Our Associate Artist programme is a means by which The Civic seeks to actively support the professional and personal development of an artist over the long term whilst also encouraging and empowering the artist to enrich the creative culture of The Civic.
Get to know each of our associates in a series of blogs over the coming weeks.
Meet Veronica Coburn
Veronica Coburn is a theatre artist of some 40 years’ experience. She founded Barabbas Theatre Company back in the 90s with Mikel Murfi and Raymond Keane. She has been Programme Director of TENDERFOOT, The Civic Theatre’s apprentice theatre programme for transition year students since its inception in 2007 and a Civic Theatre Associate Artist since 2017. Veronica is particularly interested in the idea of artistic voice. Specifically, she believes that people are inherently creative and that it is through creative endeavour that we seek to understand ourselves, our lives and the world in which we live. We do that by reflecting back on the past, exploring the here and now and imagining as yet unknown futures. This idea underpins her work with Tenderfoot which has seen in excess of 600 young people write original plays for the stage with approximately 90 produced on The Civic’s Main Stage.
Veronica is also interested in the rich territory that is revealed when professional artists and community participants collaborate and she has embedded this practice in a number of major projects that she has overseen as Artistic Director. Projects such as 2018’s
HOME THEATRE (Ireland) in Draíocht Arts Centre saw 30 professional playwrights paired with 30 people, Hosts, who lived in Dublin 15.
Having spent time together each playwright wrote an original piece, 20 minutes long, inspired by their Host. All 30 original plays were then produced in the Hosts’ homes, their kitchens, their living rooms, mapping the stories of people of D 15. Home Theatre plays performed to an audience of the Hosts’ friends, neighbours and families.
Veronica is currently working on NEST, Draíocht’s follow up to Home Theatre (Ireland). Nest will see 24 performance artists write original pieces inspired by 24 new Hosts. All Nest hosts will be children and young people, the youngest Host will be 20 days old and the oldest Host will be 20 years old. Nest will culminate in a festival, Spréacha SOAR, which will celebrate all 24 Nest works in Draíocht in March 2024.
Veronica has completed a number of big participatory projects in The Civic. Songs of Change, a response to life under lockdown, which culminated in 10 original songs inspired by the lived experience of people in South Dublin County and Ghost Hares, a celebration of the landscape and people of South Dublin County using spoken and sung text and original song – a SDCC Public Art Commission.
Veronica is in early development on a piece exploring the legacy of Article 41 of our Constitution in collaboration with Sinéad Diskin, Joe Lee and Sibéal Davitt. She will also work with Sibéal Davitt later this year to explore Full Body Mask with Amanda Coogan. She is currently working on works in development with a number of artists including Louise Lewis, Noelle Brown, Niamh Lawlor, Lesley Conroy & Gabrielle Breathnach. And she has worked with Niamh McGrath on a new version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, entitled Fools’ Macbeth, for 5 th /6 th class students.
Veronica is the author of Clown Through Mask – The Pioneering Work of Richard Pochinko As Practised By Sue Morrison, written in collaboration with Sue Morrison and published by Intellect Press. She has been awarded the Prix Europa/Radio France, World Gold Medal Status New York, and a Writers’ Guild of Ireland Zebbie Award for her work in radio drama.
As a Civic Theatre Associate Artist Veronica is interested in further exploring the idea of participation and play in collaboration with and inspired by the people and landscape of South Dublin County.
For More Info on our Associate Artists, see HERE