Following recent auditions at the Nerve Centre, the Seamus Heaney Homeplace, Bellaghy, and Queen’s University Belfast, 21 acts have been selected to be part of the prestigious creative arts initiative. With 34 participants in total, this includes 18 inspiring individuals, one ensemble of eight actors and one collective of five singer-songwriters. Three promising playwrights are in the running for the 21st place.
Over the summer, the artists will work with a distinguished range of mentors from Northern Ireland including dramatists Rosemary Jenkinson and Owen McCafferty, composer Neil Martin, music producer Declan Legge, photographer Paola Bernadelli, film-maker Ross White, choreographer Eileen McClory and poets Micheál McCann and Nandi Jola.
The programme will run throughout summer 2021, beginning with a street dance workshop with Robby Graham, the Omagh-born artistic director of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Southpaw Dance Company. It will also include a residential workshop in Armagh for the poets, as well as separate development weeks for the songwriters, the contemporary dancers, the dramatists and actors.
The programme will culminate in the artists and mentors coming together to share their work at the Lyric Theatre and Ulster Hall in early September.