Clare Dunne (Class of 2009) takes to the boards this month in the Irish Premiere of the stage production of , an adaptation of the award-winning children’s book of the same name by Jamila Gavin. This production marks the 50th anniversary of the Betty Ann Norton Theatre and Agency School.
Clare started in Kindergarten in The Green and left school last year. She is currently studying BESS (Business Economics and Social Studies) in Trinity College. While at school she has taken part in many productions, as well as plays in Belvedere College.
Clare has been directly involved with the Theatre School for nine years, both as a student and as a mentor. Over the years, she has appeared in many productions and competed in Feiseanna. Last year she particularly enjoyed the challenge of juggling the Leaving Cert with mentoring AND completing Grade 8 of the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama exams!
Betty Ann Norton has strong connections with Loreto on The Green. For many years Betty Ann taught Speech and Drama in the school, and produced many of the school’s productions. We congratulate Betty Ann on her Golden Jubilee and for all her theatrical achievements over the years. Countless Loreto girls have passed through her doors over the years, and many feature in the Coram Boy cast including sixth year student Nella Maguire, her sister Daisy (3rd year), Charlotte O’Reilly and Ellen Walters (both 1st years).
Coram Boy takes place in the 18th century, yet mirrors modern issues like child-trafficking and family feuds. It follows a range of characters, focusing in particular on two orphans – Toby, saved from an African slave ship, and Aaron, the deserted son of the heir to an estate. Their lives become closely involved in this true and tragic episode of social history.
The play will be on in The Mill Theatre, Dundrum on Wednesday 31st March and Thursday 1st April, with an additional performance in The O’Reilly Theatre, Belvedere College on Monday 19th April.
Tickets are currently available at The Mill Theatre Box Office on 01 296 9340 and from The O’Reilly Theatre on 01 858 6644. (Note: This play is not suitable for young children)
Undertaking Coram Boy has been a remarkable achievement. The intricate plot and complex characters demand commitment and dedication by all the cast and crew, as they present what they hope will be an enjoyable and exhilarating theatrical experience for the audience. Break a Leg, Clare & Co!
Jane Mitchell’s novel, Chalkline, has just been announced the winner of this year’s Essex County Book Award from a shortlist of six novels.Run by Essex County Council’s Library service, the county-wide scheme is aimed at encouraging secondary school pupils to enjoy reading and foster a passion for fiction.
The short-listed books were chosen by Essex School Library Service Librarians from a huge range of newly-published books for young people, and all participants were given the opportunity to write a review and post it on the Essex Grid for Learning.
Encouraged throughout by the librarians in their own schools, all pupils were able to cast individual votes for their favourite book.
In February, the votes were counted and verified, and Jane Mitchell’s Chalkline was a clear winner, as voted for by hundreds of students agreeing it was their favourite. She will be presented with the Essex Book Award at an award ceremony in May.
The contemporary novel, set in the mountains of Kashmir, features Rafiq, who is just nine when Kashmiri Freedom fighters raid his village in search of new recruits. Rafiq is forced to become a boy soldier against his will.
His sister Jameela cannot forget her brother and while Rafiq is trained to kill in the rebel camp high in the mountains, she keeps his memory alive.
When their paths cross again, Rafiq is unrecognizable as the boy who was forced to leave his village and family.
Essex County Council cabinet member for education, Stephen Castle, said: “The Essex Book Award is a wonderful way to get young readers inspired by fiction, and encourage them to develop their own views and opinions as the Award was judged by them. We are thrilled to announce Jane Mitchell’s Chalkline as the winner of the fourth book award, a clear favourite and an inspiration to those pupils involved in the decision making. ”
Tara Fay is a Past Pupil of The Green. She runs the event management company, Xena Productions
Two Irish event companies received the prestigious Special Event Gala Awards.
History was created on the 15th January at the Special Events show in New Orleans, when Ireland won an unprecedented two awards at the prestigious Gala Awards Ceremony.
Euro Events from Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin and Xena Productions from Blackrock, Co. Dublin both received the prestigious Special Event Gala Award.
Xena Productions received their nomination in the Best Wedding Category and competed against companies from San Francisco, California and Denver, Colorado, USA.
The Gala Awards have been awarded by Special Events Magazine, the premier industry publication, since 1986, when the awards honored the “Top 10 Events of 1985.” They recognize the finest work in Special Events worldwide and are often referred to as the “Oscars” of the Special Event industry.
Members of the Special Events Magazine Advisory Board, made up of leaders in the event profession, spent three days in October 2009 at the magazine’s offices in Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles), California, to select the 101 finalists. Nominated entries went through three rounds of judging.
The Gala Awards were presented on Jan. 15, 2010, at a black-tie gala ceremony in New Orleans at The Special Event show.
(Press release, January 2010)
For more information on either the company or the awards, please contact Sian Redmond or Tara Fay at Xena Productions Tel: 01-2788733 or email email@example.com
Xena Productions Ltd was set up in 1997 by Tara Fay and was the first event company in Ireland specialising in the creation of events and weddings for private individuals. Xena Productions has been nominated three times for Gala Awards for weddings at the Special Events Conference in the United States (the Oscars of the Special Events Industry) in 2003, 2004 and 2009, finally winning the award in January 2010. Since 1997 Xena Productions has produced some of the most high profile weddings in Ireland and throughout Europe.
Previously voted “Ireland’s Premier Wedding Planner” by Social & Personal, Tara is sought after as a speaker at Wedding events and has contributed to articles on weddings and parties in publications such as the Evening Herald, Image Magazine, Irish Weddings, Wedding Journal, Weddings Irish Style and Confetti magazine.
She has also made multiple appearances on both radio and TV and has taken part in two documentaries on wedding planners for both RTE and the Lifestyle channel. Weddings by Xena Productions have featured in all the Irish Wedding magazines, “Brides” in the UK, “Victoria” magazine in the USA and also Hello and OK magazines worldwide.
Xena Productions has produced weddings throughout Europe and also in the USA and Caribbean, and consists of some of most experienced people in the wedding and events industry in Ireland.
Anne-Marie O’Farrell was a pupil in The Green from 1979 to 1984. She is the leading exponent of the Irish harp as a recital instrument. Her development and expansion of its repertoire have led to performances and recordings for TV and radio throughout Europe, the USA, Scandinavia, Japan, Russia and Africa. A prolific recording artist, she has just released her sixth CD, Just So Bach while her previous albums include Heads & Harps, Harping Bach to Carolan, The Jig’s Up, My Lagan Love and Double Strung with Cormac De Barra. She has also recorded with The Chieftains in Abbey Road Studios, London and frequently performs internationally with Moya Brennan of Clannad. In addition to her interpretation of Irish music, Anne-Marie is especially noted for her transcriptions of repertoire for the Irish harp, and also for the unique levering techniques which she continues to develop on this instrument. As a result of these innovations, she was consultant to Salvi harpmakers on the design of their Irish harp, the Livia.
She holds professional diplomas in many instruments along with national awards for original composition. An honours graduate of UCD, she has been awarded a first class honours MA in Composition from the NUI, Maynooth. She lectures in stylistic composition at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and teaches the harp at Kylemore College Music Centre (CDVEC). She is regularly invited to give lecture recitals, workshops and masterclasses at international conferences and festivals. As a past pupil of Loreto and a former candidate in their novitiate she now enjoys involvement in Christian ministry. Her journey has led to her becoming ordained as a priest in the Church of Ireland, serving in a voluntary part-time capacity at Sandford Church in Ranelagh and at St Philip’s on Temple Road in Milltown. She enjoys ecumenical connections with nearby parishes and old friends!
Claudia was born in Dublin, where she still lives and where she’s worked extensively both as a theatre and television actress. For fourteen years, she played the part of Nicola Prendergast in the long-running Dublin soap opera, Fair City; a character she describes as ‘the horrible old cow that everyone loves to hate.’
She wrote her first novel, HE LOVES ME NOT, HE LOVES ME in the dressing rooms of RTE studios, when she was meant to be learning her lines. It was published by Transworld in 2004 to critical acclaim and became an instant bestseller. In 2005, she followed this up with THE LAST OF THE GREAT ROMANTICS, another bestseller.
Then, the following year, her third book, REMIND ME AGAIN WHY I NEED A MAN was published and then optioned by Fox TV for a series in the US. This meant that Claudia could quit the day job and concentrate on writing full-time. The only job, she reckons, where you can wear pyjamas, stare out the window all day, and still get paid.
In 2007, she published I NEVER FANCIED HIM ANYWAY, another bestseller, which Wendy Finerman (CBS) optioned for a movie. Wendy’s previous credits include THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and PS, I LOVE YOU. The movie is currently in pre-production, with a screenplay adapted by Academy Award nominee, Robin Swicord, (THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB.) Claudia is currently hassling producers for a walk-on part and very cheekily hoping they might throw in a free outfit too.
In 2008 she published her fifth novel, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET which remained on bestseller lists for several weeks. Then in 2009, she followed this up with IF THIS IS PARADISE, I WANT MY OLD LIFE BACK, which is now available in paperback.
In 2009, Claudia was very excited to move publishers to Harper Collins (Avon) and will publish her first book with them, PERSONALLY, I BLAME MY FAIRY GODMOTHER, in early Summer 2010.
All her books are published by Harper Collins in the US and all are widely translated.
You can also check out her site at: www.claudiacarroll.net
Jane Mitchell attended Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green, all the way up from fourth class until her Leaving Certificate in 1983. English and Art were Jane’s favourite subjects throughout her schooling, so it is hardly any great surprise that she went on to write and illustrate books for children and young people.
While studying Education in Trinity and Froebel College of Education, she wrote and illustrated An Loch Draíochta. Based on a traditional Irish folktale, this hand-bound and illustrated book won an excellence award from Bord na Gaeilge for the development of Irish language teaching materials. It was subsequently published by An Gúm.
Jane’s first published book, When Stars Stop Spinning,won the Bisto Book of the Year Award and was runner-up in the Reading Association of Ireland Children’s Book Awards. About young people with disabilities, it was translated into German and Danish, and has featured a number of times on the Leaving Certificate English examination. Other books and short stories followed, including Olivia’s Collection and Different Lives.
Jane’s most recent publication is Chalkline, an uncompromising book for young adults about child soldiers. Set in Kashmir, it is endorsed by Amnesty International as contributing to a better understanding of human rights and the values that underpin them. Published in 2009, negotiations are currently underway with a number of European publishing houses for translation rights.
In addition to writing, Jane works full-time as a Project Manager and has found time to complete two Masters Degrees and postgraduate studies in Statistics. She is currently working on a new book. More information about her writing and about Jane herself can be found on her website: www.janemitchell.ie