Playwrights explore the impact of the pandemic in a new radio play

A RADIO play that invites people to look back at their life before the Covid-19 pandemic will air this Saturday June 5, with support from Mountshannon Arts.
To myself; Before, will air on Scariff Bay Community Radio and is a production of WayWord Theatre, founded by artists Clare Eavan Brennan, Siobhán Donnellan and Ruth Smith.
As inspiration for the production, WayWord appealed to members of the public inviting submissions in the form of letters asking what they would have thought to themselves if they had known a global pandemic was on the horizon.
According to the trio, the responses were as varied as they were surprising and encompassed a broad emotional spectrum.
The radio play includes text excerpts from the submissions and will air on Scariff Bay Community Radio on Saturday at 8 p.m. The special will include a live chat before and after the show with the three WayWords.
WayWord Theater’s work is inspired by the personal and the political. Their first production, Get the Boat, which was written by Eavan Brennan, debuted at the Limerick Fringe Festival in 2018 and featured Brennan and Donnellan as Bridget and Gráinne. Ruth Smith directed.
The play was then invited to the prestigious Off-Broadway SoHo Playhouse venue in New York City for a five-week run to critical acclaim.
WayWord was then featured as part of Mountshannon Arts 2019 with a repeat reading of John Pielmeier’s Agnes of God, directed by Clare-based theater practitioner Paul Brennan.
Eavan Brennan is a writer and performer from East Clare. After studying with Jacques LeCoq in Paris, she became a company member of the Footsbarn Traveling Theater and toured with them throughout Europe with their productions of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “L’Homme Qui Rit by Victor Hugo and “Sorry!” by Pierre Byland as well as various parades and cabaret performances including A Shakespeare Party and Christmas Cracker for Shakespeare’s Globe in London. His film and TV credits include Ros na Rún, Adharca Fada and The Clinic.
Siobhán Donnellan, also from East Clare, is a writer, actor and producer. She won Best Actor at the New York International Fringe in 2007 for her role as Jo in Married to the Sea by Shona McCarthy.
His plays include For the Birds (Cherry Lane Theatre, New York Fringe 2010), Chasing Butterflies, (Winner of three Cork Arts Theater Production Awards 2010), In the Garden (Galway Theater Festival 2011), The Mire commissioned by Birr Arts Theater 2012, Made to Measure (Winner of Scripts 2013) and Going Spare (Theatre Upstairs, Dublin) Arts Council of Ireland funded development 2015.
Four of his pieces have been adapted for radio funded by the BAI Sound & Vision Scheme. In 2017, his short film, Deflated, was shortlisted for the RTÉ/Galway Film Center Short Film Commission. Siobhán is also a screenwriter for the RTE soap opera Fair City.
Ruth Smith is a performer, radio and television host and musician based in East Clare. She presents Simply Folk on RTÉ Radio 1 every Sunday evening. A multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, Ruth has performed at the Doolin Folk Festival, Temple Bar TradFest and Body & Soul with folk trio The Evertides.
Ruth’s stage performances include playing the role of Ex-Girlfriend with Landmark Productions 2017’s Once, the Musical, at the Olympia Theater in Dublin.
She was an original cast member of THISISPOPBABY’s sold-out show RIOT as part of the 2016 Dublin Fringe Festival.
More details on To Myself; Before are available on To listen to the play, tune into Scariff Bay Community Radio or tune in to