Local writer Joe Brennan has just returned from a very successful trip to Washington DC, supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, where he had a great response to his work.
He was a guest at the Kennedy Centre, the National Centre for the Performing Arts in America. Joe was one of five international observer playwrights invited to attend New Visions/New Voices.
“The international writers got to perform a piece from their own plays at a slam on the Saturday morning of the conference, over breakfast,” says Joe. “Despite the early hour a large audience turned up. I read a scene from a new play that I started while in Washington. There was a great reaction to it and lots of interest from producers and publishers in attendance.”
New Visions/New Voices offers children’s theatre companies from the US and abroad to work for a week with actors and dramaturges to develop their plays. These are then presented at the conference which draws together writers, directors, theatre companies, academics, educationalists, publishers and producers from across America. The various plays are at different points in their development from initial ideas to plays that are near the point of staging. The audience gave feedback to the writers and directors, offering ideas on what worked and areas that needed further development.
The other international playwright observers were from Denmark, Sweden, Mexico and Turkey.
There was a lot of interest in Joe’s early years theatre show ‘Star Boy’ which was a big success last year at the Earagail, Kilkenny and Bluestacks Arts Festivals last year. Joe is in negotiations to take ‘Star Boy’ to the US and Mexico in the future.