Irish Dramatists in Conversation: the 2013 Synge Summer School


Irish Dramatists in Conversation: the 2013 Synge Summer School
27-30 June 2013, Rathdrum Co Wicklow, Ireland.
Applications now being accepted on (student rates available)
Featuring: Dermot Bolger, Stuart Carolan, Marina Carr, Declan Hughes, Deirdre Kinahan, Owen McCafferty, Mark O’Rowe, and Enda Walsh.
Directed by Patrick Lonergan

This year’s Synge Summer School gathers together many of Ireland’s leading dramatists in a special event that will assess the current state of Irish drama. As Irish theatre becomes increasingly dominated by adaptations and devised work – and as opportunities for playwrights seem to recede – we ask what role the Irish play has in our culture today.

Along the way, we’ll also discuss other important issues. How do Irish dramtists approach their writing? As more Irish playwrights move into television and film, how is such work affecting their writing for the stage? And how do Irish writers influence each other?

We’ll be hearing from many important writers, including Dermot Bolger, Stuart Carolan, Marina Carr, Declan Hughes, Deirdre Kinahan, Owen McCafferty, Mark O’Rowe, and Enda Walsh.

As ever, the Synge Summer School provides an opportunity for people from all over the world to gather together in Rathdrum for a relaxing and stimulating weekend of activities. The event promises to be lively, but we will also be making time for social activities, including a tour of Avondale House and Forest Park. There will be a public poetry reading by Rita Ann Higgins, and a visit to the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray to see a reading of a new play by Colin Murphy (well known for his theatre articles in The Irish Independent).

We look forward to welcoming you to Wicklow for what promises to be a great event!

Correct as of 11 March 2013, but may be subject to change.

Thursday 27 June 2013

15.15: Opening of School.
15.30 – 16.45 – Deirdre Kinahan
17.15 – 18.30 – Stuart Carolan

Friday 28 June 2013

11.30 – 13.00: Group Discussions: Irish Drama (Optional)
14.15– 15.30: Mark O’Rowe
16.00 – 17.15 Owen McCafferty
20.00 – Performance of a new Irish play from Fishamble Theatre Company, Mermaid Arts Centre Bray – Guaranteed by Colin Murphy.

Saturday 29 June

11.30 – 13.00: Group Discussions: Irish Drama (Optional)
14.15 – 15.30:  Marina Carr
16.15 – 17.30: Dermot Bolger
20.00 – Poetry Reading with Rita Ann Higgins, Brokagh Resource Centre, Laragh.

Sunday 30 June

12.15- 13.15:  Declan Hughes
13.45: 15.00: Enda Walsh

Biographical Notes

Dermot Bolger
Born in Dublin in 1959, the poet, playwright and novelist Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland’s best known writers. His firs play, The Lament for Arthur Cleary, recievecd the Samuel Beckett Award and his many plays include The Ballymun Trilogy, which captures forty years in the history of a Dublin high-rise sururb and The Parting Glass, his follow up to an early play In High Germany which has been successfully staged in many coutries. His adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses was staged in Scotalnd and Ireland last year. He is also the author of eleven novels, including, The Journey Home, A Second Life, The Valparaiso Voyage, The Family on Paradise Pier and most recently The Fall of Ireland. The author of nine volumes of poetry – most recently The Venice Suite: A Voyage Thrugh Loss, he has been playwright in association with the Abbey Theatre and last year was named Commentator of the Year award at the Irish National newspapers awards.
Stuart Carolan
Stuart Carolan is a playwright and screenwriter who started out as a producer for television and radio. Stuart’s first play, Defender of the Faith, won the George Devine award when it premiered at the Abbey Theatre in 2004, after which Stuart went on to write commissions for the London’s National Theatre and Druid Theatre. Druid produced his Empress of India in 2006. In that year, Stuart also turned to television writing, winning an IFTA nomination for his RTE project Little White Lies. He has since worked on a number of successful series, including RTE’s fast paced kitchen drama Raw and Octagon Film’s Love/Hate, now in its third season. Stuart has won the IFTA award for Best Television Writer for three consecutive years for Love/Hate, which has now become one of Irish television’s most successful series ever.

Marina Carr
Brought up in County Offaly, Marina Carr graduated from University College Dublin in 1987 with a degree in English and Philosophy. Her plays include The Cordelia Dream, Marble, 16 Possible Glimpses, On Raftery’s Hill, Portia Coughlan, By the Bog of Cats, The Mai, Low In The Dark, Woman and Scarecrow and many others. Awards include Irish Times Playwright Award 1998, The Susan Smith Blackburn Award for Portia Coughlan, Best New Irish Play at Dublin Theatre Festival 1994, The EM Foster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American/ Ireland Fund Award, The Macaulay Fellowship and The Hennessy Award. She is a member of Aosdána.

Rita Ann Higgins
Rita Ann Higgins is an internationally acclaimed poet and writer and a native of Galway.  She has published nine collections of poetry, her most recent being Ireland is Changing Mother, (Bloodaxe 2011), a memoir in prose and poetry Hurting God (Salmon 2010). She is the author of six stage plays and one screen play. She has been awarded numerous prizes and awards, among others an honorary professorship. She is a member of Aosdána.

Declan Hughes
Declan is an award-winning playwright and novelist, and the co-founder of Dublin’s Rough Magic Theatre Company. His plays include I Can’t Get Started, Digging for Fire, New Morning, Twenty Grand, Shiver, and The Last Summer. He is also the author of the Ed Loy PI series: The Wrong Kind of Blood; The Colour of Blood; The Dying Breed (US: The Price of Blood); All The Dead Voices; and City of Lost Girls. His books have been nominated for the Edgar, CWA New Blood Dagger, Shamus and Macavity awards, and The Wrong Kind of Blood won the Shamus for Best First PI Novel, and in France, the Le Point magazine award for Best European Crime Novel.
Deirdre Kinahan
Deirdre is actively involved in the Irish Theatre Scene both as playwright, Artist in residence at Solstice Arts Centre and board member of Theatre Forum Ireland.   She was a founding member and Artistic Director  of Tall Tales Theatre Co. for 15 years.Her most recent play These Halcyon Days played at Dublin Theatre Festival in 2012 and is now touring to New York, throughout Ireland and to the Edinburgh Theatre Festival with Landmark productions. It has also been nominated as best play by the Irish Times Theatre Awards.  Her play MOMENT was a major hit at the Bush Theatre in 2011 and in Chicago in 2012. Hue & Cry and BOGBOY have won critical acclaim at the First Irish Festival in New York, winning three awards and critics pick in the New York Times. Deirdre is currently under commission to Fishamble Theatre Company Dublin and BBC Radio 4.   She is also developing work with Altered Image Films UK and is co-writing her first feature film with the support of the The Irish Film Board.   She has two other plays in development and is published by Nick Hern Books.

Owen McCafferty
Owen McCafferty was born in 1961 and lives in Belfast. Over the past 20 years his plays? have been performed throughout Europe and have won many awards. His ?work includes Quietly (Abbey, Dublin); Titanic (Scenes from the? British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry, 1912 ), The Absence of Women ( Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Tricycle? Theatre, London ); Days of Wine and Roses (Donmar, London);? Closing Time (National Theatre, London); Shoot the Crow (Druid, Galway? and Prime Cut Productions, Belfast ); Mojo Mickybo( Kabosh, Belfast ); and? Scenes from the Big Picture ( National Theatre, London and Prime Cut? Productions, Belfast ), which won the Meyer-Whitworth, John Whiting and ?Evening Standard awards. He is the only playwright to win these three major ?awards in one year for the same play. Owen is an Artistic Associate of Prime? Cut Productions.

Mark O’Rowe
Mark O’Rowe is a playwright and film writer whose second play, Howie the Rookie, won the George Devine Award when it premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1999. Subsequent plays include Made in China and Terminus (2007), a series of interlocking monologues, which received rave reviews when it opened at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and on a subsequent international tour. In 2003, Mark wrote his first feature film, Intermission, which starred Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy. He went on in 2008 to adapt Jonathan Trigell’s novel, Boy A, for Cuba Pictures and Channel 4. Mark’s adaptation of Daniel Clay’s 2008 novel Broken has recently been directed by Rufus Norris (London Road) and stars Cillian Murphy and Tim Roth, and is the opening film at this year’s Dublin International Film Festival.

Enda Walsh
Enda Walsh was born in Dublin and currently lives in London. Having written for the Dublin Youth Theatre, he moved to Cork where his breakthrough came with the production of his play Disco Pigs in collaboration with director Pat Kiernan of Corcadorca. The play won three awards, including the Stewart Parker and George Devine Awards in 1997, and was made into a film, for which he wrote the screenplay, in 2001. His plays – notably Disco Pigs, Bedbound, Small Things, Chatroom, New Electric Ballroom and The Walworth Farce – have been translated into more than 20 languages and have had productions throughout Europe and in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. He co-wrote the screenplay of Hunger, which was directed by Steve McQueen and stars Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands. Walsh wrote an adaptation of his play Chatroom for a film directed by Hideo Nakata, which was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Recent work includes Penelope and an acclaimed revival of his early play, Misterman, starring Cillian Murphy. He won a Tony Award for his musical adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Once, which is currently running on Broadway, and which transfers to Dublin and London this year.

Dr Patrick Lonergan
Director, Drama Programmes,
School of Humanities
NUI Galway