DUNAMAISE Arts Centre in Portlaoise recently launched a virtual thread ‘Dunamaise on Air’, featuring lots of wonderful arts events on video and podcast to enjoy from the comfort of home.
One of the threads called A Word in Your Ear features a series of plays by local playwrights, devised under the mentorship of Laois writer in residence David Butler.
Six plays, which were written by Colette Wrafter, Dan Hyland, Joe Murphy, Frances Harney, Sheelagh Coyle and David Corri, are now available to listen to on media platforms such as Spotify, iTunes and on the arts centre’s podcast channel dunamaiseonair.podbean.com/
Funded by Creative Ireland Laois, Laois County Council and the Arts Council, the ‘Word in Your Ear’ podcasts were recorded on the Dunamaise stage in December 2020. Locally-based drama group members were invited to put together and develop short, 15-minute plays which were prepared over a number of weeks.
The plan was to perform the plays on stage for audiences but, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the decision was made to prepare them for podcasting.
Michelle de Forge, Director of Dunamaise Arts Centre, said: “The Creative Ireland Laois funding commitment was so valuable in supporting the writers, even at a distance and we were glad to link them with our audiences and creative participants.
“The writers and actors adapted brilliantly to online mentoring and rehearsals. Online streaming is very new to us at Dunamaise but it was actually a really fun experience to have the participants come in for audio recordings last December.
“While nothing replaces the energy exchanged between a company of actors on stage and a live audience gasping, laughing or tearing up in unison at live theatre, we’re so glad to have this means of connecting our wonderful creative talent in Laois with our well-loved and heartily-missed audience members.
“We are grateful to our funders Creative Ireland Laois, Laois County Council and the Arts Council; to writer in residence David Butler; to the playwrights and actors and to the Dunamaise team for bringing the podcasts to life in ‘Dunamaise on Air.”
The theme music for A Word in Your Ear was composed, played and recorded by Ballyfin native Pianoman Tom. For more details, see dunamaise.ie or search for ‘Dunamaise on Air’ on www.podbean.com or wherever you find your favourite podcasts.