Premiere of Amelia Earhart story to take flight in Derry this weekend

Sunday evening sees the premiere of Greater Shantallow Community Arts’ innovative new multimedia dance production, ‘Amelia’s Story’, take to the stage at Studio 2, Youth & Community Arts Centre, Derry for the closing night of the Amelia Earhart 90th Anniversary Arts Festival.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th May 2022, 2:35 pm
Updated Friday, 20th May 2022, 2:35 pm

Directed and choreographed by GSCA’s Head of Dance Irena Noonan and starring one of the North West’s rising stars of stage and theatre Ellen Hasson in the title role, it promises a magical evening’s entertainment and a fitting culmination to the festival which celebrates the 90th anniversary of the aviation pioneer’s first solo female transatlantic crossing.

Amelia Earhart has entered folk history here since her unscheduled landing at Ballyarnett in 1932 assured both herself and the city a permanent place in the history of aviation. The choreographer, Irena Noonan, says she’s found the process incredibly exciting, and she only hopes she can do justice to the amazing story. “I’ve learned so much from my research, ‘ she says, ‘ and within this dance theatre performance piece I hope I’ve captured Amelia’s whole life, from her childhood dream to her untimely disappearance.

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Ellen Hasson who plays the title role in Amelia’s Story.

Young professional dancer Ellen Hasson, who plays the title role, has a family connection with the aviator - her late grandfather, Larry Hasson, was one of the first people to arrive at the landing scene at Ballyarnett in 1932 and spoke often about his memories; Ellen’s own father is a pilot so she seems destined for the role. “It’s a thrill and an honour to play Amelia, and I hope I do her justice,” she says.

After the premiere, both women agree ‘Amelia’s Story’ has huge potential and could travel far and wide and with music by Gary Curran and visuals by Ryan Vail the show promises to enthral audiences. Doors open at 7pm with a welcoming drink’s reception and Amelia Earhart Photographic Exhibition and short film narrated by artist Joe Campbell before the show starts at 7.30pm sharp.

Admission is free and tickets can be booked via

Amelia Earhart.
May 1932... Amelia Earhart rests on her plane after it landed on the outskirts of Derry.