Shaun Dunne

Shaun Dunne

Independent Artist

Shaun (he/him) is a Dublin-based theatre and film artist who merges testimony and documentary material with new writing.

A writer and director, Shaun is most interested in new work that speaks to the here and now. He would describe his practice as a stylised translation of lived experience – which often includes his own. Community participation is a huge part of Dunne’s work and he collaborates regularly with Talking Shop Ensemble.

In 2019, Shaun premiered his first short film, The First was a Boy, at Dublin International Film Festival where it was awarded the Judge’s Special Mention for Irish Short. It also received the Honorable Mention for The Grand Prix Documentary Short Award at Cork Film Festival.


In 2020, Shaun returned to DIFF with his second short film, Iarscoláire (Past Pupil). This film was awarded The Audience Choice Award for Short Film and later screened at the prestigious Galway Film Fleadh. In 2020, Shaun was awarded Best Director at Cork Film Festival for his film Dúirt Tú (you said), which was made in collaboration with Zoe Ní Riordan and One Two One Two.

Also in 2020, Shaun presented Restoration in the Space Upstairs at Project Arts Centre. Directed by Darren Thornton, the work is now being adapted into a feature film with support from Screen Ireland. Notable theatre credits include The Waste Ground Party (Abbey Theatre) and the multi-award-winning Death of the Tradesmen and Making a Mark. With One Two One Two he will return to the Abbey Theatre in 2021 with an Irish language adaptation of Carmen, called Éist Liom (Listen To Me).

Still resident at the Ark and Project Arts Centre, Shaun is the Arts Council’s Next Generation Film Artist for 2020 and is currently in pre-production on the film adaptation of his 2018 theatre show Rapids with Invisible Thread Films. Shaun is also working on new plays for Talking Shop Ensemble and Rough Magic.




★★★★
Rapids builds a skillful, shocking picture of how shame persists in isolation, how stigmas are maintained by silence and how invisibility perpetuates the problem. — The Irish Times (Rapids)

a work as involving and compassionate as Rapids could be the beginning of an antidote. — The Irish Times (Rapids)

★★★★
…the emotional payload is certainly robust enough to make an audience question it’s own behaviour long after the lights have come up. — The Irish Times (Advocacy)

A Surprising and striking piece of work that pushes the documentary form a bit further, and challenges our expectation of it. — Cork Film Festival (The First was a Boy)



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1. Shauna Higgins, Kate Stanley Brennan, Callan Cummins in Restoration by Shaun Dunne. Photo credit: Luca Trufarelli (2020)

2. Shaun Dunne in Rapids by Shaun Dunne for Talking Shop Ensemble. Photo credit: Hazel Coonagh (2019)

3. Naomi Moonveld-Nkosi and Sarah Morris in What Did I Miss? by Shaun Dunne for The Ark. Photo credit: Ros Kavanagh (2021)

Dan Colley

Dan Colley

Independent Artist

Dan (he/him) is a theatre maker with a particular focus on devised ensemble work, theatre-for-young-audiences and large-scale spectacle.

As Artistic Director of Collapsing Horse (2013-19) he directed nine original productions, created a series of ten radio plays, an exhibition in the National Museum, and toured to New York, London, Edinburgh, Bergen, Moscow, and 15 Irish venues. He was also Co-Artistic Director of the Kilkenny Cat Laughs comedy festival from 2017-19. Collapsing Horse’s final production, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings was nominated for two Irish Times Theatre Awards and four Dublin Fringe Awards, including ‘Best Production’. Dan directed and co-created TWENTY FIFTY with Fionnuala Gygax, an online interactive theatre piece part of DUETS in Dublin Fringe 2020.



★★★★★
Theatre exists for shows like this…fifty minutes of near theatrical perfection – The Arts Review (A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings)

★★★★
A model of ingenuity – The Irish Times (A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings)

Technical excellence, terrific performances, and multi-layered, intertextual references… a show not to be missed. – Sunday Business Post (The Water Orchard)




Other directing credits include, Me Michael by Tara McKevitt, and a short as part of Fourteen Voices From the Bloodied Field for the Abbey Theatre and Danse Macabre, a large-scale processional street theatre piece for Macnas.

In 2015, Dan was the Creative Producer of TWENTY FIRST the Dublin Fringe’s 21st birthday project. Dramaturgy credits include WillFredd, Sugarglass, Louise White and Macnas. Dan trained as a youth theatre facilitator with Youth Theatre Ireland and has run workshops and classes in the Lir, Trinity College Dublin, LA LGBT Center’s Homeless Youth Services, and in schools, Youth Theatres and with communities Nationally.

Dan was awarded the Arts Council’s Next Generation Bursary Award in 2016. He is Theatre Artist in Residence in the Riverbank Arts Centre, a member of the Project Arts Centre, and on the board of the Dublin Fringe Festival.

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1. Maeve O’Mahony in The Aeneid by Collapsing HorsePhoto credit: Ste Murray (2016)

2. Genevieve Hulme Beaman in A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Collapsing Horse. Photo credit: Ste Murray (2019)

3. Peter Corboy in The Water Orchard by Collapsing Horse. Photo credit: Ste Murray (2017)

Nick Nikolaou

Nick Nikolaou

Independent Artist

Nick graduated in 2020 with First Class Honours from the Masters of Arts in Contemporary Dance Performance in the University of Limerick where he got to work with choreographers such as Liz Roche, Jack Webb, Paul White and Ursula Robb.

Before his postgraduate studies, he danced with the Dublin Youth Dance Company and other companies in Ireland and Greece for Contemporary dance, Jazz, Swing and Cabaret shows. He has performed in many countries such as the UK, Sweden and Italy for various choreographers. Other past experiences include being a dancer, actor and choreographer for various short and full length films and music videos, aerial performances and drag and queer performances. He is strongly influenced by queerness and as a gender-queer person, he is significantly affected by gender and queer issues and their representation in the arts.


Nick’s latest project, The Lighting Design Project, is a collaboration between Liz Roche Company, The Lir Academy, Dance Ireland and the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick. The aim of this project is to offer a supportive and resourced environment to learn about and experiment with lighting design for dance productions.






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  1. Nick Nikolaou in Anatomy of a Night as part of the Lighting Design for Dance Project 2021 with Liz Roche Company and The Lir Academy. Photo credit: Robbie Mullins (2021)
  2. Nick Nikolaou in Anatomy of a Night as part of the Lighting Design for Dance Project 2021 with Liz Roche Company and The Lir Academy. Photo credit: Robbie Mullins (2021)
  3. Step Up 2020. Photo credit: Lucy Dawson (2020)

Origins Eile

Origins Eile

Independent Artist

Origins Eile (OE) is a curatorial collective for people of colour (QTIPOC) based in Dublin led by Karen Miano and Maïa Nunes. 

Co-founded in 2017 by artists Karen Miano and Maïa Nunes, OE is dedicated to creating space, visibility and support for Black folx and POC in Ireland with an emphasis on the safety and celebration of queer Black people. OE is an arts and community focused group that organises events, discussions, workshops and more. Rigorous and self-critical in their aspirations, OE is open to growing and expanding into whatever the community needs.

In 2020, Origins Eile ran a small program of events entitled DESTINY: A Constellation of Queer Afro Futurist Visions as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2020, and launched a new Black Queer publication called TONGUES in association with Black Pride Ireland. They are recent recipients of the Arts Council Capacity Building Award and alongside their independent creative programming and community organizing, OE is currently developing two collaborative projects; WEFT, a series of events dedicated to QTIBPOC community as part of Dublin Fringe Festival, and BALLROOM, a research project commissioned by Live Collision.






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  1. Tongues image by Sal Stapleton.
  2. Poster for Destiny by Gesiye Souza Okpofabri.
  3. Poster for Panel Discussion by Gesiye Souza Okpofabri.

Robyn Byrne

Robyn Byrne

Independent Artist

Robyn is an interdisciplinary choreographer and performer, working across dance, theatre, film and spectacle.

Robyn is a contemporary dancer, maker and teacher based in the Midlands. She holds a First Class Hons, BPA Degree from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and was awarded the Carolyn Woolridge Outstanding Performer of the Year on graduating. She continued studying at NSCD, obtaining her Postgraduate Diploma in 2015.

In her final year of study she joined Verve dance company touring works by Theo Clinkard, Kerry Nicholls and Luca Silvestrini (Protein Dance) throughout the UK/Europe. Since graduating Robyn has worked with Plan B Dance, Emma Martin/United Fall (2018 – present) Irish National Opera, Jamaal Burkmar Dance/Extended Play, Iseli-Chiodi Dance Company (2019 – present) and Jessica Dessner.

In 2020 Robyn began research on her own work, O before I. During this time she created a documentary which has been selected for official screenings at Fastnet Film Festival 2021 and Europa Film Festival, Spain. Recently Robyn performed and choreographed Ériu’s Threshold, a film funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht for Body & Soul Festival. Upcoming 2021 projects include Glimmer, supported by Dublin Theatre Festival’s Futures programme, and Heat Sink, a collaborative project supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.



It’s their story and without claiming to make a huge statement, they are tapping into something for all of us — Gitta Wigro, Screen Dance Programmer, Leeds Intl. Film Festival (O before I)








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1. Film Still of Robyn Byrne in Éiru’s Threshold, choreography by Robyn Byrne and directed by Mia Mullarkey (2021).

2. Film Still of Robyn Byrne in Modern Love, directed by Gareth Byrne (2021).

3. Robyn Byrne in Glimmer (work-in-progress) by Robyn Byrne and Rachel Ní Bhraonáin. Photo credit: Shane Vaughan (2021)

Emer Heatley

Emer Heatley

Independent Artist

Emer is an actor and writer based in Bath, UK. She is interested in merging the mundane and the magical, with work that lifts recognisable experiences onto a fantastical plane, often influenced by or incorporating pre-existing texts.

As a writer Emer has collaborated on works which have toured to Electric Picnic and Life Festival, as well as several specially commissioned pieces for Body & Soul. Emer’s contemporary adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s classic The Secret Garden was selected for the Irish Student Drama Festival in Galway. The rights to the script were then purchased by Dublin Academy of Dramatic Art for a performance at The Civic Theatre, Tallaght in May 2017. Following this she developed Shelf for Scene & Heard Festival at Smock Alley Theatre. Whilst training at BOVTS she co-wrote The Two of Us, which was developed with the support of the John Thaw Initiative, and performed in 2019 at The Actors Centre in London.



In 2019 Emer graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where she was presented the Doris Dibden Award for Exceptional Flair in Performance in her final year. Emer also holds a First Class BA Hons degree in English Literature and Drama Studies from Trinity College, Dublin. 

Emer is currently shooting a supporting role in a new original drama series for the BBC. Other upcoming 2021 projects include I Feel You Apart From Me, an aural storytelling show inspired by Penelope’s story from The Odyssey, which she is developing alongside her company, Lark.



Jonathan Oldfield and Emer Heatley’s graduate show is beyond funny. It felt organic, as if each performance would be different – what could be better?… These two performers are graduates to watch. — Theatre Reviews UK (The Two of Us)



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1. Emer Heatley in Shelf by Emer Heatley & Will Penswick. Photo credit: Cillian Byrne (2018)

2. Emer Heatley in Let The Right One In, directed by Marcus Romer. Photo credit: Mark Dawson (2019)

Murmuration

Murmuration

Independent Artist

Murmuration is a Dublin-based collective of theatre artists, making live, narrative sound installations in unconventional spaces. Their work is all about big-hearted close listening.

Murmuration’s work seeks to reposition audiences in relation to their surroundings, creating vivid imaginary worlds. They have performed in bars, shopfronts, glass-walled galleries and public squares, without physically augmenting any of those spaces; aiming to find the extraordinary in ordinary and unlikely locations. The collective believe this approach to be particularly urgent now, when cultural spaces seem to be shrinking and becoming less accessible.

Murmuration formed in 2018 to present Summertime at Dublin Fringe Festival where it was nominated for a Judges Choice Award. In 2019, the production was shown at Drogheda Arts Festival and at the Abbey Young Curators’ Festival. In 2020 their second production, Will I See You There, premiered at Dublin Fringe Festival and they presented so close i noticed my breath on the glass as part of Corcadorca’s SHOWonline.



★★★★
…their interaction is thrilling in Jennifer O’Malley’s innovative, subtle and technically assured audio sound design and composition. — The Irish Times

★★★★
Murmuration knows that in art, no less than in life, eavesdropping is a way to pick up on what we miss. Digging through the layers of this touching reunion, we discover a crushing misconnection, a cry for help that was made but quickly got lost in the Dublin din. — Musings in Intermissions

…a small story with a big heart built around a brave and brilliant premise: tell a story to a private audience from a public space. — The Arts Review





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1. Danielle Galligan in Summertime by Murmuration. Photo credit: Jenny Matthews (2018)

2. Danielle Galligan and Finbarr Doyle in Summertime, by Murmuration. Photo credit: Dara O Cairbre (2018)

3. Danielle Galligan and Finbarr Doyle in Will I See You There by Murmuration. Photo credit: Anthony O’Connor (2020)

Louise White

Louise White

Independent Artist

Louise (she/her) makes collaborative and inter-disciplinary performances for contemporary arts venues and offsite locations.

Louise works with real people, stories and events in order to explore societal issues and aims to ask the audience questions about accountability and the world around.

Her works of note include: This is the Funeral of Your Life (6 venue National Tour, 2019 & Project Arts Centre, 2017), Mother You (large scale performance for 11,000 sq ft commercial unit, 2015), Way Back Home (winner of Spirit of the Fringe, Dublin Fringe 2013), From the Heart (nominated for Spirit of the Fringe, Best Off-Site & Best Design, Dublin Fringe 2010).

Louise is also a facilitator and educator. She trained at The Oxford School of Drama and Trinity College Dublin, and she has an MA in Socially Engaged Art from NCAD. She has worked with Laois Youth Theatre, Mountrath Youth Theatre, Dublin Youth Theatre, The National Women’s Council of Ireland, The SAOL Project, The Abbeyleix Bog Project, The Lantern Centre’s International Women’s Group and is the current Vice Chair of the board of Dunamaise Arts Centre.





★★★★
An unexpectedly funny and uplifting play about your own death. This is elegant, dignified, skillfully put together by White. — The Irish Times (This is the Funeral of Your Life)

The scale of this event is one of the most fascinating things about it… It is a story that deals with community and realising what is important and worth fighting for… It is events like this that make Fringe special. The vision, scope, and creativity on display make it a charming event. — Nomoreworkhorse.com (Mother You)

The form of her absorbing show follows it’s material, guided by a heartfelt sense of empathy for a directionless society in search of new structures…White’s interest is something warmer: the hope and resilience necessary to find our way again. — The Irish Times (Way Back Home)





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1. Simon Boyle, Kate Nic Chonaonaigh, Cuán White in Way Back Home by Louise White. Photo credit: Emilia Krysztofiak (2013)

2. Jo Kelly, Jane Deasy, Carmel Ennis, Will O’Connell in Mother You by Louise White. Photo credit: Emilia Krysztofiak (2015)

3. Philip Connaughton in This Is The Funeral of Your Life by Louise White. Photo credit: Emilia Krysztofiak (2017)

Run of the Mill Theatre

Run of the Mill Theatre

Independent Artist

Run of the Mill Theatre is an inclusive artistic collective based in North Kildare which is coordinated by freelance theatre artist and facilitator Aisling Byrne.

Run of the Mill Theatre is committed to supporting people with intellectual disabilities to access the theatre arts as makers, artists, participants and audiences. They strive to make work of high artistic quality that is entertaining, important, original, and visible in their community.

Run of the Mill is driven by the desire to grow a sustainable hub of inclusive creativity in their own community and create opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to high-quality access training and opportunities in theatre arts.

The company collaborates using the techniques of devised theatre to make work that gives voice to the lived experiences of their participants. They believe that people with intellectual disabilities are underrepresented in the arts and on our stages. They aim to redress that imbalance by making work that puts the stories and ideas of their participants front and centre.






People are waking up to the idea that diversity makes for really interesting art. – TheJournal.ie (Run of the Mill at Culture Night 2020)



Run of the Mill recognises that people with disabilities have an incredibly valuable contribution to make to the cultural and artistic life of their community and the wider country. They champion the rights of their participants to be involved in theatre arts, and lobby for increased access for people with disabilities to the arts in all capacities as audience members, participants, artists and paid professionals. The company works towards making the landscape of arts practice in Ireland a more inclusive one.





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1. Mark Smith in Making a Mark by Shaun Dunne for Run of the Mill Theatre. Photo credit: Luca Trufarelli (2019)

2. Mark Smith in Making a Mark by Shaun Dunne for Run of the Mill Theatre. Photo credit: Luca Trufarelli (2019)

3. Lauren Larkin, Ella Jane Moore and members of the Run of the Mill in Singing for Survival by Aisling Byrne for Run of the Mill Theatre. Photo credit: Fenna von Hirschheydt (2019)

Talking Shop Ensemble

Talking Shop Ensemble

Independent Artist

Talking Shop Ensemble are a Dublin based theatre collective who are interested in making work that speaks to the here and now.

The company consists of theatre artists Aisling Byrne, Lisa Walsh and Shaun Dunne. Their shared desire to create work that is playful, pertinent and, most importantly, urgent has resulted in critical acclaim, support from the Arts Council and several awards over the years.

The company has collaborated to create art that talks about intellectual disability service provision in Ireland, unemployed tradesmen in their fifties, psychic mediums in Dublin, and generation emigration.

Their multi-award winning work includes Rapids, Advocacy, Death of the Tradesmen, and I am a Homebird (It’s very hard). Most recently, TSE completed a critically acclaimed initial production of Making A Mark — a documentary style, autobiographical piece that places the voice and lived experience of an artist with an intellectual disability front and centre stage — as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2019.





★★★★

Rapids builds a skillful, shocking picture of how shame persists in isolation, how stigmas are maintained by silence and how invisibility perpetuates the problem.

a work as involving and compassionate as Rapids could be the beginning of an antidote.

– The Irish Times



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1. Aisling Byrne in Making a Mark by Shaun Dunne. Photo credit: Luca Trufarelli (2019)

2. Shaun Dunne and Lauren Larkin in Rapids by Shaun Dunne. Photo credit: Hazel Coonagh (2019)

3. Mark Smith and Aisling Byrne in Making a Mark by Shaun Dunne. Photo credit: Luca Trufarelli (2019)