We are delighted to be participating for the first time as a host organisation for two artists taking part in the wonderful Gap Day initiative.
Gap Day is a micro-residency that gives theatre artists the opportunity to dive into the creative thinking they have put on the long finger. Participants are hosted by arts centres and venues close to their homes for one or two days and given a small bursary for their time, freeing them up to think, plan and dream.
Gap Day is an initiative by Lian Bell, in collaboration with Mermaid Arts Centre and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.
We wanted to highlight the two artists who will enjoy a Gap Day at The Ark this year. We look forward to welcoming Jane Madden in late September and Sarah Foley in early October.
Jane Madden (writer)
Jane is a Dublin-based playwright and founder of Eccles Theatre Group, which makes irreverent, colourful comedies for all ages. Jane studied English and Theatre Studies in Trinity College Dublin from 2005-2009 and graduated from The Lir Academy with an MFA in Playwriting in 2015. Jane's first play with Eccles Theatre Group was The Windstealers, a modern Irish satire about Irish national character and corruption. Supported by Fishamble Theatre, it debuted at Smock Alley in Dublin Fringe Festival 2015, was awarded four stars in The Irish Times, programmed in Irish Rep Theatre’s 2015 Reading Series in NYC and published by Oberon Press’ compendium, Fresh Cuts.
Eccles Theatre Group's second show was Birdy, which debuted at the Peacock in Fringe Kids in Dublin Fringe Festival 2017 and was awarded four stars by The Irish Times. It was nominated for the Spirit of the Fringe award and won Best Ensemble. Jane also teaches theatre and creative writing to primary and secondary school children with the Centre for the Talented Youth of Ireland, and Fighting Words.
In 2018, Jane was selected to take part in the Home Lab in Edinburgh as part of PUSH+, a 3-year Creative Europe co-operation project led by Imaginate (Scotland) alongside The Ark (Ireland), Aaben Dans (Denmark), Krokusfestival (Belgium), Scenekunstbruket (Norway), and associate partner Bangkok International Children's Festival (Thailand).
Sarah Foley (designer)
Sarah is a Costume and Set Designer based in Dublin. She a MFA in Stage Design from The Lir Academy and a Degree in Fashion Design from WWSOTA.
Since graduating, Sarah has designed different types of theatre including documentary, theatre for children, period pieces and socially challenging work. She loves working in close collaboration with a team, sharing ideas, and during rehearsals is in constant conversation with the actors and team teasing out the character, what drives them.
Sarah puts all of these puzzle pieces together to design a subtle costume, that serves the show, helps the actor better embody their role, and leaves clues for the audience to give a deeper understanding of the work.
The Ark hopes to continue to act as a Gap Day host in the future. Our thanks to Lian Bell for creating this project and giving us the chance to part of it.
If you are curious to know more about Gap Day and how to apply, you can find more information here.