Master class in playwriting at twentyfifth Autumn Gathering

To mark the 25th anniversary of the annual Lady Gregory-Yeats Autumn Gathering at Coole Park and Thoor Ballylee, playwright Marina Carr, and academic Melissa Sihra, will conduct a playwriting workshop at Thoor Ballylee.

This unique workshop will take place in The Studio at Thoor Ballylee on Friday September 27 from 2pm to 5pm. Playwrights are invited to submit a one-page monologue in advance and places are limited.

Marina Carr is one of Ireland’s leading playwrights. Her plays, which have been produced around the world, include Ullaloo, 1989; The Mai, 1994; Portia Coughlan, 1996; By The Bog Of Cats, 1998; Woman and Scarecrow, 2004; The Cordelia Dream, 2006; Marble,2007; and 16 Possible Glimpses, 2009, along with two plays for children, Meat and Salt, 2003, and The Giant Blue Hand, 2004.

Dr Melissa Sihra is Head of Drama at Trinity College Dublin and Assistant Professor of Drama. Her monograph, Marina Carr: Pastures of the Unknown, was published in 2018 by Palgrave Macmillan. She is also the editor of Women in Irish Drama: A Century of Authorship and Representation (Palgrave Macmillan ). She was president of the Irish Society for Theatre Research from 2011 to 2015 and will chair this 25th Lady Gregory-Yeats Autumn Gathering.

In Coole Park, Lady Gregory provided the space and support needed by the literary giants of the time to shape the nation’s artistic and literary response to the Rising, e.g. Yeats’ Easter 1916 poem.

The prominent role of Lady Gregory in the theatrical, poetic and cultural life of the period is celebrated amidst the rich and unrivalled landscape of the trees and beauty of south Galway every year.

The Gathering includes lectures, discussions, theatre in Thoor Ballylee, social events, a guided walk through Coole Park woods and visits of local interest.

Within Coole Park’s historic walled garden, sits the famous ‘autograph tree’ where world-renowned authors such as Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, John Millington Synge and George Moore, carved their initials, marking Coole Park as the centre of the Irish Literary Revival in the 20th century.

Speakers include Dr Nicholas Grene, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, Trinity College Dublin , will discuss Lady Gregory and W.B.Yeats: Patronage and Friendship; Lucy McDiarmid, Marie Frazee-Baldassarre Professor of English, Montclair State University, will exploreWomen, Anxiety, and Resistance in Fairy Legends Collected by Lady Gregory; Anthony Roche, Professor Emeritus School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin, will share Lady Gregory 1908-1910: The Making of a Drama; Lelia Doolan, Yeats Thoor Ballylee member and former Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, will honour Other Women Pioneers at the Abbey;

Dr Cecily O’Neill, author and international authority on Drama Education and Theatre, will present Augusta in America – Lady Gregory finds a new audience, a new voice and a fresh sphere of influence in the New World; and Lady Gregory’s great, great grandson, Robin Murray-Brown, will cut the famous Gort Barm Brack to formally open the Gathering!

The Wild Swans Theatre Group will present a one-act play, Lady Gregory’s Ingredients on Sunday at 2.30pm in Thoor Ballylee. Participants can continue to enjoy the Open Forum discussion, plus entertainment and the Candlelit Dinner on Saturday.- For further information and booking, contact Marion Cox, 1 Kiltiernan East, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway. email: [email protected] and Tel: 086-8053917.


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