Associate Artists 2021/2022
4th November 2021

Announcing our Associate Artists

THISISPOPBABY emerges from the uncertainty of the pandemic strong, and as such, our family of artists is growing.
We’re thrilled to announce our 2021/2022 Associate Artists Programme, supported by The Arts Council and in partnership with Project Arts Centre. The inaugural year-long programme encompasses both artists currently under commission with the company and artists who have been invited to explore new ideas via the programme. As well as being supported to develop their own ideas, this group of incredible artists will form a cultural think tank via a buoyant and spicy yearlong dialogue with each other and THISISPOPBABY, challenging thinking around art, theatre and the changing city.

Our Associate Artists are: Alma Kelliher (Composer), Dylan Coburn Gray (Writer), Emma Dabiri (Writer/Broadcaster), Emmet Kirwan (Writer/Performer), Emmett Scanlon (Architect/Designer), Felicia Olusanya (Writer/Performer), Kate Stanley Brennan (Writer/Performer), Philip Connaughton (Choreographer), Rory O’Neill/Panti (Writer/Performer), Tara Flynn (Writer/Performer) and Una Mullally (Writer).

THISISPOPBABY develops and presents world class theatre from Ireland’s most exciting theatre artists. Recent highlights include Mark O’Halloran’s Conversations After Sex, and the worldwide smash, RIOT.
In addition to our own productions, THISISPOPBABY has a long history of commissioning, developing and presenting new work by emerging and established artists, most notably via our Queer Notions Festival, our POPTENT at Electric Picnic, our Where We Live Festival and our performance art club WERK. Over the years we have supported new work from artists such as Clare Dunne, Una McKevitt, Wayne Jordan, Thommas Kane Byrne, Rosaleen McDonagh, MALAPROP Theatre, Veronica Dyas, Federico Julian Gonzalez & Janet Moran, Fionnuala Gygax & Dan Colley, and Tara Brandel & Nicholas Nwosu. 

THISISPOPBABY continues to be a leader in the arts, and with our Associate Artists, we continue to create programmes and platforms to support our fellow artists and help shape the theatre ecology in Ireland.

  • Alma Kelliher 
  • Alma is an award winning composer, sound designer and musician. She works with many media including theatre, film, circus, live art and music. Throughout her work, she blurs the lines between music, sound and nature. She performs as electro-folk solo act Lux Alma.
  • Dylan Coburn Gray
  • Dylan writes collaboratively with MALAPROP; their work has won praise for its distinctive blend of nerdiness and tenderness. He was the recipient of the 2017 Verity Bargate Award for his sole-authored play Citysong, subsequently coproduced by The Abbey Theatre, Soho Theatre, and Galway International Arts Festival in 2019.
  • Emma Dabiri
  • Emma Dabiri is an Irish-Nigerian author, academic, and broadcaster. Her debut book, Don’t Touch My Hair, was first published in 2019. She studied African Studies in London, her academic career leading to broadcast work, including hosting BBC Four’s Britain’s Lost Masterpieces and Channel 4 documentaries such as Is Love Racist?, among others. Dabiri lives is a teaching fellow in the Africa Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and is currently completing her PhD. Her most recent book, What White People Can Do Next, was published in 2021 to widespread critical acclaim.
  • Emmet Kirwan
  • Emmet Kirwan is an award-winning actor, playwright and poet from Tallaght, Dublin. As a writer, Emmet’s play Dublin Oldschool won the Stewart Parker Trust Award. Emmet wrote four poetry sections for THISISPOPBABY’s RIOT. One of the poems, ‘Heartbreak’, was adapted into an IFTA-winning short film. Other writing includes Queen of the Pyramids (Landmark Productions and Octopus Theatricals); Sarah and Steve (RTÉ and Accomplice); and Outside (Still Films). His debut novel will be published by Harper Collins in 2023.
  • Emmett Scanlon
  • Emmett Scanlon is an architect. His creative practice includes building and spatial design, public art, exhibition making and curation, academic research, education, and writing. He designed the set for Where we Live 2020 for THISISPOPBABY. Since 2020, he is host of What Do Buildings Do All Day? podcast about architecture, design and lives lived in the company of buildings.
  • Felicia Olusanya
  • FELISPEAKS is a Nigerian-Irish Poet, Performer, Playwright from Co. Longford. FELISPEAKS has been nominated Best Performer by Dublin Fringe Festival Sep. 2018 Judged for her performance in ‘BOYCHILD, a co-written play by Dagogo Hart and herself. As well as being a Member of the Poetry Ireland Board of Directors, Felicia is a member of the Poetry Collective, WeAreGriot. FELISPEAKS’ poem: ‘For Our Mothers’ is in the Ordinary Level English Leaving Cert Curriculum for the year of examination 2023.
  • Kate Stanley Brennan
  • Kate is an actor, writer and singer/songwriter from Dublin. In 2021 she made her directorial debut with short film with CHERRY (Official Selection Galway Film Fleadh 2021). Kate’s theatre work includes Conversations after Sex (THISISPOPBABY), her self penned show WALK FOR ME (Project Arts Centre),  RIOT (THISISPOPBABY), SHIT, Where We Live 2020  (THISISPOPBABY). Film/TV includes KIN (Townsend Film/AMC), Fair City (RTÉ), The Tudors (HBO). Kate makes music under the name “MissKate”. She has directed her last three music videos, TOOK THE LIFE, GET ME and a collaboration with Lux Alma, IN THE PLACE released in October 2021.
  • Panti Bliss/Rory O’Neill
  • Panti Bliss is a writer, performer, pub landlady, “gender discombobulist” and “accidental activist,” and has been a fixture of Ireland’s gay community since the late 80’s. She played a central role in the campaign for marriage equality in Ireland, and in 2014, a speech she made in the Abbey Theatre became an international sensation. Panti has written and performed five one-woman shows which have toured extensively, and was in the cast of the acclaimed show RIOT. Her memoir Woman In The Making was published in 2014, and she was the subject of a major documentary in 2015 called The Queen Of Ireland. Panti has presented an award-winning radio show – Pantisocracy – on RTE for a number of years. When not touring, Panti lives in Dublin with a dog, a cat, and the current Mr Bliss.
  • Philip Connaughton
  • Philip Connaughton is a choreographer/performer from Dublin. He trained locally and then went on to study at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. As a choreographer, his first solo, Embody, was created during a residency at Movement Research (NYC). Since then he has been performing his work both at home and abroad. He was artist in residence at axis:Ballymun (2012) where he created Mortuus Est Philippus which he performed as part of Dublin Dance Festival and Festival Instances, Chalon-sur-Saône.
  • Tara Flynn
  • Tara is an actor and writer for theatre, radio and TV. Her one-woman show Not A Funny Word (THISISPOPBABY/Abbey Theatre) played to sold-out crowds. She’s written three best-selling books and is a vocal campaigner for reproductive rights. She hosts a BBC Radio 4 in-conversation show with author Marian Keyes.
  • Una Mullally
  • Una Mullally is a writer and doer from Dublin. She writes books, articles, columns, poems, screenplays, essays and more. She has co-created podcasts, a music documentary film festival, a spoken word company, a DIY journalism school, club nights, a music TV show, documentaries, and parties. She strives for utopia.