We are delighted to be part of the Strollers network and to announce the recipient of this year’s Propel award.
Shane O’Reilly is a writer and performer based in Dublin. He has a studio at the newly launched interdisciplinary arts space The Dean Arts Studio provided by the Press Up Hospitality Group. He trained in Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin and has subsequently been mentored by many international artists including playwright Bruce Norris, writer Anna Maria Murphy and theatre maker and director Katie Mitchell. Shane is an alumni of the Six in the Attic scheme run by the Irish Theatre Institute. Shane is a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA) and a lot of his work incorporates Sign Language, themes of Deafness and employs Deaf artists.
He has previously created work with WillFredd Theatre Company including FOLLOW, FARM and CARE. His writing work includes The Water Boys, The Matador, Windowpane, Swansong, Näher… Closer, Nearer, Sooner and the up-coming musical Gold in the Water.
Shane developed an ambitious interdisciplinary project called The Genealogy Project – an attempt to use the ancestries of the five participating artists to generate an alternate history of the island of Ireland. He developed this project with Oona Doherty, Emma O’Kane, Raymond Scannell, Seán MacErlaine and Catherine O’Malley over a number of years culminating in a work in progress showing of the work at The Abbey Theatre in 2018.
In 2020 Shane was commissioned by The Abbey Theatre to create windowpane (performed by Amanda Coogan), a short filmed piece for the Dear Ireland Project which was called “terrific and magnificent” and selected as one of the highlights of the online theatre offered during the pandemic by The Guardian.
Shane also makes work for child audiences. His most recent play swansong was commissioned by Barnstorm Theatre Company and premiered in Spring 2022 in Kilkenny. Shane is an alumni of the ambitious European project PUSH having participated in their Gender and Sexuality Lab in Edinburgh in 2017. He also attended festivals run by some of the partner organisations in Oslo and Roskilde.
Shane has co-created a new musical called Gold in the Water with Paul Curley and Denis Clohessy which will premiere in 2023. The musical is produced by Pádraig Heneghan, funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and is co-presented by Project Arts, Mermaid and The Ark.
Shane is currently developing an experimental hybrid play/opera called Her Father’s Voice that is composed by Tom Lane, directed by Annabelle Comyn and produced by Pádraig Heneghan. This dynamic and ambitious new work about cochlear implants, the Deaf community and cultural identity explores ideas of mainstreaming, cultural erasure and parental responsibility.
Shane has created a number of film works; Näher (in collaboration with Liz Roche, directed by Alan Gilsenan), PAL (commissioned by Culture Night 2020) and windowpane (commissioned by The Abbey Theatre as part of the Dear Ireland project). He is currently shooting a documentary short film commissioned by KCat Arts Centre in Kilkenny.
Shane is a dramaturg working with dance artists. His previous dramaturgy work includes Jockey (Emma O’Kane), Dēmos & The Here Trio (Liz Roche), Birdboy (Emma Martin) and most recently What We Hold (Jean Butler).
As an actor Shane has performed with The Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre, Landmark Productions and many other Irish and international companies.
Speaking about the announcement Shane said “I am extremely honoured and very grateful to have been chosen to receive the 2022 Propel award. The infrastructure that this award offers as well as the peer support from the Strollers Network will allow me to develop capacity, support longer term planning and bolster my current practice. The financial support will allow me to begin working on a new idea with some of my regular collaborators and to develop that idea over the three years of support offered by this award. I look forward to engaging with all of the partners in the Strollers Network over the coming years and broadening the scope, scale and reach of my work”