3 September 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Playwright Katie Holly is the ‘Cork County Culture Night Ambassador’ for 2020.
Katie Holly is a graduate of Drama and Theatre Studies, and subsequently completed a Masters in Irish Literature, both in University College Cork. Her first play Marion starring Laura O’Mahony, from RTE’s ‘Bridget and Eamon’ and ‘The School’, premiered at Cork Midsummer Festival 2016 and was invited to Clonmel Junction Festival, Skibbereen Arts Festival and toured to many venues around the country. Her second play Sharon premiered at Cork Midsummer Festival 2017 and was immediately invited to West Cork Fit-Up Festival, toured to Bewleys Theatre Cafe, Dublin in 2018, was recorded and broadcast as a radio play on RTE Radio 1 and won a New York Festival Award for ‘Best Digital Drama’.
Katie has also written and produced two productions as part of Creative Communities Scheme, supported by Cork County Council and collaborated with visual Artist Marie Brett on ‘Day of the Straws’, an online artwork for Cork Midsummer Festival 2020. Up until March 2020 ‘Crowman’ her third professional play, was touring nationally, starring Jon Kenny.
Katie was commissioned by Cork County Council Library Service and Arts Office to write ‘Crossword’ for Bealtaine Festival 2019, a two person play that toured to libraries in Cork County.
Speaking about the role as Cork County Culture Night Ambassador, Katie said:
“I feel privileged and proud to be Cork County Culture Night Ambassador, and look forward to the most innovative Culture Night yet. It had to be more innovative than previous years because we’ve never had to engage with restrictions and guidelines like these before…but I think that these seeming limitations have driven us to think laterally about how we communicate, how we express ourselves and how we share cultural experiences in a post Covid-19 era.
I am delighted to be involved in three projects as part of Cork County Culture Night on 18th September. A play commissioned by Cork County Council called ‘Crossword’ will be broadcast as an online audio drama (starring Tadhg Hickey and Danny Buckley). I will act in a short play I wrote called ‘Pageant’ (with Irene Kelleher) outdoors to a limited audience in Schoolyard Theatre, Charleville, a play which involves the fabulous local trad group ‘Ceoltoiri Clarach’. An online artwork called ‘Day of the Straws’ on which I collaborated with visual artist Marie Brett, will find a physical home in Sirius Arts Centre.
These pieces, amongst the many talented artists and gifted arts organisers in the county who are producing work available to experience for free, show what we as a people can do to feel a part of the cultural community, even if we cannot all be in the same physical space. Here is to a fantastic Culture Night around our beloved County Cork!”
The Mayor of County Cork, Councillor Mary Linehan Foley said
“We are delighted to have a writer of Katie’s talent as our Culture Night Ambassador this year. Not only has Katie helped to add a range of events to this year’s Culture Night, but she has helped to foster a love of drama in Cork throughout her career. She is the ideal ambassador and I look forward to enjoying all that she will bring to Culture Night 2020. There is something for all the family in this new and innovative style of Culture Night, a true celebration of our culture and the wealth of artistic talent that we are fortunate to nurture here in Cork County.”
Katie joins a plethora of talent in bringing physical and digital events to towns, villages and homes across the county on Friday, September 18th. Proudly supported by Cork County Council and the Arts Council, this is “Culture Night…Re-Imagined.”
For a full list of events, go to culturenightcorkcounty.ie and follow Cork County Council Arts on social media @CorkCountyArts.