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Lianne O’Shea Residency at Riverbank Arts Centre

This July we welcomed director Lianne O’Shea and lighting designer Matt Burke to Riverbank Arts Centre for a one week residency that took place in our auditorium. Funded by an Arts Council Agility Award and with the support of Riverbank Arts Centre, Lianne and Matt shared the space with five actors to explore the integration of lighting into the viewpoints system of rehearsal. 

The actors were working on improvised composition shaped by the parameters that viewpoints layouts – as was Matt, who’s work was therefore participatory rather than just responsive to what was happening on stage.  The aims were to explore the potential of the lighting designer to be an active live collaborator in the process, to consider the light as a dynamic and responsive variable and to evaluate how that might enhance future work. 

Although the work during the residency was very embryonic, there was definitely something interesting and exciting coming through at moments.  Interestingly, beyond the stated aims of the project there was a really valuable upshot – the actors got to engage with the lighting designer in a totally different way to how they would in a tech rehearsal, and got to hear and be involved in conversations about his practise and approach as a designer which will no doubt inform their work going forward.