2021 Theatre Artist in Residence at Garter Lane : Deirdre Dwyer


Thanks to the support of the Arts Council and Waterford City and County Council Arts Office Deirdre Dwyer will continue to be the Theatre Artist in Residence in Garter Lane throughout 2021.

A huge part of Deirdre’s residency last year was the creation of The Snow Queen 2020, an audio drama with a posted illustrated pack. This sell-out venture entertained children in classrooms and homes across the island of Ireland and beyond last winter. Inspired by the success of The Snow Queen 2020 Deirdre, supported by the residency, will create another audio drama with originally posted illustrations. This sequel will explore the story of Mattie, the Little Robber Girl, a favorite character from The Snow Queen 2020.

Deirdre also secured an additional bursary from the Arts Council to investigate how the audience received The Snow Queen 2020 and is excited to be in a position to implement these findings into the new play. It will land in the Autumn 2021 and Deirdre says “we have learned from last year and we will be increasing the capacity but I do recommend early booking to ensure you snag one of the exclusive posted packs that will accompany this brand new audio drama” She was also successful in obtaining the support of the Art Links programme to support a trio of streamed rehearsed readings for Spróg 2021 with local performers and a musician collaborating to tell some tales to children.

In 2020, supported by the residency, Deirdre was able to bring together six artists based in the South East who were interested in making work for children. Through this two-week Incubator programme representatives from the Ark, Baboró and the Arts Council engaged with the participants who met theatre companies making theatre for children alongside independent artists working in the area. This online programme brought the artists into conversation and information sharing as they collaborated in creating online content for children for Spróg 2020, Garter Lane’s annual festival for Children. In 2021 Deirdre hopes to continue this investment in the local community by hosting two-weekend workshops for local theatre-makers. The first weekend will be with Veronica Coburn, in advance of Spróg 2021, focusing on participation and play in theatre-making. Later in the year Theatre Lovett will host a mini version of their Playing for your Audience workshops. (More info on how to apply to participate will be available on Garter Lane’s website shortly)

For Deirdre, the residency has been an incredible way to reintroduce herself to the local theatre-making scene. She says, “In one of the most difficult years to be an artist this residency has kept me creatively afloat. The support of Garter Lane, their help, guidance, and advice in the face of such major change has been invaluable. This support facilitated me to create new work and to reimagine plans which in turn made this an artistically fruitful period for me. Covid forced me to rethink some elements of my practice but it has also reinforced why I hold other elements so dear and I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to expand my practice further in 2021 with the support of the Arts Centre, The Arts Council, Art Links, and Waterford City and County Council.”