Women’s Studies expert returns to Playhouse

Pupils from Thornhill College, winners of the group mime rose bowl, and Detta Toland cup for best perfomance in Group mime or drama. Included are Ms Maeve Connolly. (1904SL40)
Pupils from Thornhill College, winners of the group mime rose bowl, and Detta Toland cup for best perfomance in Group mime or drama. Included are Ms Maeve Connolly. (1904SL40)

An Appalachian State University professor has returned to Derry for a special residency with The Playhouse. Specialising in Women’s Studies at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Georgia Rhoades has taught and performed in Derry since 1995 with Black Sheep Theatre.

The Artillery Street theatre and community arts centre have said this week they are delighted to have Ms. Rhoades back for her residency which began this week and is running until Sunday May 3.

Dr. Helena Schlindwein (left), who launched her audio CD  'Zoela's Stories', a collection of therapeutic stories for children, at the  Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, pictured with local storyteller Mary Murphy (right), and her grandchild Aoife Schlimdwein, who read extracts from the audio CD. LS25-502MT.

Dr. Helena Schlindwein (left), who launched her audio CD 'Zoela's Stories', a collection of therapeutic stories for children, at the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, pictured with local storyteller Mary Murphy (right), and her grandchild Aoife Schlimdwein, who read extracts from the audio CD. LS25-502MT.

As part of her spring residency she will hold a special residency event, ‘After the Witch Trials of Islandmagee’: A Talk and Reading’ in The Playhouse Green Room, showcasing scenes from a new play in progress about the witches of Islandmagee.

Georgia Rhoades directs the Writing Across the Curriculum Program for Appalachian State University.

In 2013, her play The Cook was commissioned by The Playhouse for the City of Culture celebrations.

The Cook, the story of Cecily Jackson, who was executed by burning at Bishop’s Gate in 1725, was directed by Black Sheep’s Dennis Bohr and performed by Derry actors.

Georgia Rhoades who has returned to the Playhouse for a residency.

Georgia Rhoades who has returned to the Playhouse for a residency.

During her residency, Ms. Rhoades will also offer several free workshops with local groups including workshops on writing about historical women and talks about women accused of witchcraft in Ireland.

‘After the Witch Trials of Islandmagee’: A Talk and Reading’ will feature local actress, writer and broadcaster Mary Murphy, actor and teacher Maeve Connelly, and director, producer, and actor Denis Bohr, teacher of composition at Appalachian State University, and will be held in The Playhouse Green Room on Tuesday April 28 from 7pm- 9pm. All are welcome to attend this special free event.

During her spring residency at The Playhouse, Georgia Rhoades will offer writing workshops and will also speak about the real story of Cecily Jackson and Irish witches and mermaids.

Rhoades has presented her scholarly work in Ireland, England, Belgium, Norway, and the U. S. and published in a variety of scholarly journals.

Denis Bohr is a teacher of composition at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, Denis works in the University Writing Center and is a Writing Across the Curriculum consultant. He is the author of Pope Joan: The Hiss of the Snake, The English Whore (a one-man show), Old, Out-of-step, Anti-war Peacenik Hippies (co-written with Rhoades), Macbeth: The Play That Dare Not Speak Its Name (all of which have been performed at The Playhouse), Burn in Hell, and Dark All Day (and All of the Night), among other plays. He is a director, producer, and actor and has performed in various roles with Black Sheep, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, God, the Devil, and a Martian lesbian.

Mary Murphy is a former Head of English at Thornhill College. She is an actress, writer and broadcaster with the BBC, and was a founder member of the Theatre Club in Derry with Sean McMahon. She has been involved in theatre since she was a child and has performed a variety of productions and one woman shows.

Maeve Connelly, who also teaches at Thornhill College, has worked in professional theatre in Belfast, London and around the repertory theatres of England in the early 90s; her most memorable stage role being Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in the Cheltenham Everyman theatre. On returning to Derry she has become a full time teacher and parent whilst still managing to perform on television mainly with Westway Film doing ‘Seanchai’ and other local TV dramas. She has worked in several Playhouse productions including ‘Home Boy Home’, Halloween tales, ‘Tillies’ and ‘Thirteen Steps’ by Patsy Durnin.

For more information contact The Playhouse on (028)71268027 or visit www.derryplayhouse.co.uk