“Foul, Filthy, Stinking Muck” was just one of the more colourful outcries against the 1976 Gay Sweatshop plays, Mister X and Any Woman Can. It was a time when men could be imprisoned for simply holding hands in public; a time when women had their children taken from them for revealing their sexuality; a time before AIDS; before Ireland’s first Pride march; before equal marriage and gender recognition. The 1976 presentation of the Gay Sweatshop plays was just the start of Project Arts Centre’s public support for the LGBTQ community. Over the following decades, it would go on to produce many works highlighting LGBTQ issues, proving to be one of the community’s strongest platforms in which to portray their stories.
Hannah’s current research looks at the LGBT theatre of Project Arts Centre from 1967 to 2000. Having conducted extensive archival research, she will reflect on how the documented works responded to social issues of the time and how they have influenced contemporary theatre practice. Her work will also consider the role of Project Arts Centre as an artist-led organisation at the forefront of presenting and producing cutting edge work within the context of LGBTQ activism.
This research will be delivered as part of a half-day symposium. The outline for the event will involve a talk to deliver the research, followed by readings from some of the featured plays. The afternoon will conclude with a panel discussion.
Panellists on the day will include; Phillip McMahon, writer, director and founder of THISISPOPBABY; Paul Halferty, Assistant Professor of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin; and Noelle Brown, actor, director and playwright. Noelle performed in one of the featured plays, Emma Donoghue’s 1996 play, Ladies and Gentlemen. Noelle will also be performing some of the readings alongside actors, Nicola Kavanagh, Anthony Kinahan and Shane O’Reilly.
This event is free of charge but will be ticketed. To apply for tickets please contact Project Arts Centre box office on +353 1 881 9613, Monday - Saturday, from 11am - 7pm or at https://projectartscentre.ie/