The Space Programme

Artist Name(s) The Performance Corporation
Artwork title The Space Programme
Context/Background The SPACE Programme is a unique theatre initiative based in Castletown House, Co. Kildare. The Performance Corporation created the programme for artists, giving an opportunity to focus on their interest in collaboration. Although this programme was part of longer term plans, it came to early fruition due to The Performance Corporation's move to Castletown House in 2007. 

The SPACE Programme is inspired by a model of open process-based work which has not previously existed in any meaningful manner in Ireland. Inspired by similar programmes run by Belgian theatre company Victoria (now Campo) and Metal in the UK, The Performance Corporation has committed itself to establishing a programme focusing on artists and their creativity rather than a production-focused model. The company believes this initiative will benefit artists from all disciplines, contribute to the national artistic dialogue and also expose the company to new thinking, new influences and new ways of working. The programme builds confidence in younger and emerging artists while experienced participants are exposed to the cutting edge methodologies of younger practitioners. Artists used to working alone are opened up to the possibilities of collaboration.

The SPACE Programme
gives all participants a rare chance to place their work in an international context through collaborations with people from different countries and cultural backgrounds. All participants are able to assess their own practice and process via interaction with artists from other disciplines - often learning valuable insights from other artforms. Overall The SPACE Programme provides artists with a spirit of re-invigoration, renewed sense of purpose and confidence in their own creativity. The SPACE Programme offers artists a rare opportunity to fully engage their creativity without the pressure of deadlines, producing an end product or indeed any pre-defined goal.

Through simply working together artists can reboot their creative dynamism, exchange and develop new ideas, experiment without fear of failure and assess and develop their own artistic process. This programme is a collaborative hothouse where artists from widely different art-forms can engage, share methodologies and inspire each other. The Performance Corporation believes it is important that artists are paid for their participation in the programme. This factor also relieves the participants of any financial concerns while engaging in the programme and also ensures a high standard of applicant.


In 2008 a two-week residency at The Performance Corporation's base in Castletown House, Celbridge, Co Kildare, included participants from Ireland and around the world. The programme was facilitated by multi-disciplinary dramaturg Hanna Slattne and Jo Mangan, the Artistic Director of The Performance Corporation. The first week's work included explorations of individual process, initial collaborations, presentations on process and work by individual artists. Inspiring and challenging field trips also aided the collaborative and creative processes of the group. The second week focused more on artist-led projects, discussions and more intensive collaborations. The second week concluded with an informal presentation of work-in-progress, but participation in this was entirely dependent on individual artists.

The SPACE Programme 2009 followed the same format as the previous year, but with the participation of 10 artists. Outcomes included live performance at Castletown House, the formation of a live band and explorations of collaborative process between all the artists involved.  

The SPACE Programme is chiefly advertised via web-based communication through national and international artistic networks. A panel of external adjudicators with a strong track record in a variety of fields ensure that a diverse yet complimentary group of people is chosen. The panel for The SPACE Programme 2008 were Sarah Glennie, Director of the Model Arts & Niland Gallery, Maura O'Keeffe, Independent Theatre Producer and Chrissie Poulter, Lecturer in Drama, Trinity College Dublin. In 2009, Paul Johnson, Director of Dance Ireland joined the adjudication panel. The adjudicators ensure that there is a broad range of artistic disciplines among the successful applicants and select at least one young/emerging artist to participate in each strand of the programme.

Commission Type The Arts Council
Commissioner Name Kildare County Council, The Arts Council and OPW
Project commission dates March 1, 2008 - August 30, 2008
Partners Space Programme Participants include: Ciaran Bagnall
Christine Fentz
Mary-Jo Gilligan
Konstantin Grouss
Sonia Haccius
Nuria Montblanch
Suzanne Mooney
Irene O'Mara
Oisín Byrneki
Fionnuala Conway
Alan Howley
Carol Moore
Kim Porceilli
Valeria Primost
Hilary O'Shaughnessy
Patrick Stewart
Michelle Readmich
Artform Theatre,Visual Arts,Dance
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By The Arts Council,Kildare County Council
Budget Range 35000 - 70000 euro
Project commission start date 01/03/2008
Project commission end date 30/08/2008
Location Castletown House, Kildare
County Kildare
Town Kildare
Street Address Cellbridge
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Content contributor(s) Irene O'Mara
Relationship to project Project Coordinator
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Hannah Slattne, Dramaturg for Tinderbox Theatre Company



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