14 Dec 2022

Mavens Programme Recipients 2023

Mavens Programme Recipients 2023

The dlr Mill Theatre supported by the Arts Council are delighted to announce this year’s recipients of the 2023 MAVENS Programme.

This nine-month writing programme provides career support for female identifying writers aged 35+. This programme explores the representation of older women from menopausal age onwards in canonical and contemporary Irish playwriting.

The programme received a high number of applicants again this year. The four writers awarded places on the programme are: Gillian Grattan, Katie Holly, Úna Kavanagh & Clare Monnelly

As part of the dlr Mill Theatre’s continued commitment to supporting the artist, the writers will develop their ideas with the support of dramaturg, Pamela McQueen and masterclasses with four mentors, Noelle Brown, Gina Moxley, Deirdre Kinahan and Michelle Read.

They will also be hosted for a paid writing week here at the Mill Theatre. Each writer will receive a €2250 for their participation in the program.

Gillian Grattan

A graduate of University of Ulster, Gillian Grattan works as a playwright, drama facilitator and freelance radio producer. Stage work includes Hooked (Verdant productions, Inis Nua Philadelphia, Irish Theatre of Florida) Fish Out of Water (Irish Classical Theatre, Buffalo) Lost Weekend (Axis Arts Centre Ballymun) as well as several radio plays for KCLR96FM in Kilkenny: Snapshot, Beyond The Forest and, Tinderella. Tinderella will soon be published in a book of plays from the southeast . Audio documentary work includes Shattered Bonds, The Other Half and The Bus. (KCLR)

Radio drama, Mr. Sun, was broadcast on RTÉ in February 2019 and KCLR, Kilkenny in 2021.  The play was awarded silver at the New York radio Awards, 2019 and the short film adaptation is currently doing the festival circuit and was nominated for best Irish Short ay Dublin short film festival. Gillian runs  TADA! Theatre School,Thomastown and Inistioge, teaching children to write and perform in their own plays. Gillian works as drama facilitator with numerous groups in KIlkenny, Carlow and Tipperary.facilitates drama and writing workshops with numerous groups throughout  Kilkenny, Carlow and Tipperary Kingsriver including Kilkenny Carlow Acquired Brain Injury Group, The Irish Wheelchair Association. Gillian has previously received a Peggy Ramsay Bursary, Art Links Bursaries, Arts Act Bursary, Tyrone Guthrie bursaries as well as the Decade of the Centenaries Grant in 2021 for Coolbawn Women in 2021 and again  in 2022 for docudrama  Burning of Woodstock House, Inistioge. She was a recipient of the Arts Council Agility Award in 2021.

Katie Holly

Katie Holly is a graduate of Drama and Theatre Studies in University College Cork, where she subsequently completed a Masters in Irish Literature.  Her first three plays Marion (2016), Sharon (2017) and Crowman (2018) premiered at Cork Midsummer Festival and all three toured regionally and/or nationally.  Sharon was recorded and broadcast as a radio play on RTE Radio 1 and won a New York Festival Award for ‘Best Digital Drama’ in 2019.

Katie has also written and produced two productions as part of Creative Communities Scheme (2017 and 2018), supported by Cork County Council and worked with a visual artist to create ‘Day of the Straws’, an online artwork for Cork Midsummer Festival (2020).  She was commissioned by Cork County Council to write and produce Crossword, a touring play for Bealtaine Festival 2019.  In 2021 Katie was a participant in ‘Six in the Attic’ and received a Theatre Bursary from the Arts Council.  In 2022 she completed a residency in Everyman Theatre.  In the same year she was commissioned to co-write/facilitate a radio soap opera involving writers from the community.


Úna Kavanagh

Úna Kavanagh holds a B.A. & M.A. from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, Ireland. She has worked across disciplines for over 30 years in her native Ireland, UK, America, France, and the Middle East. Úna is a figurative artist whose work includes sculpture, text, painting, drawing, performance, film, installation, animation, script writing, music composition, Performance Art, and Live Art durational performances.

Her practice ranges from extensive work in theatre, film, television, and radio to her artistic collaborations. Úna has been nominated internationally for her work on stage and screen. It is her work as a co-creator, writer & performer with the multi award winning, ground-breaking ANU Productions that she is best known for. Úna has been a leading artist on some of the companies most searing works, including THE MONTO CYCLE 2010-2014; THE ANU TRIPTYCH 2016; THESE ROOMS, LIFT 2018; THE ANVIL, Manchester International Festival 2019. In 2022 Úna has collaborated on four new works with ANU: THE WAKEFIRES; OF THE MOUTH OF FLOWERS; ALL HARDEST OF WOMAN and STAGING THE TREATY. She has spent the last decade creating female narratives, characters and works which illuminate the role of women during this decade of centenaries. As a creator she uses drawings, texts , painting and sculpture to inform these female scores. Other writing includes BLACK BESSIE 2009, Nominated for Fishamble’s New Irish Writing award. THAT’S ABOUT THE SIZE OF IT, 2012 and BESSIE, her first feature film script in development with Village Films. Úna, alongside Hilary Fannin, has created the “Young Playwrights Programme” for the Fighting Words Charity, in association with The Abbey Theatre. In 2021 Úna and Hilary wrote the book “Making a Scene” The Young Playwrights Programme, due for publication in 2023. She was a storyline writer for Fair City between 2006 and 2008 . She has written short films and film artworks which have exhibited internationally. Most recently, CONSTANCE, a Screen Ireland & Bow Street Academy commission premiered at The Cork International Film Festival 2021. As writer, director, actor and producer this short filmic work has screened in International Festivals in 2022.It was nominated as a semi-finalist at The Amsterdam and Berlin ARFF Festivals.

Clare Monnelly

Clare Monnelly is a writer and actor. Her first play Charlie’s a Clepto was nominated for two Irish Times Theatre Awards (Best New Play, Best Actress) and the Stewart Parker New Playwright Bursary. Her second play minefield premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2019 and was nominated for three Fringe Awards (Best Design, Fishamble New Writing Award, First Fortnight Award).

As an actor she has worked with Druid, the Gate, the Abbey and Livin Dred among others and on screen for RTÉ, Sky One and TG4. She is an alumnus of Irish Theatre Institute’s Six in the Attic programme. She has just completed filming on her short film Departure as part of Bow Street and Screen Ireland’s Actor as Creator programme.