IT Sligo mature student Sinéad O’Donnell Carey from Donegal Town has secured the prestigious Yeats Design Residency for 2017 with the world famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
The mum of two is just completing her four-year Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Performing Arts at IT Sligo.
Now into its sixth year, the Yeats Design residency is a collaboration between the Abbey and IT Sligo, and aims to nurture the talent of young Theatre Design students in the Institute’s Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Performing Arts.
Students learn how world-class theatre directors, designers, technical and production staff at the Abbey Theatre collaborate. They acquire at first hand an understanding of how set design is incorporated into the process of realising a production.
“I was utterly shocked,” said Sinéad after she was announced as the 2017 Yeats Design Residency recipient at a special event in the Abbey last week.
“I was actually making plans to begin an MA in Film & Television Studies this September. But this is a wonderful opportunity. Set and Costume Design is something I am very passionate about and the reputation of the Abbey Theatre is truly global.”
Candidates for the 2017 residency was asked to produce a set design adaptation of the Dermot Healy play ‘Blood Wedding’ using a scaled model of the Abbey Theatre stage.
“The play tells the story of an arranged marriage in 1930s rural Ireland, which goes wrong,’” explains Sinéad.
“My stage design dealt with this and the issues of land ownership of that time. I used the idea of ‘flying furniture’ as a metaphor tor reflect the instability of an arranged marriage during this period in Irish history.”
Sinéad has had a long-standing interest in costume and set design, having done some work for various theatrical companies in the North West during her spare time.
However, she says the broad appeal of the BA (Honours) in Performing Arts degree course has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of her studies at IT Sligo.
“I’ve gotten a great kick out it – the course is broad, so it gives you the opportunity to delve into areas beyond acting and design, such as directing and film.
“That’s been the real bonus of the course over the past four years,” she says.
Congratulating Sinéad on receiving the Yeats Design Residency for 2017, Dr Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo said: “We are very proud of our collaboration with the Abbey Theatre. Not only does this award continue to add a new dimension to the links that W.B. Yeats had with both the Abbey and Sligo, it also provides an unrivalled opportunity for contemporary hands-on learning with a theatre that is respected the world over.”
Sinead is scheduled to begin her residency with the Abbey Theatre in June.
The Yeats Design Residency is an IT Sligo collaboration with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, which began in 2012.
The previous winners are:
2016 Holly Smith (Yorkshire).
2015 Rachel Molloy (Galway)
2014 Rebekka Duffy (Westmeath)
2013 Diarmuid Ó Flaherty (Sligo)
2012 Lydia Concannon (Mayo).