Before arriving in Ireland, I had an immense feeling of anxiety. I had a lot of uncertainty ahead of me. I would arrive on August 31st, but my directing program at the Lir wouldn’t start until November 8th. I had no idea what the COVID restrictions would look like in Ireland. Most of all, I wondered if being a Black American woman in Dublin would be like having a target on my back at all times. Nonetheless, when I finally arrived, I received a generous and deeply warm welcome from the people, places, and experiences of Ireland.
In the past two months, I have been using this expansive free time to learn about myself personally and artistically. I’ve been really lucky to have been able to see ten theatrical productions in the greater Dublin area through the Dublin Fringe Festival and the Dublin Theatre Festival. In doing so, I’ve fallen in love with absurdist traditions in theatre and film, especially related to understanding concepts of identity in the wake of colonialism. Additionally, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get better acquainted with the natural beauty of Ireland, and have found a very unexpected love for hiking (I use this term VERY loosely). I’ve been taking a lot of solo adventures to the Papal Cross in Phoenix Park, which I believe is the one place where I always feel like praying. I’ve also gotten very good at cooking southern food without southern ingredients, just to keep a little bit of home with me in this new landscape (polenta is a great substitute for grits, by the way).
Most excitingly, I have found myself extremely inspired by everything I see during my travels. In an effort to make a scrapbook for visuals that have most inspired me, I have been taking 15 to 20 second videos of my surroundings during each adventure. I feel that these videos can be perfect references as I return to creating theatre and films. Below, I’ve created a video collage of my experiences in Ireland, soundtracked to a song that I feel has reflected much of my experience so far.
Sending blessings and good energy to all who read this!