ISTR Conference 2023 – Schedule

Balancing Acts

University of Galway, May 5-6, 2023

Sponsored by the University of Galway and Irish Theatre Institute in association with Dundalk Institute of Technology


Friday 5 May 2023

PANEL 1: Performing Balance in Crisis, Care, and Covid

9.15-10.30: Studio 1, ODC

Chair: Ian R Walsh

  • Vicky Angelaki (Mid Sweden): Balancing Intersecting Crises: Sustainability, COVID and Climate in Crimp and Kirkwood
  • Sinéad O’Donnell-Carey (ATU Sligo): Where is live performance in a post-pandemic world?
  • Yingjun Wei (Trinity): “Hybrid organising saved us”: Hustling Feminist Theatre through the Precarity of the Covid-19 Pandemic

PANEL 2: Embodiment, Experience and Self in Contemporary Performance Practice

9.15-10.30: Studio 2, ODC

Chair: Mike Finneran

  • Alinne Fernandes (UFSC): Asphyxia and Isolation in Marina Carr’s ‘Grow a Mermaid’: A Brazilian Radio Play
  • Aoife McGrath (QUB): Shared Experiences of Care: embodied knowledge in PaR collaborations between dance and social science
  • Maria Tivnan (UoG): Parent as Artist/Artist as Parent: Making Work ‘work’

COFFEE BREAK 10.30-11.00, SULT

Opening Remarks: Aoife Noone (GTF), Miriam Haughton (UoG), Ciara L. Murphy (DKIT)

PANEL 3: Balancing at the Intersection of Theatre and Education: Ethics, Partnerships, and Research-based Approaches

11-12.15, Studio 1, ODC

Chair: Luke Lamont (UoG)

  • Fiona Fearon (DKIT): The Ethics of Teaching Trauma, Criminality and Deviance in Contemporary Irish Theatre
  • Fiona McDonagh and Dorothy Morrissey (MIL): Teacher-artist partnerships: Navigating between education and theatre
  • Charlotte McIvor and Gavin Friel (UoG): “Can We Ever Really Know This Works?:Experimenting with Research-based Theatre as Consent Education with an Irish National Policy and Secondary School and Third-Level Education Ecology

PANEL 4: Balancing genre, tradition and the future

11-12.15, Studio 2, ODC

Chair: Finian O’Gorman (TCD)

  • Daithí Kearney (DKIT): Balancing Time: Seeing the past, present, future and other time in the productions of Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland 
  • Marianne Kennedy (UoG): Ar Ais Arís and coming back again
  • Sharon Phelan and Jackie Gallagher (MTU): The Use of Contemporary Dance as a Tool to Enhance Wellness in Educational Settings

LUNCH BREAK 12.30-1.30, SULT. Brown bag lunches available.

1.00-1.45: Postgraduate/ECR Workshop with Charlotte McIvor ODC Studio 2

  • Job Applications and Interviews
  • Delegates are welcome to bring their lunch with them 

1.15-2.00: ISTR AGM: All welcome: Moore Institute, G010

  • Delegates are welcome to bring their lunch with them

2-3: ARTIST KEYNOTE: Studio 1

Sonya Kelly in conversation with Ursula Rani Sarma

Chair: Maria Tivnan

3-3.30: BREAK

3.30-4.30: KEYNOTE LECTURE: Studio 1 

David O’Shaughnessy (UoG), ‘Balancing the repertory: Richard Brinsley Sheridan, theatre manager 

Chair: Miriam Haughton

4.45-6: Book/Project Launch, wine reception and finger food: SULT

  • Ciara Murphy, Performing Social Change on the Island of Ireland: From Republic to Pandemic (Routledge 2023), launched by Miriam Haughton
  • Paul J. Halferty and Cathy Leeney, Ed. Analysing Gender in Performance (Palgrave 2022), launched by Aoife McGrath
  • Miriam Haughton, IRC Laureate 2023-2025 ‘The Price of Performance: A Question of Economic Sustainability for Independent Theatre Production in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland 2000-2020’ launched by Máiréad Ní Chróinín.

Suggested Evening Entertainment – Galway Theatre Programme Link:


PANEL 5: Unraveling Complexities: Perspectives on Irish Arts Practices, Funding, and Community Wellbeing

9.15-10.30: Studio 1 ODC

Chair: Alinne Fernandes

  • Mike Finneran (MIL): Balancing expectations and outcomes and so much else in Irish applied arts practices
  • Ciara O’Dowd (SGI): Should the Arts Council of Ireland be paying by the word? 
  • Ian R. Walsh (UoG): Crossed Wires: Galway Community Circus’s LifeLine and Issues in Measuring Wellbeing

PANEL 6: Off-Balance: Inequality, Precarity, and Liveness in the Theatre Industry

9.15-10.30: Studio 2 ODC

Chair: Cathy Leeney

  • Abir Al-Laham (Heidelberg): Of Bodies and Spaces: Balancing Inequality in Theatre Representations
  • Samantha Cade (UCD): “Live” in a Pandemic: How Dublin’s Theatre Industry Addressed Work in the COVID 19 Pandemic
  • Eamonn Jordan (UCD): Precarious and Intersectional Class Imbalances and Inequalities

COFFEE BREAK 10.30-11.00, SULT

PANEL 7: Contemporary Irish Theatre: Navigating Ethics, Aesthetics, and Auteurship

10.45-12:15, Studio 1 ODC

Chair: Sarah Hoover (UofG)

  • David Clare (MIL): “Otherness in Ursula Rani Sarma’s Blue
  • Stefanie Weenink (UoG): Gawd and Gulder: Language as a Key Marker of Identity and Irishness in Brian Friel’s Plays
  • Justine Zapin (UCD): Playboy, Blanco, and a Jury of One’s Peers: Balancing Drama Off and On the Irish Stage
    Luke Lamont (UoG): The author on stage: auteur-ships, precarious ethics and documentary aesthetics

PANEL 8: Class, Gender, and Academic Challenges: Balancing against the odds 

10.45-12.15: Studio 2 ODC

Chair: Eamonn Jordan

  • Alexander Coupe (Liverpool): Stitched Up: Class and Compromise in Post-Agreement Feminist Performance
  • Bogdan Mihai Florea (Nu Nu Theatre): Theatre, the pandemic, a bit of Treplev, some Sloterdijk, an academic journal, depression and (my) mental health in general
  • Finian O’Gorman (TCD): Artificial Intelligence and Irish theatres studies: How ChatGPT can turn academics into amateurs. 
    Helena Young (UCD): Gender Balance in Brokentalkers

LUNCH BREAK 12-1, SULT. Brown bag lunches available.

12.30-1.15: PG/ECR Workshop G010 Moore Institute with Patrick Lonergan 

  • Publishing and Grant Applications
  • Delegates are welcome to bring their lunch with them 

KEYNOTE Lecture: 1.15 -2.15 O’Donoghue Theatre 

Danielle Bainbridge (Northwestern): “Currencies of Cruelty: Slavery, Freak Shows, and the Performance Archive”

Chair: Ciara L Murphy

2.15-2.30: BREAK

KEYNOTE PANEL: 2.30-3.30 O’Donoghue Theatre 

Safe to Create/Irish Theatre Institute

Panel: Louise Crowley, Olwen Dawe, Esosa Ighodaro, Ciara L. Murphy, Niamh O’Donnell

Chair: Mary McGill

3.30-3.45: BREAK

PANEL 9: Adapting Tradition: Exploring Intercultural, Philosophical and Feminist
Perspectives in Theatre

3.45-5.00, Studio 1 ODC
Chair: Vicky Angelaki

  • Patrick Lonergan (UoG): Balancing Acts: Caryl Churchill and Anthropocene Feminism 
  • Jiayu Yin (Soochow/TCD): On the “Going Out” and “Going Back” of Chinese Intercultural
  • Theatre: Reflecting on Meng Jinghui’s Intercultural Adaptation
  • Chengyun Zhao (TCD): A Study of the Xiqu Features in Lin Zhaohua’s Three Sisters Waiting for Godot from the Perspective of Taoist Philosophy

PANEL 10:The art of balance: Dramaturgies of identity and ethics in contemporary Irish theatre

3.45-5.00: Studio 2 ODC

Chair: Paul J Halferty

  • Chaomei Chen (TCD): Gender, Ethics, Ableism: A Dramaturgical Balancing of Contemporary Irish Identities in Ulysses 2.2 
  • Sarah Hoover (UoG): Balancing on one heel: mixed live/digital dramaturgy in It’s True I Love You All So Much
  • Shonagh Hill (QUB): Moving in Feminist Solidarity


Waged with ISTR membership renewal:

€100/2 days

€50/1 day

Waged (membership already paid):

€80/2 days

€40/1 day

Student/Unwaged with ISTR membership renewal:

€40/2 days

€20/1 day

Student/Unwaged (membership already paid)”

€30/2 days

€15/1 day

Lunch is included in registration fee

Registration must be paid via Eventbrite link.

Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Benesh on Unsplash