4 Dec 2023

2024 Mavens Announced!

The dlr Mill Theatre supported by the Arts Council are delighted to announce this year’s recipients of the 2024 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: Aisling O’Mara, Katie McCann, Colette Cullen and Joanne Ryan

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.


Aisling O’Mara

Aisling is a dublin based actor/wrter. Writing began with Show-In-A-Bag 2015with Rebel Rebel (written by Aisling and Robbie O’Connor), received with great success and toured Ireland,UK,New York. Nothing But A Toerag was her first play in 2019 sold out 2 week run in Smock Alley then 4 week run in Bewleys Cafe Theatre. Commissioned for Next Please by Bewleys Cafe Theatre in 2021 was nominated for best New Play in Irish Times Theatre awards 2021/2022 this play ran for many weeks in 2021/2022. 15 Minutes in Glass Mark Theatre three week sold out run 2022. She wrote one of thepieces in the 24 hour plays in the Abbey Theatre called AGM with them. She is currently under commission with the Abbey Theatre.

Katie McCann,
Katie McCann is a writer and actor based in Dublin. She has a BA in English from UCD and graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2013. She has appeared in numerous productions on both stage and screen. She has written eight plays to date, including Cirque des Rêves which was published by Stinging Fly Press in 2019. In 2021 Katie was accepted onto the Bewley’s Cafe Theatre New Writing Venture Percolate which culminated in a rehearsed reading of her play, The Lamentable Tale of Darkey Kelly, at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2022. She was shortlisted for the Phelim Donlon Playwright’s Bursary 2023. Katie was also a recipient of the inaugural Actor as Creator Scheme from Bow Street Academy and Screen Ireland which funded her first short film Darkey Kelly, which premiered at the Cork International Film Festival 2021 and went on to appear at numerous festivals in both Ireland and abroad.
Colette Cullen
Colette’s play TENDER MERCIES will have a rehearsed reading during The New Theatre’s New Writing Week 2023. Her critically-acclaimed play WHEN RACHEL MET FIONA ran at The New Theatre in March and at The Space, London (UK production) in 2021. Her audio drama FINGERS CROSSED dropped on Eclectic Full Contact Theatre Chicago’s ‘Half Hour Audio Hour’ in May. She directed an Irish production to be broadcast by NearFm in late 2023. Her play NO PROMISES had a rehearsed reading in The New Theatre in July 2022 and was shortlisted (Honorable Mention) Epiphanies New Work Festival 2022 and the Garry Marshall Theatre New Works Festival 2022. She’s currently developing her play FAMILY TREE, longlisted for the Papatango Prize 2019, on the Axis Artist Bursary programme 2023. Her Fishamble tiny play EVERYONE’S SORRY and SHOPPING DAYS continue to be internationally produced. Her radio play BLIND DATE, an RTE PJ O’Connor Awards shortlist, dropped on NearFM in February.
Joanne Ryan
Joanne is an award-winning Limerick-based theatre artist, playwright and performer.
Her critically acclaimed debut solo show Eggsistentialism premiered in Belltable and Dublin Fringe in 2016, was part of Culture Ireland’s 2017 Edinburgh Showcase and has toured extensively with runs in London, Liverpool, Cyprus, Malaysia and Australia.
Eggsistentialism has won the Lustrum Award for Best Festival Moment at Edinburgh Fringe, The Melbourne Fringe Tour Ready Award, The Sydney Fringe Critics’ Pick Award and was nominated for Best Performance at Melbourne Fringe. In 2018 it won the Stroller’s Network Touring Award leading to a 10-venue national tour in November 2019. Her radio adaptation of the play for RTÉ Drama on One won the 2023 Zebbie Award for Best Radio Drama Script.
Her second play In Two Minds was produced by Fishamble the New Play Company in 2023 as part of Dublin Theatre Festival with performances in Limerick and Dublin. She is currently developing a number of new theatre and film projects.
Joanne is currently an Artist-in-Residence in Ormston House. She was Theatre Artist in Residence in Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable in 2022/23, Limerick’s PLATFORM 31 artist in 2022 and was a Six-in-the-Attic artist at Irish Theatre Institute in 2021.
She works as a mentor to artists across artform for Minding Creative Minds and teaches Professional Development for the Performing Arts to MA students at the World Academy of Music and Dance at UL.