Sunday, May 09, 2021

Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise

By Joe Barrett

AS part of the NASC Theatre Network, the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise will be one of the venues nationwide that will host a ten-day arts programme curated by young people across Ireland.

In a new approach to programming, 21 young curators have been engaged by the NASC venues to programme a festival of work – LASTA– for children and young people from Friday to Sunday, 11-20 June, delivering for the first time a national arts programme curated entirely by young people.

Alannah Murray, Pauline Dunne and Ruairdhí Tierney, who were selected via an open call earlier this year, will perform for the Dunamaise Arts Centre.

Alannah Murray is a jazz musician and creative producer from Mountrath, who holds an MA in arts management and creative producing from UCC. Alannah has a strong interest in multi-disciplinary practice and experimental work-in-progress projects.

Pauline Dunne is an animator and illustrator from just outside Portlaoise, who will soon graduate from Athlone Institute of Technology and works with Laois Youth Theatre and has been an usher at Dunamaise Arts Centre over the past number of years.

Ruairdhí Tierney from Ballydavis, Portlaoise is an Arts Graduate of NUI Maynooth and is currently working as a substitute teacher before he starts a professional masters in education in UCD. He also plays and teaches button accordion with his local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann and is also a member of Music Generation Laois trad orchestra.

As well as programming events especially for Dunamaise Arts Centre, Alannah, Pauline and Ruairdhí will collaborate with the other young curators across Ireland to help programme a diverse and imaginative festival of events, to be shared across the eight partner NASC venues.

Under the guidance of theatre artists Maisie Lee and Fionn Foley, the young people will work collaboratively to deliver a programme of work across the country. Featuring multiple disciplines and reflecting the diversity of modern Ireland, this pioneering project offers a unique opportunity to develop future arts programmers and producers.

For further information, see
For more information on Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, go to

Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh is brought to you by the arts council, funded by the government and produced by Schweppe Curtis Nunn.

Dunamaise Arts Centre also acknowledges the financial assistance received from the arts council, Laois Co Council and Creative Ireland Laois.

LASTA is based on an original project conceived and delivered by Backstage Theatre, Longford in 2020.

The participating NASC Network venues are Backstage (Longford), An Grianán (Letterkenny), Glór (Ennis), Siamsa Tíre (Tralee), Pavilion Theatre (Dun Laoghaire), Lime Tree (Limerick), Dunamaise (Portlaoise) and Town Hall Theatre (Galway).

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