Gap Day Programme 2017
19 January 2017
The Gap Day participants for 2017 are: Zoe Ní Ríordain, Velma O’Donoghue Greene, Sarah Gordon, Shane O’Reilly, Treasa Nealon, Philip St John, Patricia Downey, Neasa O’Callaghan, Michelle McMahon, Deirdre Dwyer, Jonathan Bailie, Rosemary Jenkinson, Fionnuala Gygax, John D Ruddy, Janet Moran, Róise Goan, Sinéad Wallace, Pamela McQueen, Sinéad Cormack, Noelle Brown, Noni Stapleton, Tom Lane, Liam McCarthy, Jacinta Sheerin, Eoghan Carrick, Dee Roycroft, Nicholas Kavanagh, Cathal McGuire, Anna Newell, David Butler, Áine O’Hara, Anthony Keigher, and Conall Ó Riain.
Gap Day - An initiative by Lian Bell and Mermaid Arts Centre
In the early months of 2017, 33 independent theatre-makers across 13 counties will be given paid time and space to do the creative thinking and planning that is often impossible for freelance workers to carve out. The Gap Day programme is a unique opportunity for artists across the island to spend a day or two developing creative ideas, and has been facilitated by Lian Bell and the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray since 2016. With access to a room in a creative space local to them, the participants are free to devote their Gap Day to reading, writing, thinking, drawing, planning, walking, or dreaming – whatever they need.
Whether working to make ends meet or squeezing in creative time at the kitchen table, space to work and space to dream is too often the scarcest commodity available to freelance theatre-makers. The fact is that directors, devisers, dramaturgs, designers, production managers and creative producers working independently all across the country need both physical space and dedicated time to bring the seeds of their ideas to the next level and create great work for audiences. In many industries development of ideas is highly valued and is fostered through investment. Yet, for freelance theatre-makers who are hopping relentlessly from project to project, taking unpaid time out for research and development to get their ideas off the ground seems like a luxury many cannot afford.
Through Gap Day, a project funded by the Arts Council, freelance theatre practitioners are being offered the necessary support to do just that – to take some rare time out, in order to put creative time in. At the heart of the programme is the simple yet perhaps radical idea that a real value needs to be placed on an artist’s creative time.