Extraordinary Ordinary Women Live! - Untold Stories from the Founding of the State written by & performed by Karen Minihan
with Home Rules (a short play) written by Karen Minihan & performed by Pauline O’Driscoll
Using techniques of storytelling, songs and poetry, Extraordinary, Ordinary Women: Live! presents the stories of thirteen ordinary West Cork women who, like many other women throughout Cork, made a huge contribution to the founding of the State.
The stories are often family secrets and uncelebrated, they show how these women stoically and bravely got on with the job in hand, but also how they were reticent to share their experiences and the circumstances of their involvement. Based on the book of the same name, the audience will learn of their extraordinary, covert initiatives, and the bravery and bravado for their cause as they continued to carry out their ordinary daily lives during this disturbed period in our history.
The performance unpicks what happened in an attempt to understand the legacy of that time and the social implications for West Cork communities and, by extension, the entire island of Ireland. Its purpose is to finally bring these stories to life and to honour these extraordinary ordinary women.
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Karen Minihan is a writer, actor and theatre director who lives and works in West Cork. She is the Artistic Director of PlayActing Theatre responsible for numerous community projects, theatre productions, mentoring, and creative collaborations. Most recently, she was responsible for the dramatic content and co-responsible for the mise en scène of Amadeus by Peter Shafer. Through her blog record, The Amadeus project, she explores far reaching-drama/creative topics and with her podcast series, Take a Chair: talking theatre and creativity, she examines the role collaboration plays in the creative experience. Her character Eileen has demonstrated her subtle observations and keen ability to capture the essence of the human condition, writing that is often poignant but equally honest and funny. Eileen has been brought to life in film, live theatre productions and comedy performances in the Eileen and Marilyn Experience series, cowritten/performed with Terri Leiber.
Although a native of Bandon, Co. Cork, Pauline O’Driscoll spent much of her career training and performing in the UK and USA before returning to settle in Bandon. She is best known on Irish TV for playing Mary, opposite Pat Shortt, in the IFTA nominated drama series Smalltown, the straight talking hospital consultant in The Young Offenders and the right- swiping mum in Bord Bia’s white fish advert. Recent work includes an nationwide tour of her solo play Seven Ages of Mam which she co-wrote and performs and which garnered rave “must see” reviews (Simon Jenner, FringeReview) and was nominated for Best New Play at Brighton Fringe Festival in 2019. Recent screen work includes feature films Dredges and Dublin Crust. She continues to tour Seven Ages of MAM and is also writing a new play entitled JUMP!