Painted Bird began with one true story… that story became Between Trees and Water.

In 2013, artistic director Fiona McGeown was handed some documentary material by historian and feminist, Dr. Sandra McAvoy. The newspaper articles, witness statements and depositions related to the true story of a young Cork woman who, in 1939, died in a guesthouse in the centre of Cork city as a result of taking pills to bring on an abortion. With the tragic death in Galway of Savita Halapanavar, due to complications with an unviable pregnancy, being painfully present to everyone, it became important that a way be found to tell this other young woman’s story.

The process began with a group of artists and a large pile of documents in TDC Cork. The collaborators became investigators in a story that, with each new day, revealed fresh insights into the history of Ireland’s complicated relationship with women’s reproductive rights. We dug deeper and when dramaturg Thomas Conway joined the team, the possibility of a script emerged.

What began with a bunch of papers from the public record became a play. We left out that most important role in Irish Theatre, the writer, and opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

Thanks to all the artists, collaborators and friends along the way, including,
Aoife Duffin, Ray Scannell, Tom Lane, Sinead Sexton, Eoghan Carrick, Mark Storor, Kris Nelson and Ruth McGowan @ Fringe, Julie Kelleher @ Everyman, Lorraine Maye, Kath Gorman, Conall O’Riain @ Cork Midsummer Festival, MAKE, Corcadorca, Abbey Theatre archive, Chris and Amy Ramsden, Maybird, and Darryl Hughes.

Next up

Our Own Battle

1601 Battle of Kinsale
3 statements 3 men 3 days
Kinsale December 2017