Amplifying female voices onstage and beyond
How Do We Care?
Featuring performances, talks, and workshops.
The Civic, Tallaght
02 November & 16 December 2023
SoloSIRENs is a theatremaking and producing collective based in Tallaght and in residence at the Civic. Its core team is director Jenny Macdonald, producer Jennifer Webster and theatre artist Martha Knight.
SoloSIRENs amplifies female identifying voices onstage and beyond. We collaborate with other theatre artists and with a local, intercultural and intergenerational community collective. We also collaborate with local arts organisations including the Civic Theatre, Rua Red - South Dublin Arts Centre, and Tallaght Community Arts.
We received an Abbey Theatre 5 x 5 residency in 2019 and used it to devise a performance with our community collective. We were then invited by the Abbey to create a film for Dear Ireland III in 2020. In 2019, we produced the first SoloSIRENs Festival at the Civic. The festival presented three professional, solo shows, as well as the work of the community collective. The festival happened over six weeks, allowing an audience dialogue to grow and us to explore facilitated discussions and other audience engagement strategies.
We approach our audiences as our extended community, engaging them in regular dialogue through our newsletter, our social media platforms and our symposia. Our online symposium in 2020 placed our work in conversation with academics from Trinity College Dublin, members of the Irish theatre/arts community (Abbey Theatre, Dublin Theatre Festival, Irish Theatre Institute and CREATE) and our audiences.
We are committed to widening access to the arts for all people in our society and to addressing the systemic discriminations that intersect with gender inequality. Our work is feminist, anti-racist and non-hierarchal. We have a universal design officer who ensures that all our productions incorporate accessibility for all people from their inception. In June/July, 2021 we produced 'Cessair', a performance and sonic installation sharing one hundred audio stories collected during online workshops with women from South Dublin County, around Ireland and internationally.
We have just finished a project exploring grief and loss with the Irish Hospice Foundation and are now creating work with Liz Roche Company as part of their Creative Audiences programme. In February, 2022 we toured two shows from our 2019 festival to venues in the west of Ireland. We are mentoring members of our collective to develop as facilitators in collaboration with the Abbey Theatre. And we are leading a new collaboration between the Civic and Tallaght Hospital using theatre to explore stories of healthcare workers.
The Tightrope Walker is an exploration of challenge, resilience, community, and connection as experienced through a journey of illness and recovery. This solo theatre show explores the performer’s challenges and calamities of illness and navigating the healthcare system.
Performances are funded by South Dublin Live
Check out SoloSIRENs video of our CCN Workshops at The Civic, Tallaght
In February 2022 SoloSIRENs completed their Compassionate Culture Network workshops which began in November 2021 at The Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin.
Director Jenny MacDonald supported by coordinator Jennifer Webster, worked with the SoloSIRENs Collective. Our workshops took place every Tuesday evening. We were the only Dublin venue in support of this worthy national initiative led by The Irish Hospice Foundation’s aspiration to answer the question:
How do we build a Republic of Care?
In keeping with the ethos and methodologies of SoloSIRENs, we used theatre devising techniques to facilitate an exploration of personal journeys with loss. This included focusing on how we can support one another to share what needs to be shared, and how that sharing can find a collective expression.
The Irish Hospice Foundation developed a Compassionate Culture Network across Ireland. In this first phase, 7 artist-facilitators and support workers worked in 7 venues around the country inviting local communities to explore “loss” as un-lockdown happens. The aim was to explore how creativity helps establish places where people can talk openly about loss.
All 7 groups worked as connected peers, learning from each other, with IHF bringing awareness, training, and support. The programme began with online training and information exchange in September,21. Group work began in October and rans until February 2022.
To find out more about Compassionate Culture Network please visit:
SoloSIRENs Collective are delighted to be one of the participating groups in Liz Roche Company's Creative Audiences programme (https://lizrochecompany.com/creative-audiences/).
Creative Audiences is facilitated by Liz Roche and Jenny Macdonald.
The programme creates opportunities for individuals and communities to engage with the work of Liz Roche company and to participate in contemporary dance and movement workshops.
We would like to share a piece of work created by SoloSIRENs for the Abbey Theatre’s ‘Dear Ireland III’ project in December 2020. This piece is a response to the prompt, ‘what does it feel like to be you, right now, in Ireland?’. It features words written by our team and our collective.
SoloSIRENs is a platform dedicated to women theatre artists who are writing and performing their own work.
Curated, directed and staffed entirely by a female team, we collectively share and express the challenges facing women in the arts and society today.