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Limerick Belltable Connect initiative

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Limerick Belltable Connect initiative aims to create ‘hothouse’ for theatre artists.
Story by I Love Limerick correspondent Cian Reinhardt.

Limerick’s Belltable Theatre has announced details of the Belltable:Connect initiative, a capacity building scheme with the aim of working with and developing local theatre producers in Limerick and the mid-west.

The initiative is being backed by the Belltable programme manager, Marketa Dowling, who has received funding from the Arts Council to run a six-month artist development scheme running in January.

Miss Dowling has said, “I hope the initiative will fill the void that I feel is in Limerick and the Mid-West wit the needs of theatre production companies, it seems there is nowhere for theatre artists to hone their skills. There is nowhere to practice their work really.”

Limerick Belltable Connect initiative

Limerick Belltable Connect initiative. Programme Manager, Marketa Dowling. Picture by Emma McNamara.

The programme manager hopes the initiative will make way for the Belltable Theatre to operate as what Miss Dowling refers to as a “Hothouse” which allows people to produce for the company.

Another aspect of the Belltable:Connect programme is to bring international theatre artists to Limerick to work with local artists and help them improve their skills by learning through conversation and viewing how others practice their art.

By organising these workshops, Miss Dowling aims to create an international community of theatre artists who can maintain contact and learn from each other even after the workshops are complete.

“I would like people to make the connection with practitioners in Europe, internationally so that if they go to say, Scotland, and have a show in Edinburgh Fringe, they will be able to mail someone that we have had over from Britain and ask them to meet up for a chat,” she said.

Fishamble: The New Play Company has joined up with the Belltable to take part in the mentoring programme that will hold workshops for theatre directors and playwrights. Gavin Kostic and Jim Culleton will run the playwright and director mentoring programmes, respectively, both of whom are award winners in their fields.

Miss Dowling believes that working with both established and upcoming artists in Limerick is important as the Mary Immaculate College offer courses in theatre studies. She believes Belltable:Connect initiative can pave the way for future theatre artists, offering them a place to further their practices and produce creatively.

The programme manager calls for Limerick residents to attend shows in the Belltable Theatre and believes that a show of support can help push the initiative as well as local theatre in the future.

Click here for more information on the Limerick Belltable Connect initiative.
Find the Belltable Instagram here.
For more stories related to the Belltable Theatre click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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