7th Pan Pan International Mentorship with Kelly Copper

Pan Pan Symposium Hours

*Irish Standard Time



To mark the end of our 7th International Mentorship we are hosting a series of free online Symposium Hours: three hour-long events over three weeks starting Thursday 25 June 2020. This is a unique opportunity to hear about what goes into the thinking behind contemporary performance at a moment in the process that we rarely get to share.

The first two Symposium Hours will be a chance to hear about the early stage ideas for performance that the participants have been working on. For the third Symposium Hour, Kelly Copper will talk a little about her work with Nature Theater of Oklahoma, and she and the participants will talk a bit about their experience of the mentorship.

About the International Mentorship:

From December 2019 to June 2020 Kelly Copper of Nature Theatre of Oklahoma will work with four participants based in Ireland. This mentorship programme is a unique opportunity for theatre and performance makers to develop an early-stage idea for performance, outside the pressures of production. The engagement of the mentor is aimed to pose challenges and offer interrogations within a supportive structure.

In addition to meeting Kelly in Dublin, each of the participants receive a bursary of €2,000 to help them dedicate time to work on their ideas, and we also offer travel subsidy to help them see relevant work internationally.

The Pan Pan International Mentorship is funded by the Arts Council.
The Gate Theatre is the mentorship partner.


Kelly Copper
began collaborating with Pavol Liska in 1997, and together they founded Nature Theater of Oklahoma in 2006. The company is committed to ‘making the work they don’t know how to make’, an approach yielding new amalgams of opera, dance, theatre, and film, combined with popular culture and humor. Starting out in dirty basements working with zero subsidy and cardboard sets, Nature Theater of Oklahoma has, since 2008, been commissioned by theaters and festivals around the world, including Rhurtriennale, Burgtheater Wien, Festival d’Avignon, Kampnagel Hamburg, Wexner Center for the Arts, and Salzburger Festspiele. Copper and Liska have each been recipients of the Nestroy Special Prize in Theater, the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and the Alpert Award in the Arts, as well as two OBIE Awards for their work on No Dice and Life and Times.

In addition, Copper and Liska also host the podcast OK Radio, a series featuring long-form conversations with artists, curators, and instigators available on iTunes or at okradio.org.

For more information on Nature Theater of Oklahoma see www.oktheater.org


Sarah Gordon
is an artist and writer from Belfast. Her first play A Sinkhole in Guatemala, premiered at Dublin Fringe 2016 (nominated Best Performer, nominated for Stewart Parker Award). She co-created and directed BILLY, for Dublin Fringe 2018 (nominated Moira Brady Averill Spirit of Wit). Sarah was a supported artist with Prime Cut Productions’ Reveal project from 2016-18, when she started working on a play called Road. This was developed through Lyric Belfast’s New Playwrights Programme 2019.

During the mentorship Sarah will develop an idea about monuments, thinking about territory, terrorism and tourism.


Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín is a dance artist based in Cork, Ireland.  She trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK) and subsequently completed a Masters in Contemporary Dance Performance, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance graduating in 2012.  She has performed with John Jasperse, Liz Roche (Step Up Dance Programme), Junk Ensemble, Laura Murphy and Mary Wycherley. Siobhán was also a member of Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company performing works by Fearghus Ó Conchúir and David Bolger.

Siobhán’s own work primarily focuses on place-based and site-specific work manifesting in film and live performance. It has been shown nationally and internationally including at Folkestone Fringe (UK), Bandon Arts Festival, Dance Limerick, Firkin Crane, Tipperary Dance Platform and Echo Echo Festival of Movement and Dance, Derry.

Siobhán is Rinceoir Cónaitheach, Ionad Cultúrtha, Baile Mhúirne, Co Chorcaí 2018-2020  funded by Arts Council, Dance Artist in Residency Scheme, Cork County Council Arts Office and Ealaín na Gaeltachta.  She is an Arts Council, Next Generation Award (2018) recipient.

As part of the Pan Pan International Mentorship Programme Siobhán will develop a site-specific, performance piece focusing on themes of collective pleasure, social dancing and country music. 


Maeve O’Mahony is a collaborative devisor and performer based in Dublin. She is a co-founder of MALAPROP, an award winning collective of emerging theatre-makers. Productions with MALAPROP include: Everything Not Saved (Georganne Aldrich Heller Award 2017, Melbourne Fringe Tour Ready Award 2018), JERICHO, and LOVE+ (Spirit of the Fringe Award 2015). Maeve has also performed and devised with Collapsing Horse, Super Powa, Atticist and Sugarglass. She holds a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin.

For Pan Pan’s International Mentorship Programme, Maeve plans to work on a show about teenage girls, HPV, and anti-vaxxers. She hopes to interrogate the emotive language and manipulation used by the anti-vaccine movement.


Richard Walsh is an experimental theatre maker interested in looking for new techniques for creating theatre.

In 2018 he wrote and directed ‘Oneday’ which was staged in Dublin Fringe Festival 2018. It was nominated for Best Production and Best Performer. In 2016 his play ‘George Bush and Children’ was nominated for the Judges Choice Award at the Dublin Fringe Festival. In 2015 ‘Newcastlewest’ was produced by Pan Pan and featured in the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Korjaamo festival in Helsinki 2016. This play was nominated for The Stewart Parker Award.

During the Pan Pan International Mentorship Richard will be developing a piece of musical theatre based on the economic situation in North Kerry during the 18th Century.


  • Dublin
    December 2019-June 2020
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