ACIS-West 2011 Program: Keynote and Performer Bios

(1)  Dr. Patrick Lonergan teaches at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and National University of Ireland, Galway. He writes about theatre for many publications, including The Irish Times and Irish Theatre Magazine and is academic director of the Synge Summer School. He is a board member of Irish Theatre Magazine, and a theatre evaluator for the Irish Arts Council. He is the Vice-President of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL) and an executive member of the Irish Society for Theatre Research and the Irish Theatrical Diaspora Project. His first book Theatre and Globalization won the Theatre Book Prize in 2009, and one of the ESSE Book Awards in 2010. He has lectured on Irish literature in many countries, including Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, the U.S. and the U.K. Most recently, he was one of the keynote speakers at the 2010 IASIL conference.

(2)  John Scott was born in Dublin and is a graduate in English literature from University College Dublin. He trained at Irish National College of Dance and danced with Dublin City Ballet. He studied with Andy De Groat, Pablo Vela, Living Theatre, performed for Anna Sokolow, Yoshiko Chuma, and in Meredith Monk’s Quarry. He is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of Irish Modern Dance Theatre since 1991. John was awarded the Cultural prize by African Refugee Network of Ireland for his pioneering work with survivors of torture. He also created work for Blanca Arietta Comoanty (Spain) and for the Conservatoire Superieur National pour la Musique et de la Danse (France). His film choreography includes Admit One, Buail, and Eternal. He is a founding board member of the Dublin Dance Festival and a guest Lecturer at University College Dublin.

(3)  Thomas Boylan is Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Among his teaching fields is economic planning at the national and local levels. He has published widely in the areas of the Philosophy and Methodology of Economic Thought. In addition to his solopublished works, he has collaborated with his colleague Tadhg Foley to publish numerous works in economics and history. In addition to their shared articles and contributions to books, they have also co-edited the following 11 volumes: Political Economy and Colonial Ireland, Irish Political Economy (4 volumes), and John Elliot Cairnes: Collected Works (6 volumes). Over the years, he has been a consultant to numerous governmental, private, and educational bodies in Ireland, Africa, and within the European Union. He directed the research branch of NUI, Galway, and has held academic appointments in Portugal and the United States (Senior Fulbright Lecturer).

(4)  Bisi Adigun is a Yoruba man from western Nigeria. He lived and worked as an artist in the United Kingdom for three years before relocating to Ireland in 1996. He has since worked as a performing artist, an academic, and a co–presenter of the first three series of Mono, RTE’s flagship intercultural television programme. He holds a B.A in Dramatic Arts (Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; 1990), an M.A. in Drama Studies (University College Dublin; 1999), an M.A. in Film/Television (Dublin City University; 2002), and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Drama Studies at Trinity College Dublin. Bisi is the founder and artistic director of Arambe Productions, Ireland’s first African theatre company (

(5)  Mary McLaughlin was born and raised in Northern Ireland. She has been performing, teaching, writing, and recording original and traditional songs (in both English and Irish Gaelic) for over twenty years. Mary appears on over twelve recordings including the highly acclaimed releases Celtic Voices (Narada label), which climbed to #3 on the Billboard World Music charts, Celtic Requiem (Windham Hill label), Crystal Shoe, and Daughter of Lir (Rowan Records Music label). She was the featured singer on Michael Whalen’s score for the PBS special Lost Liners in 2000. In 2002 Mary’s instructional Book / CD set Singing in Irish Gaelic was published by Mel Bay. Her latest release A Gaelic Christmas placed in the 2009 international Indie Just Plain Folks awards. Mary is the founder and director of the twenty-five piece Gaelic choir Cór Ainglí and in 2010 completed an MA in Chant and Ritual Song at the University of Limerick. She is currently based in Northern California where she works as an arts education coordinator and singing teacher.

(6) Anthony Newfield is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in New York City.  His credits include the following.  Broadway: The Royal Family, Waiting for Godot, Tartuffe.  Recent theatre: Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird (TheatreWorks), A Woman of No Importance, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Orson’s Shadow, Susan and God, Arcadia, The Play About the Baby.  He has worked with theatres around the country, including: Yale Rep, Mint, Alliance, Huntington, New Jersey Rep, Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, D.C.  In Ireland, the Project and Gate Theatres: The Normal Heart (Ned Weeks), Tom & Viv (T.S. Eliot), Peer Gynt (Cotton et al.). Russia: The Grapes of Wrath (Jim Casey) at the Moscow Art Theatre. TV/film: Diagnosis Murder, All My Children, One Life to Live, Miss Bertram’s Awakening, Diminished Chords, I Melt With You.  Solo performances: Beowulf and Steinbeck and the Land. Most recent: reading of The Iliad at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City.  His article about studying and working in Russia at the Moscow Art Theatre, “After the Orchard,” was published in American Theatre.  Anthony holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University.

(7)  Gemma Whelan is an Irish-born theatre director and educator. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, she directed more than sixty stage productions and was founding artistic director of GemArt and Wilde Irish Productions. Gemma is also an award-winning screenwriter and film director. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin in English and French, and has graduate degrees from University of California, Berkeley in Theatre and San Francisco State University in Cinema. Her novel, Fiona: Stolen Child, was published in 2010. Gemma lives in Portland, Oregon.

(8)  Sharon Took-Zozaya is artistic director of Stamping Zebra Dance Theatre. She has shown her choreography across Scotland, the United States, and in Mexico, most recently receiving a grant for Selkie Tides from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County. She has choreographed, performed, and taught here and abroad in a wide variety of professional, university, and community contexts, working with both able-bodied and disabled dancers. A versatile dancer and choreographer, Sharon has performed solo and group works at the National Steinbeck Center, with Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra, and in Any Gesture Used at the 418 Project. Her work has been selected for several Bay Area festivals, including Monterey Dance, Discourses Off the Wall, sjDANCECO ChoreoProject Awards, West Wave Festival, and the So Wat Now? Festival. She currently teaches dance at Cabrillo College, coordinates the Advanced Improv Lab at the 418 Project, and has also taught for UCSC, Dancenter, and Mount Madonna School. She holds an M.F.A. in Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University, an M.S. in Kinesiology, and B.A. in Dance from UCLA.

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