Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell to open 2019 Festival


We’re delighted to announce that Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell will open the 49th Claremorris Drama and Fringe festival on March 14th 2019.

Marie-Louise became head of drama at the teacher training college, Carysfort College where she taught for ten years, until the college’s closure in 1988, when she was appointed as a lecturer in the School of Communications at Dublin City University (DCU). At DCU for 23 years, she taught a range of communications and arts courses, including radio documentary making, storytelling and public speaking, and the university sent her for training at the BBC. Research interests included theatrical and radio voice performance, and ancient and modern chorus speech.

She also became involved in building the arts aspect of campus life, including DCU Arts Week, the Writer in Residence Programme, Ford Society Awards and Children’s Arts Days. She worked on productions including the Larkin Concert Series, Wilde Space Theatre, Open Air Opera, RIAM graduate concerts, and a performance at DCU by the Royal Shakespeare Company. This work included a key role in the development of The Helix cultural centre, especially including its performance spaces. When the Helix launched, she took a role as Associate Director, and later managed the smaller of its two theatre spaces, The Space.

O’Donnell has also lectured extensively in Ireland, Europe and the USA in the areas of education, and Irish culture, especially drama and language. In the early 2000s she also spent six months as a touring actor across the UK and Ireland, in The Merry Wives of Windsor and King John with the Northern Broadsides company.