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Pádraig Naughton's blog - disability arts online
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Padraig Naughton gives some background to the four Turning Point Writers / 10 June 2010

Photo of actors reading script through at the Kennedy Centre

Photo of a script run-through of 'How Very Normal' at the Kennedy Centre. From left to right: Actors Jason Lott, Chris Dinolfo, writer Steve Daunt, Production Manager Orla Flannagan, Director Jim Culleton & Dramaturge Gavin Kostick.

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 Although I've mentioned the four writers involved in Turning Point by name and written about their plays, I feel some background on each would be helpful.

John Austin Connolly was born in Dublin, where he currently lives and writes.  He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and an MA in Scriptwriting. In 2004 his children's play, Who Killed Granny? was given a staged reading at the Kilkenny Arts Festival. In 2006 two works were short-listed for the Fishamble Theatre Company Temple Bar Diversions Festival.  

In 2007 his play, The Boys from Siam, won the inaugural Yale Drama Series Award, and David Horn prize, selected by Edward Albee. This was given a staged reading by The Yale Repertory Theatre, and published by Yale University Press in 2008. 

In 2008 and 2009 Crochet and The Body were short-listed for the Francis MacManus short story competition, and broadcast by RTE Radio 1.  In 2009 his play, Dylan, Thomasina and Me, won the PJ O’Connor National RTE Radio 1 Drama Award. He has completed his new stage play, Altered Selves.

Steve Daunt cut his dramatic teeth in Trinity College Dublin while studying English. He was an active member of Dublin University Players where he acted and directed. He has written small scale scripts for the last 10 years including contributing to Disability Cabaret in the early 2000s. How Very Normal is an affectionate meditation on friendship. Steve currently works as a Researcher for Newstalk106-108.

Stephen Kennedy is partially sighted. He is originally from Drogheda, but he has lived and worked in Dublin for the last ten years. Stephen has had his poetry published in literary magazines like The Stinging Fly and Riposte, and his short fiction has appeared in Books Ireland.

In 2008 Stephen had a long poem – entitled ‘Do You Know What Really Annoys The Arse Off Me?’ – published in the New Irish Writing section of the Sunday Tribune. This poem went on to be shortlisted in the prestigious Hennessey XO Poetry Awards.

In 2004 Stephen had a radio play – entitled The Loony News – shortlisted for RTE Radio’s PJ O’Connor Awards. In 2008 Stephen wrote, directed and produced three short plays in a show called Sex! Three Short Plays (with very little to do with sex). This show had a successful run at the New Theatre in Temple Bar.

In 2008 Stephen also set up Nighthawks at the Cobalt with some friends. This is a very popular monthly arts club that combines different kinds of music, comedy, poetry, prose, short film and short theatre. A new collection of short plays by Stephen were recently presented in the New Theatre.

Rosaleen McDonagh is a Traveller woman with a disability. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. Her primary degree is in Theological and Biblical Studies. She has two Masters Degrees, one in the area of Ethnic & Racial Studies and the second in Creative Writing.

She was one of the founders of The Independent Living Movement in Ireland. She worked in Pavee Point Traveller Centre for eight years as manager of the Violence Against Women Program. Rosaleen has extensive experience of working at a policy level in the NGO sector covering areas of Traveller Women's and Disabled Women’s Human Rights. 

Currently Rosaleen is involved with Minceirs Whiden, a Traveller-only forum. She has run for the Senate twice. Rosaleen is an associated writer with Project Arts Centre, Dublin and has had two plays produced, Baby Doll and Stuck. She is working on a new theatre piece, Arrangements which will be produced by the Project in 2010 / 2011.

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