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Courageous Women – A Celebration of Change-Makers

Courageous Women – A Celebration of Change-Makers

July 24 @ 10:30 am August 31 @ 5:00 pm IST

Valentia Island, Kerry Ireland
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+353 (0)1 865 6613

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Film Installation

Creative and Production Team

Lead Artist and Curator: Mary Moynihan, Theatre and Film Maker, and Artistic Director, Smashing Times

Producer: Freda Manweiler

Associate Curator/Researcher: Niamh Clowry

Cast: Megan O’Malley, Róisín McAtamney and Ann Sheehy

Costumes: Risa Ando

Set Design: The Company

Digital Artist/Graphic Design: EM Creative

Consultant Historian (pro bono): Sinead Mc Coole

Full Event Details

Courageous Women is a film inspired by a creative re-imagining of moments from the lives of Constance Markievicz (1868-1927), an Irish politician, revolutionary nationalist, suffragette and socialist; Helena Moloney (1884-1967), a member of Inghinidhe na hÉireann and the Irish Citizen Army who was stationed at City Hall Garrison during the Easter Rising of 1916; Margaret Skinnider (1893-1971), a revolutionary feminist and maths teacher who came to Dublin from Scotland at the age of 23 to take part in the Easter Rising and Hanna Sheehy Skeffington (1877-1946), a radical activist, feminist, pacifist and human rights campaigner and one of Ireland’s foremost suffragettes. Hanna was one of the original founders of the militant Irish Women’s Franchise League set up in 1908 with Margaret Cousins to fight for emancipation and a woman’s right to vote.

The film is written by Mary Moynihan and is inspired by and incorporates original writings from ConstanceMarkievicz; poetry excerpts by Eva Gore Booth; original testimony including an adaptation from Doing My Bit for Ireland by Margaret Skinnider; original testimony from Helena Molony and writings by Hanna Sheehy Skeffington. 

Smashing Times are delighted to feature this film installation in the Valentia Island Heritage Centre which was founded and opened by Tessa O’Connor in 1986 as a volunteer-run non-profit organisation. Enjoy a visit to the centre to read and view stories of Valentia Island and to engage in lively conversation as people describe and compare histories and lifestyles.

No booking necessary.

Artist Biographies:

Mary Moynihan, (she/her), MA, is an award-winning writer, director, theatre and film-maker, an interdisciplinary artist and one of Ireland’s most innovative arts and human rights artists creating work to promote the arts, human rights, climate justice, gender equality, diversity and peace. 

Mary is Artistic Director of Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality and works  collaboratively with artists and over 50 organisations across Ireland, Northern Ireland, Europe and internationally, using the arts to promote rights and values for all.   Company patrons of Smashing Times are Sabina Coyne Higgins, Senator Joan Freeman, founder of Pieta House, Ger Ryan, actor and Tim Pat Coogan, writer and historian. Founding patrons were writers Maeve Binchy and Brian Friel.

Mary’s work has won a number of awards including the Allianz Business to Arts Awards, a GSK Ireland Impact Award, a Dublin Bus Community Spirit Award, a National Lottery Good Cause Award, the international #ArtsAgainstCovid award, an Arts Council Project Award and an Arts Council Agility Award.

Mary is Artistic Curator for the annual Dublin Arts and Human Rights festival implemented by Smashing Times and Front Line Defenders in partnership with Amnesty International, Fighting Words, ICCL,  NWCI, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Trócaire and Poetry Ireland, funded by The Arts Council. The aim of the festival is to showcase and highlight the extraordinary work of human rights defenders in Ireland and around the world, past and present, and the role of the arts and artists in promoting human rights today.

Mary’s artistic practice encompasses theatre, film, literature, poetry, and curatorship. Mary’s work focuses on primal, visceral and intuitive responses to vulnerability and conflict and an exploration of self and the other. Her work explores an interconnectedness of the body, voice and imagination, revealing the inner life through physical and spiritual energies and intuitive engagements. Mary has a focus on using historical memory in her artistic practice as inspiration for the creation of original artworks across a range of mediums, remembering stories of ordinary yet powerful women and men from history and today who stood up for the rights of others.

As a playwright, Mary’s work includes the highly acclaimed The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII co-written with Paul Kennedy, Fiona Thompson and Féilim James;  A Beauty that will Pass; Constance and Her Friends – selected by President Michael D. Higgins for performance at Áras an Uachtaráin for Culture Night 2016;  In One Breath from the award-winning Testimonies(co-written with Paul Kennedy); and Shadow of My Soul, May Our Faces Haunt You and Silent Screams. 

Mary’s film work includes the hour-long documentary Stories from the Shadows, the short film Tell Them Our Names, inspired by women’s stories of WWII and selected for the London Eye International Film Festival and Kerry Film Festival, the creative documentary Women in an Equal Europe and the short film Courageous Women inspired by powerful women’s stories from the 1916 to 1923 decade of commemorations period in Irish history.  

Megan O’Malley has recently completed a ‘Masters in Theatre Practice’ student in University College Dublin. Previous to this she graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting’s two-year full time course in 2015. While training she took on many roles, including: Runt in Disco Pigs, Ophelia in Hamlet, Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, and Mags in The Spinning Heart. Megan also played Melissa in The Full Moon Hotel by Philip Doherty. Since graduating she has played Queen Elizabeth in ‘Gráinne’, and has worked on several short films including ‘Rising’, ‘The Nest’, ‘Lilith’ etc . She also stared in Kerry Gold’s latest TV commercial and We Cut Corners music video ‘Of whatever’ by Stoneface Films. Megan was awarded the Gaiety Theatre Bursary, 2014. More recently, Megan won the F.A.B. bursary award for Best Actress 16-21. Megan is also a passionate writer and was the first in the school’s history to premier her own work ‘MJ’ for the GSA graduation industry showcase. She also worked alongside Paul Meade for her Manifesto piece ‘The Mourning Seat’. From there Megan worked with Paul Meade over 2016 in developing her idea for ‘Home’, and was thrilled to present it as part of Smock Alley’s Scene and Heard festival for new work in 2017. Megan has since expanded ‘Home’ to a full length production and which premiered in The New Theatre in 2018.

Róisín is an actor and facilitator based in Dublin. Originally from Cork, Róisín undertook a BA in Drama Performance from DIT’s Conservatory of Music and Drama. Upon graduating from DIT Róisín worked in New York on off-Broadway show Ten Ways on A Gun. Other theatre credits include Antigone, Romeo and Juliet and Smashing Times’ The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of 1916 and If you could Read my Mind from the highly acclaimed Testimonies. Róisín has performed in the Smashing Times tour of The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII performing in Deirdre Kinahan’s new piece Ode to Ettie Steinberg, which toured to Ireland, Northern Ireland and Germany.

States of Independence

This show is part of States of Independence, a project that celebrates the stories of ten change-makers from the Decade of Centenaries 1912-1922 linked to the stories of ten change-makers today working to make society a better place. The twenty stories gathered act as inspiration for the creation of new artworks by ten artists, working in visual art, film, dance, theatre, creative writing and digital arts. The artists come together to create a range of artworks and performances for public display in eight sites – both ancient and modern – across Ireland and for display via a creative billboards campaign and online on the Smashing Times Virtual Art Gallery. The stories, artworks and performances are shared with public audiences to reflect on modern day revolutionary visions for the future inspired by the past, launched for the annual Dublin International Arts and Human Rights festival 13 to 22 October 2023. The internationally acclaimed team of ten artists is led by Mary Moynihan, an award-winning writer, poet, director, theatre and filmmaker and Artistic Director, Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality, working with John Scott, Artistic Director and Choreographer, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, and a range of artists working in literature, visual arts, theatre, film and new digital technologies.

The team collaboratively create a series of interconnected artworks including a live multi-disciplinary performance, visual art projections and a creative billboards campaign to be launched for the 2023 annual International Dublin Arts and Human Rights festival taking place from the 13 to 22 October 2023. Events are accompanied by panel discussions and public talks on new visions for a peaceful and equal society for all.

Events take place in Dublin, Kerry, Clare and Donegal with online work accessible across Ireland and internationally celebrating changemakers and heroes from the past and today,  bringing people together to promote active citizenship,  equality, human rights and diversity and celebrating new visions for a peaceful and equal future for all. Events take place in a range of venues both ancient and modern including Office of Public Work spaces throughout Ireland.

For further information please contact Freda Manweiler, producer, telephone 087 2214245 or email freda@smashingtimes.ie

Supported by The Arts Council Open Call as part of ART: 2023 a Decade of Centenaries Collaboration between The Arts Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Supported by Creative Europe as part of the Theatre in Palm project.

Organisations Involved / Partner Organisation(s):

Venue Information:

Valentia Island, Kerry Ireland
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