Baboró is proud to play an important role in the national ecosystem of the children's arts sector in Ireland. Our artist development programme GROW operates year-round, supporting and nurturing artists and creatives to make excellent and innovative work for our young audiences through various opportunities. This spring, we opened applications to our annual Festival Mentoring programme, the Breaking Ground bursary for artists making work for young people with additional needs, and a two-week residency at the Áras Éanna Arts Centre. We were impressed and inspired by the response and by the calibre of applications.
Now that our autumn festival is on the horizon, we are thrilled to announce the 9 successful applicants who will be taking part in these artist development opportunities. We look forward to working with these artists in the months to come, and getting to know them and their work.
Baboró International Arts Festival for Children
A 3-day paid mentorship programme during the Baboró festival for both emerging and established artists who are interested in making work for children.
Alexandra Craciun is a Romanian artist based in Dublin, classically trained in performing arts who is gracefully pivoting towards the wondrous world of writing and Illustration. She started her Cultural Entrepreneurship experience back when she co-founded Bibabo Independent Theater Company and continued with an IADT Postgraduate in Cultural Management. She is currently cultivating her Cultural Events Management skills in the Irish Museum of Modern Art where is delivering their IMMA Outdoors Summer Programme.
A new member of the Theatre for Young Audiences Ireland (TYAI) she is constantly looking for opportunities and new mediums to create, learn and relearn in her work with and for young audiences.
Her more recent collaborations are with Baboró International Arts Festival for Children - where she participated in LEAP, a community-building project and artist development programme, Draíocht in Dublin 15 working on the creation of their new EDI Policy and the “How to Begin, with Finegan” creative writing workshop at Graffiti Theatre in Cork.
Diane Crotty is a Dublin-based theatre-maker who creates work for adults and children.
Her writing credits include Gig Nua (SupaPaua Theatre), SALTBORN (Mercury Theatre Monologue winner, April 2020), Folsom (Tiny Play For Ireland winner, April 2020), RISK (New Theatre as part of the 2016 Dublin Fringe), and Absolute Beginners (New Theatre 2017). Her directing credits include BASH (Out of Time Theatre, 2018), RISK, A Very Zombie Fairytale, Shadowskin (Siteation 2012) and Measure for Measure (La Cathedral Studios 2011).
She was one of Superpaua Theatre’s Artists in Residence in 2022.
Suzon Gheur was born in Brussels from a mother passionate about moving bodies. As the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, she grew up embracing the limits of the body and soul. She graduated from a Master in Physical Education and a Circus Teacher Training in Belgium, then moved to Ireland where started her journey as a circus artist (thank you Fidget Feet !).
She performs for various companies with a large panel of circus disciplines and created her own company, Cie Breaked, in 2018. Suzon bases her work on playfulness and truthfulness, ideal values for young audiences.
Linda Schirmer is a dance artist and facilitator based in the West of Ireland. She studied in Leipzig and Cork and holds an M.A. in Theatre. Her own dance work, often in collaboration with other artists, has been shown (a.o.) at Clifden Arts Festival, the Druid Theatre and Dublin Dance Festival. She received the Commission Award from Interface and the Arts Council Ireland to develop her dance piece “Carrying Wood”. It will premiere at Nun’s Island Theatre in December and is based on ecological research carried out at the Woodland Symposium, Interface Inagh from 2021-2023.
Baboró International Arts Festival for Children & Rosán Sensory Adventures
A bursary for makers who are passionate about creating performances for children with additional needs.
Amélie Bal is a French national living in Ireland 20 years. As a circus artist she has toured all over Ireland and the world, and was Creative Director of Realta Entertainment for 15 years.
She is also a circus educator and Head of Education for Galway Community Circus, the leading youth circus school in Ireland ensuring the quality of all arts programme delivery across the school's entire curriculum, age range, and variety of the student's needs. She has 20 years experience working in performing arts in creation, education and performance and believes challenges are something to run at. She has developed a huge interest for sensory experiences and especially around movement.
Carmel Balfe is a puppeteer and visual artist. Her company, Little Gem Puppets, set up in 2010, has a founding ethos of empowering children to explore their imagination and encourage self belief through engagement with the art of puppetry. She also works with the Department of Education and Arts Council artist in schools initiatives bringing with her the experience of working for large companies like Disney, Pokemon and Netflix.
April Bracken (she/her) is a neurodiverse performer and facilitator. A TU Dublin Performance graduate, her recent work includes a theatre co-creation project with LGBTQ+/youth groups in Cavan & Monaghan area (2023) and two Theatre-Artist-Partnership projects with local primary schools (2022/23). April is currently studying for a master’s degree in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in IADT. April’s ambition is to make exciting, engaging work for young audiences that is both accessible and inclusive.
Orlaith Ní Chearra
Orlaith Ní Chearra (she/her) is an actor, dancer, and creative producer. She co-directs "Fizz & Chips" creative collective devising and producing multi-disciplinary work. Having completed a Degree in Theatre and Dance at London Studio Centre, Orlaith returned to Ireland, working as an Artist with companies such as An Taibhdhearc, The Abbey Theatre Dublin, TG4, Branar, The Ark, Fíbín and Galway International Arts Festival. A drama facilitator and dance educator, she completed a Master's in Education in 2022 and has experience as a Special Education Teacher in the Irish primary school system. Orlaith is passionate about storytelling, fostering a sense of connection and wonder.
Áras Éanna Residency
Áras Éanna Arts Centre & Baboró International Arts Festival for Children
A two-week residency in the studio space at the Áras Éanna Arts Centre on Inis Oírr, intended for a performing artist passionate about making work for children and young people.
Is mise Mark Ball. Is ealaíontóir mé (director, dramaturg, devisor and facilitator). I make contemporary, multilingual, and humorous art that has young people at its heart. Táim fíorbhuíoch as an deis chun m’ealaín agus mo shamhlaíocht a fhorbairt trí Ghaeilge leis an bhfoireann i Baboró agus in Áras Éanna, agus go háirithe chun bualadh le muintir ná háite in Inis Oírr! Ar an gcónaitheacht, I will work on ideas for a queer comedy do dhéagoirí set in the Gaeltacht as Gaeilge agus in Arabic. Agus ceard faoi SciFi suite in Inis Oírr? Fan go bhfeicfimid!
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