FUEL Previous Participants
The Last Few Days
Martina Carey is a Galway-based actress, presenter, stage manager and a creative artist who has worked with companies such as RTÉ Jr, Fíbín/TG4, the Gaiety School of Acting, Glasnevin Cemetery, Decadent Theatre, Galway Youth Theatre, Passion Machine Arcana and Zelig Theatre.
She enjoys collaborating with other artists on independent projects and outreach programming. With RTÉ Jr, she presented Storytime, The Curious World of Professor Fun & Dr Dull and Twigín. Martina is a drama facilitator for young people having worked with the Gaiety School of Acting. She holds a BA Hons Degree in Drama from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama.
During FUEL, Martina will collaborate with director Rae Visser to develop The Last Few Days, a hybrid puppetry piece focusing on loss of independence, the aging body and mind, and the strength of emotional memory.
Luke Casserly is a theatre artist and director from Longford. He makes devised theatre which is invested in stretching out new conversations around the environment through non-conventional theatre forms.
His work to date has brought audiences on the DART to explore our national relationship with the material of plastic through sound (Mould Into Shape, 2019); sparked a national conversation around Ireland's biodiversity decline through planting a network of wildflower meadows across Ireland (1000 Miniature Meadows, 2020); and documented the passing of time on a midlands bog for a virtual audience over 6 days (Live Bog Project, 2020). Most recently, Luke collaborated with Shanna May Breen to create Root for Dublin Theatre Festival 2021. He holds a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College. He is currently a Resident Artist at Dublin Fringe Festival’s FringeLAB and Associate Director of Pan Pan Theatre Company.
During FUEL, Luke will develop a new performance work which looks at our human relationship to landscapes through scent. He will explore how our collective and personal landscapes can be used to uncover new ideas around memory, restoration, and environmental action. Through this project, he wishes to cultivate an inter-generational dialogue about climate action and the future of our broken landscapes.
Edwin Mullane is an actor, director and producer based in Sligo. His work spans theatre, radio, TV and film.
He is co-founder and current artistic director of award-winning theatre company The Corps Ensemble. His recent directing credits include Cleaner (Winner, Best Cork Short, Cork International Film Festival) and A Joycean Punk Cabaret with Corps Ensemble.
During FUEL, Edwin will develop a new piece of writing by Nadya Menuhn entitled I Mother. He is interested in exploring ways to support the development of new work and linking writers and actors through this process. Balancing humour and horror, character-based drama and abstraction, I Mother is an exciting play that defies genre and has the potential to be exciting and pertinent piece of theatre.
Eva's Echo Theatre Company
Eva’s Echo Theatre Company is a Galway-based theatre company founded by Rena Bryson and Hazel Doolan in 2017.
Their mission is to bring innovative theatre set in modern Ireland to both theatre lovers and new audiences while consistently challenging themselves creatively. They explore topics such as social media, mental health, and the housing crisis, often through a queer lens. The company has a strong ethos of creating opportunities for emerging artists and enjoys staging new and unique texts.
During FUEL, Eva’s Echo will develop a dark comedy-drama, Stardom, which follows three reality TV participants with very different experiences. The play explores how reality TV can impact people’s lives – their relationships, livelihoods and mental health – and how public humiliation can make for ‘good TV’.
2020 - 2021
Stephanie Dufresne is a dancer, actor, and choreographer from Kinvara, County Galway. She received her BA in Dance from the Rotterdam Dance Academy and graduated from the two-year full-time programme for Screen-Acting in Bow Street. Stephanie enjoys combining her skills in acting and dance for a myriad of different companies including Irish National Opera, Emma Martin/United Fall, Junk Ensemble, Protein Dance and Marguerite Donlon/Step Up 2013. Stephanie's own choreographic work is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Dance Ireland and Galway Dance Project.
In 2018, Stephanie discovered the poetry of Dani Gill, specifically her first anthology of poems, After Love. Stephanie was taken by the searing honesty of Dani's poetry and had been interested in making a piece about the end of relationships, grief, loss, and transcendence. Stephanie received an arts council bursary to research dance in conjunction with Dani's poetry and during her FUEL residency Stephanie will craft After Love into a show alongside Dani and director Laura Sheeran.
Miriam Needham is an actor, writer and theatre-maker based in Sligo. Recent projects include Compostela (Dublin Fringe Festival), The Schooldays of Thaddeus K (Blue Raincoat), and Alice in Wonderland (Blue Raincoat). She trained in physical theatre at Lecoq, Paris (2012-2014). She works regularly as a voice-over artist, and can be heard on TG4 as the voice of Dot in DOT and Owelette in PJ Masks.
During FUEL, Miriam will develop Cluttering, a play about waste and obsolescence. She will examine the action of decluttering, and explore how our treatment of objects affects our treatment of people. Cluttering is a play about trying to out-run our own rubbish as it piles up behind us.
Dear Writer, Dear Actress
Emma O'Grady is a Galway-based theatre artist, writer, actor and production manager. She collaborates with people to create theatre, film, events and art works inspired by true events, real lives and shared histories. She was co-director of Mephisto Theatre with Caroline Lynch 2006-2014. Her first play What Good is Looking Well When You're Rotten on the Inside? was produced to critical acclaim in 2017 and continues to tour. In 2020 she created a documentary web-series Mad, Bad & Dangerous: A Celebration of Difficult Women with Copper Alley, Dublin Fringe and Age & Opportunity's Bealtaine Festival.
During FUEL, Emma will focus on writing and developing a new piece of theatre called Dear Writer, Dear Actress based on the lives and performances of famous theatre actresses and the male writers they were muses for. Using biographies of Olga Knipper, Molly Allgood, Ellen Terry and Eleanora Duse she will explore the differences between how men and women experience working in the professional arts, and how the ephemeral nature of theatre performance - compared to the dramatist's pen and ink - is a blessing and curse.
Gazelle: A Story of Eva Gore-Booth
Sinéad Sexton is a performance artist and theatre practitioner based in Sligo, who is about to complete a Masters of Arts in Drama and Performance at Sligo IT. Sinéad’s work focuses on identity, the mystical, re-enactment and memory. With play and exploration, Sinéad mixes old and new, and presents her work through archived material, music, mixed media, and spoken word in her performances
During FUEL, Sinéad will develop Gazelle: A Story of Eva Gore-Booth, a solo performance exploring Eva’s true voice. The play questions why such a prolific writer fails to be remembered on the same level as her peers. With the themes of place, feminism and queer identity, Sinéad will explore her own connection with Eva, along with how she was viewed by those closest to her.
2019 - 2020
Exit Between the Days
Barry Cullen is an actor, comedian and theatre maker from Sligo. He trained in physical theatre at Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Lassaad, Brussels, Belgium and at 'Atelier des Mimes' in Berlin under the tuition of Oliver Pollak, and is a regular collaborator with Blue Raincoat Theatre Company.
During the FUEL programme, Barry will develop a mask theatre piece without words, dealing with the sensations experienced by people who awake deep in the night, touching on themes of aloneness, migration, elderly in society and the sensation of wanting to feel connected.
Annie Keegan is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway, where she completed an MA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy in 2018. Since then she has debuted two works professionally for the stage: Down the Drain in the 2018 Dublin Fringe Festival, and Gonne at the New Theatre, Dublin.
For FUEL, Annie will develop a project exploring modern work culture in the retail sector through the lens of workism and consumerism. She is particularly interested in the growing divide between worker responsibilities and working conditions, as well as the emotional labour of customer service.
Claire Mullane is a director and dramaturg with a BA in Drama and Music from University College Cork. Currently based in Galway, Claire spent the last six years working in the theatre industry in London.
During FUEL, she will develop Yellow, a devised piece for two actors inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. The play explores the tangled web of conflicting considerations that one couple contemplate in an attempt to come to a mutual decision about whether or not to become parents.
Johanne Webb is a mother, actor, director, Family Constellations facilitator and proud member of MAM (Mothers Artists Makers). She studied acting at MMU (Capitol Theatre) and holds a BA and an MA in Theatre and Media for Development (University of Winchester).
Her piece seeks to examine prejudice and started off as a desire to understand the world her mixed race son has been born into. It is a call to arms to Irish Mammies at a time when the Alt Right is threatening our Céad Mile Fáilte.
2018 - 2019
A Creature Uncommon
Tara Breathnach is a Galway-born actress and theatre maker who has worked extensively on stage and screen in both Irish and English and has recently moved towards creating her own work. Her FUEL project 'A Creature Uncommon', is a one-woman piece inspired by the 18th century Irish actress Peg Woffington who was noted in Dublin and London for her cross-dressing 'breeches roles', numerous lovers and green room rivalries.
Súóg: The Irish in Rwanda
Mags Keohane is a director, theatre maker and producer who recently produced ‘Idlewild’ by Jimmy Murphy and ‘Spliced’ by Timmy Creed. During her FUEL residency, Mags will develop a show inspired by personal accounts from the Irish Rwandan Support Group 1994 - Ireland's first unarmed humanitarian mission.
Are You There Una?
Elaine Mears is a theatre maker, visual artist, costume and set designer. As part of FUEL Elaine will further develop Una, a theatre production based on the late, great Una Taaffe, a local legend whose memory continues to intrigue and inspire long after her passing.
Are You There Una? went on to full production in Galway Theatre Festival 2019
Sarah Jane Scott
Sarah-Jane Scott is a playwright and actor from Tuam Co. Galway, recently nominated for The Bewley's Little Gem Award for her play Appropriate as part of Show in a Bag at Dublin Fringe Festival 2018. As part of FUEL, she will develop a new, dark comedy about friendships, emotional abuse and kleptomania.
2017 - 2018
Mairéad is a bilingual freelance theatre practitioner and founded No Ropes Theatre company in 2005. No Ropes has recently produced Wasted (Irish Premiere) by Kate Tempest and The Open Couple by Dario Fo. Mairéad is a recipient of Arts and Disability Ireland Connect Scheme 2017.
During her FUEL residency, Mairéad will retell the Little Mermaid through the lens of landscape and feminism, working with YA author, Deirdre Sullivan.
Sarah O’Toole trained as an actor at Galway Youth Theatre and the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin, and as a theatre director at Middlesex University in London, Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in Moscow (GITIS) and ISI, Denpasar in Bali. She teaches drama at NUIG and has run Galway Actors Workshop since 2008.
Taking inspiration from The Mountaineer as Artist, by George Mallory, Sarah will develop a one-woman show based around mountaineering in both a historical and metaphorical context.
James trained in physical theatre at LISPA in London and the ATP in Berlin. He was a core member of the alt-drag troupe The LipSinkers in London for 3 years, touring and performing extensively. He has been on stage with the ENO and the Vaults London, Absurda Comica in Berlin and has worked in choreography, devised theatre and children's theatre on both sides of the pond.
James will work with musician Anna Mullarkey during his FUEL residency, developing a buffoon theatre piece examining the idea of charity and what a helping hand can mean.
Sweet About Me
Jacinta is an actor, playwright and theatre maker originally from Dublin, living in Co.Clare. She co-wrote and co-starred in box office hit, Waiting for IKEA ,which toured Ireland, England and New York and I'm not ADHD, I'm BOLD! which won The Bewley’s Little Gem Award in The Dublin Fringe Festival, 2012.
During her FUEL residency, Jacinta will develop a show about society's relationship with food, from binging to dieting to eating disorders.
2016 - 2017
Head Up, Annie
Andrea is a Mayo actress and theatre maker with a B.A (hons) degree in Performing Arts and Theatre Studies from the University of Wales.
Her most recent acting credits include: Clara in Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw, directed by Liam Halligan for Smock Alley Theatre (summer 2016), Laura in Yes by Colette Cullen (Home You Go Productions 2016), Evelyn in Daughters of the Revolution by Kate Harris (4elements Theatre Company 2016), Ali in the Stewart Parker Nominated Wrapped by Tracy Martin (Red Bear Productions 2014-15) & the award winning It folds (Broken Talkers & junk ensemble) at the Peacock Theatre, (Dublin Fringe 2015).
She is the co-founder of Maylin Productions and has performed in several of their shows including, 60 minutes in Dublin Vol 1 & 2, (2013/2015) Unconditional (2015) Neighbours (2013), The Dead Woman’s Son (2012) & Men are from Stoneybatter, Women from Phibsboro (2010-2012).
In 2014, Andrea was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie Bursary from Mayo CC. During 2014 she also worked with Fishamble: The New Play Company as company production assistant and assisted on all their shows that year. She is a qualified drama facilitator having completed N.A.Y.D’s drama facilitation training and since qualifying she has worked with numerous different types of groups nationwide over the last few years.
Head Up Annie received development funding from the Arts Council Project Fund 2016.
Little John Nee
Little John Nee is a writer/performer based in Co. Galway in the west of Ireland. A prolific creator of work for theatre he was recently elected to Aosdána (established by the Irish Arts Council in 1981 to honour artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland.
His style of storytelling theatre with music has won him international recognition and his play “Sparkplug” won an Irish Times Theatre Award for his sound design while the RTE radio version won a Special Mention Prize at the Prix Italia 2013. He has recently published a book of Haiku The Apocalypse came on a Friday and previously his A Donegal Trilogy was published by An Grianán Theatre. He has released an album of songs from his theatre shows recorded with The Caledonia Highly strung Orchestra, Songs from the Lough Swilly Delta
Little John Nee has been commissioned to write plays for Barabbas Theatre Company, Axis Ballymun, Scottish Touring Theatre Consortium, An Grianán Theatre, Earagail Arts Festival, Donegal Co. Council, Leitrim Co. Council, children’s plays for Galway Arts Festival and a radio play for RTÉ Radio Drama on One.
Radio Rosario premiered at the Mick Lally Theatre in 2017 and went on to Axis Theatre as part of Dublin Theatre Festival.
Wildebeest Theatre Company announced itself as a major creative force in theatre with ON THE WIRE, a haunting site specific production. Wildebeest colloborated with Terry O’Donovan (Dante or Die) to create ON THE WIRE which was nominated for Best Production at The Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2015. The work highlighted the company’s core principle: to create new & diverse work through a distinctive collaborative approach in unusual spaces.
In 2015 Wildebeest produced SEPARATION directed by Shane Whisker in Limerick’s Park Kiosk in association with Limerick City and County Council’s Park Kiosk Project and Fishamble’s New Play Clinic. Earlier works include TAN, a play about two girls getting ready for a night out & A DIFFERENT ANIMAL, a mysterious encounter written by Meadhbh Haiceid, both were part funded by Limerick Arts Office.
Wildebeest Theatre Company is based in Limerick city with Marie Boylan (pictured) as Artistic Director. Boylan is a graduate of Drama and Theatre Studies, Trinity College Dublin and has also been working as a freelance theatre artist in Limerick since 2010.
The Dinner Party
Liam is from Limerick. His plays include A Talent for Lying (Brighton Fringe, Camden Fringe, Dublin, Limerick) Alya: Falling (Collaborations, Dublin/Belltable, Limerick) and the radio play This Night (various Irish radio stations), among others.
Liam studied at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating in 2012. He also studied Drama and English at UC Berkeley, California. He started acting as a child with the Island Theatre Company in Our Town and has gone on to perform with many companies in Ireland, the UK, the USA and in Spain.
He co-founded Octopus Soup Theatre in 2013. He has worked as a drama teacher and as a facilitator with various schools and organisations both in Ireland and abroad. He currently works at the Ark, a cultural centre for children in Temple Bar and has recently taken part in The Next Stage Programme at the Dublin Theatre Festival. He writes about theatre for A Younger Theatre and Broadway Baby. When not talking about himself in the third person he spends his time pondering the difference between an “aspiring writer” and “an emerging writer” as he works as an occasional barman.
Artist name: Fionnuala Gygax
Project name: Hostel 16
Describe your project: Hostel 16 is an examination and interrogation of the Direct Provision system in Ireland and the conditions in which asylum seekers are expected to live in. Our project is theatrical and political, based on a play written by me, Seekers, which follows the stories of asylum seekers living in Direct Provision. The play focuses on the lack of privacy and claustrophobia within the world of the hostel, as well as boredom, depression, lack of independence, sexual frustration and abuse. Hostel 16 will incorporate elements of this script and also include new devised material based on further research and fresh discussions in the rehearsal room.
Hostel 16 went on to be produced at Dublin Fringe Festival and was nominated for a Stewart Parker Award.
The Inside Turn
Artist name: Martin Maguire
Project name: The Inside Turn
Describe your project: Unable to accept his shattered new identity, Toddledgy James escapes on an exhilarating journey through his past; when dance fed his soul and he still knew his mind. As his mother always said “if you loose the head the body is no good”. The Inside Turn, a physical rollercoaster, brim full of humor & poignancy.
My Poet Dark and Slender
Artist name: Róisín Stack
Project name: My Poet, Dark & Slender
Describe your project: I read a beautiful English translation of a Padraig O’Conaire story, M’fhile Caol Dubh, and wanted to adapt it for the stage. It’s a story about a woman who has an affair with a poet who is not all that he seems, so there’s a real air of suspicion, passion and tension that lends itself to a good show, but having said that I don’t just want to put this story on stage as it is, I want to pull it apart a bit and find an interesting, theatrical way of telling it.
My Poet Dark and Slender went on to full production in Galway Theatre Festival 2016.
TheatreRoom began in a living room and extended to the Town Hall Studio. The idea is simple: writers pitch their ideas to a room full of directors and actors. Companies are formed, a play is written and rehearsed in time for the next Theatre Room event. Each event features lots of short plays, with actors, writers and directors changing roles. TheatreRoom has taken place in houses, theatres and even shops.
Thereisbear! are a Galway-based theatre company. They were awarded the inaugural FUEL residency for 2014 and developed a new production, No Show.
Set around a big prestigious showband competition in January 1970, on a dancehall stage accompanied by a live band, No Show is a gripping journey through a dazzling period of Irish pop history.