; musician Cathy Jordan, instrumentalist John Carty, and actor and playwright Niamh McGrath. More recently (April 2021), actor and playwright Miriam Needham, and poet and producer Eithne Hand have been added as residents for 2021.
Poet & Producer Eithne Hand will write and produce a project for the Hawk’s Well during her residency called ARE WE THERE YET ! – the new N4 approach road to Sligo.
July 2021 is the proposed date for the completion of the N4 from Castlebaldwin to Collooney, linking Sligo to the rest of the country in a whole new way. Running through the townlands of Mullaghnabreena, Ardcurley, Cloonamahan, Doorly, Carrowkeel, Kingsbrook, Toberbride, Carrownagark and Tawnagh – the new N4 will also cross two rivers – the Turnalaydan and Drumfin. All of these townlands are rich with traditions and folklore stretching back centuries, and the project will offer a new welcome to both locals and visitors to the North West. The resulting artistic work will be a mix of Installation, Online and Community based art, all co ordinated by the Hawk’s Well Theatre.
Speaking about this new residency award, Eithne says; “From a narrow road with white crosses marking accident spots to a brand new dual carriageway sweeping towards one of the most picturesque views on the island – this N4 extension is something I really feel should not go undocumented. It would be the easiest thing to just rush along the new road, saying ‘are we there yet, are we there yet’ but I’d like to consider where this new road brings all of us. From the megalithic tombs of Carrowkeel to the stunning Gothic Revival church spire of Collooney – the new stretch deserves the attention of not just the engineers and the men and women who have worked on building the road all through Covid, but also the attention of the arts community. I’m so grateful to the Hawk’s Well Theatre and the Arts Council for making this project possible. As a team, we will all discover stories and make new music and art relevant to this landscape - and we will share our responses with the people of Sligo.”
Manorhamilton’s Miriam Needham is a Lecoq-trained actor, theatre-maker and voice-over artist. In 2021 Miriam will bring her new theatre production ‘Snapshot’ to fruition. Snapshot is a play set in the early days of the first lockdown, and is inspired by interviews with locals about their experience of that time, piecing together memories, thoughts, feelings, and stories to make a local record of a global event.
On her Hawk’s Well Theatre Residency award Miriam says “I am delighted to continue working with the Hawk's Well Theatre. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to present 'Snapshot' to the public this year, as well as working on other projects. This residency provides me with structure, stability, and support - three things that are invaluable to any artist. I am grateful to the Hawk's Well Theatre and to the Arts Council for making this happen, and excited about the possibilities it unfolds.”
Cathy Jordan, who should be no stranger to fans of music due to her award-winning work with Dervish, will use her residency to “collect Sligo Songs” with a view to a performance of the finished body of work in the Hawk’s Well at some point in the future.
Says Cathy; “I am delighted to receive this short Time At The Well residency at the Hawk’s Well Theatre to write a new body of work based on people and places of Sligo. Having spent such an intense and extended length of time in the area due to lockdown, I have been inspired to work on material which will hopefully bring to life through song, some of the breath taking beauty of the area and the characters who dwell, or have dwelled in this amazing gateway county.”
Roscommon native John Carty inherited his family’s gift for Irish traditional music, and grew up in what he describes as “a golden era for the music” in 1970s London.
Says John; “I am thrilled to have received this residency. I have long had ambitions to explore the combination of the banjo with uilleann pipes, and this will afford me time and space to explore this partnership with accomplished piper, Mike McGoldrick; researching, reflecting and composing. I will give the project the care, time and attention and envisage it will take on a life of its own and present a whole new avenue of performance opportunities and promote traditional music in an innovative way”.
Niamh McGrath has been influenced by what has transpired during the pandemic, and the unique turn of events that affected her “bubble of one”.
‘Bubble’ is a one woman show written and performed by Niamh; an experimental collaboration of multi-media, movement, theatre, and comedy that will leave you wondering who is in charge when the world falls apart. The show is built around a day in the life of a woman adapting to life alone during the covid pandemic.
Summing up the piece, which will doubtless be relatable to so many, Niamh says; “Niamh is in a Covid bubble of one. The house is spotless, she has an unused virtual yoga subscription, and she has alphabetised the spice rack… again. But Zoom, sour-dough and 5K strolls take their toll on her isolation brain, and on day thirty-four, while contemplating re-grouting the kitchen tiles, her brain answers back”.
Time at the Well 2021 is proud to support the local arts scene, during what has been a particularly difficult time for the arts sector.
KELLIE HUGHES - THEATRE ARTIST
Kellie is a highly trained theatre-artist with twenty years of professional experience as a director, performer and creator. She has toured extensively both nationally and internationally with her work been presented in Galway International Arts Festival, The National Theatre, London and Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York.
ISABEL CLAFFEY - THEATRE ARTIST
Isabel Claffey worked in theatre in Dublin for a number of years, favouring classical roles such as - Desdemona in Othello, a Civic Theatre Production and Isabella in Measure for Measure at the Civic and Helix Theatres. She also enjoyed a number of more modern roles including Adela in The House of Bernarda Alba at the Abbey Theatre. As well as a diploma in Theatre Studies from Inchicore College she has completed courses at RADA, The Abbey Theatre and at Oxford and Warwick Universities.
EDWINA GUCKIAN – DANCE ARTIST
Sean Nós dancer Edwina Guckian learned her dancing from her mother and the local dancers of Leitrim and Roscommon. She studied Music, English and Education at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra and worked as a choreographer on director Ken Loach’s film, Jimmy’s Hall. Edwina is the artistic director of dance club “Áirc Damhsa” which has over 400 members, 11 teachers and is based in Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Mayo Westmeath, Fermanagh and Longford. She hosts Leitrim Dance Week every Easter now in its 5th year.
Edwina will use her short residency to create a new dance theatre production with her Áirc Damhsa graduates.
KAREN TANSEY – EMERGING DANCE ARTIST
Emerging dance artist, Karen Tansey completed her dance education and skills at the World Academy of Irish Dance in the University of Limerick. Hailing form Ballymote, Co. Sligo, Karen grew up in an area with a very strong influence of traditional music and dance. She holds numerous All Ireland titles in both sean nós and set dancing and she has been dancing for the past 10 years under the guidance of Edwina Guckian. She is also a teacher at Áirc Damhsa. Karen used her short residency to work alongside Edwina Guckian for her upcoming show Éist. She will also use her time to develop performance skills and create new performance material.
SORCHA FOX – THEATRE ARTIST/ WRITER
Sorcha is a poet, actor and writer. She was Artist in Residence in The Dock in Carrick on Shannon and The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton. She is currently working on a nine-month theatre project called Amplify with women in addiction recovery in Ashleigh House, Dublin in collaboration with Draíocht, Create and Arts Council Ireland. She wrote her first Spoken Word play; 2 Squirrels for Rachel as part of the Home Theatre Ireland project in Draíocht, Dublin 2018 and in 2019 wrote a play with Draíocht Youth Theatre called Trust. She is an organizer of PalFest Ireland, an arts festival in support of Palestine. Sorcha has twice been the recipient of an Irish Arts Council Bursary Award and the UNESCO New Work Award for her performance poetry.
RAFEEF ZIADAH – WRITER
Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian spoken word artist and human rights activist based in London, UK. Her performance of poems like We Teach Life, Sir and Shades of Anger went viral within days of its release. Rafeef has headlined prestigious performance venues across several countries with powerful readings on war, exile, gender and racism.
Rafeef is also a Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East and has also worked as researcher and campaigns organiser with a number of refugee rights and anti-poverty NGOs.
Sorcha Fox and Rafeef used their residency to work on a new body of collaborative work which they began with the Hawk’s Well Theatre in 2019.
STEPHEN DOHERTY – TRADITIONAL MUSIC ARTIST
A joint traditional music residency with The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon.
Renowned multi-instrumentalist Stephen Doherty accumulated numerous all-Ireland titles in his early years. A full time musician, he tours internationally and works as a music teacher and producer. Critically acclaimed as an “effortless musician”, he features on a long list of musical recordings and has shared the stage with artists like, Lúnasa, Michael McGoldrick, Dermot Byrne, Slide and Sharon Shannon. Stephen used his residency to work on a number of collaborative projects with various groups and individuals from different sectors of the arts and to incorporate some new compositions alongside working with youth groups from the region.
Edwina Guckian and Ciaran McCauley were our short residency artists for 2019, and we also welcomed Karen Tansey as our emerging short residency artist for the year.
Ciaran used his residency to explore and research the creation of a new theatre performance centred on the writer Flann O'Brien
Edwina explored a new performance piece looking at the journey of dance in Ireland and the struggles it and the people encountered over the past 100 years. Karen worked work in conjunction with Edwina on this project also.