FUEL assists artists in the development of new work over a nine-month programme.
The 2020/2021 selected FUEL artists are Stephanie Dufresne, Miriam Needham, Emma O'Grady and Sinéad Sexton.
Stephanie Dufresne is a dancer, actor, and choreographer from Kinvara, County Galway. She received her BA in Dance from the Rotterdam Dance Academy and graduated from the two-year full-time programme for Screen-Acting in Bow Street. Stephanie enjoys combining her skills in acting and dance for a myriad of different companies including Irish National Opera, Emma Martin/United Fall, Junk Ensemble, Protein Dance and Marguerite Donlon/Step Up 2013. Stephanie's own choreographic work is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Dance Ireland and Galway Dance Project.
In 2018 Stephanie discovered the poetry of Dani Gill, specifically her first anthology of poems, After Love. Stephanie was taken by the searing honesty of Dani's poetry and had been interested in making a piece about the end of relationships, grief, loss, and transcendence. In 2018 Stephanie received an arts council bursary to research dance in conjunction with Dani's poetry and during her FUEL residency Stephanie will craft After Love into a show alongside Dani and director Laura Sheeran.
Miriam Needham is an actor, writer and theatre-maker based in Sligo. Recent projects include Compostela (Dublin Fringe Festival), The Schooldays of Thaddeus K (Blue Raincoat), and Alice in Wonderland (Blue Raincoat). She trained in physical theatre at Lecoq, Paris (2012-2014). She works regularly as a voice-over artist, and can be heard on TG4 as the voice of Dot in DOT and Owelette in PJ Masks.
During FUEL, Miriam will develop Cluttering, a play about waste and obsolescence. She will examine the action of decluttering, and explore how our treatment of objects affects our treatment of people. Cluttering is a play about trying to out-run our own rubbish as it piles up behind us.
Emma O'Grady is a Galway-based theatre artist, writer, actor and production manager. She collaborates with people to create theatre, film, events and art works inspired by true events, real lives and shared histories. She was co-director of Mephisto Theatre with Caroline Lynch 2006-2014. Her first play What Good is Looking Well When You're Rotten on the Inside? was produced to critical acclaim in 2017 and continues to tour. In 2020 she created a documentary web-series Mad, Bad & Dangerous: A Celebration of Difficult Women with Copper Alley, Dublin Fringe and Age & Opportunity's Bealtaine Festival.
During FUEL, Emma will focus on writing and developing a new piece of theatre called Dear Writer, Dear Actress based on the lives and performances of famous theatre actresses and the male writers they were muses for. Using biographies of Olga Knipper, Molly Allgood, Ellen Terry and Eleanora Duse she will explore the differences between how men and women experience working in the professional arts, and how the ephemeral nature of theatre performance - compared to the dramatist's pen and ink - is a blessing and curse.
Sinéad Sexton is a performance artist and theatre practitioner based in Sligo, who is about to complete a Masters of Arts in Drama and Performance at Sligo IT. Sinéad’s work focuses on identity, the mystical, re-enactment and memory. With play and exploration, Sinéad mixes old and new, and presents her work through archived material, music, mixed media, and spoken word in her performances
During FUEL, Sinéad will develop Gazelle: A Story of Eva Gore-Booth, a solo performance exploring Eva’s true voice. The play questions why such a prolific writer fails to be remembered on the same level as her peers. With the themes of place, feminism and queer identity, Sinéad will explore her own connection with Eva, along with how she was viewed by those closest to her.