Welcome to ‘Active Speech: Sharing Scholarship on Teresa Deevy’, which constitutes the first conference focusing on Deevy’s work and aims to provide a forum to bring together ongoing scholarship analysing her work.

An image of Teresa Deevy
Teresa Deevy, photographed by Olaf Deevy, courtesy of the Deevy family.

Hosted by Waterford Institute of Technology and supported by Maynooth University, home to the Teresa Deevy Archive, and Waterford Libraries, this conference takes place twenty-six years since the groundbreaking silver jubilee issue of Irish University Review, ‘Teresa Deevy and Irish Women Playwrights’, was published, and in the wake of recent productions and adaptations of Deevy’s work by the Mint and Abbey Theatres, and performance artist Amanda Coogan in collaboration with Dublin Theatre of the Deaf. As such, the conference constitutes an important opportunity to continue, share and strengthen national and international scholarship and practice relating to Deevy’s work.

Informed by an inclusive design, the conference takes place online with pre-recorded material available to all delegates from the 12th of February 2021, followed by two keynote presentations, which will be live streamed on the 19th of February (click on Keynotes above for more information). Irish Sign Language translators will interpret the practitioners’ panel discussions (available in the Panels section above), the keynote presentations, and the ensuing live discussion.

If you use Twitter, please use the following hashtags #ActiveSpeech and #TeresaDeevy to tweet about the conference.

Theatre is a collaborative art form and so is conference organising! There are many people and organisations to thank, but we must begin with our collaborators, friends and colleagues at Maynooth University Library, in particular Hugh Murphy and Róisín Berry. Their unwavering support for the project sustained us throughout the many iterations of this conference. We are so grateful to them for their insightful feedback and questions (thanks, Hugh!), good humour, advice, and their wonderful care of the Teresa Deevy archive.

We also wish to acknowledge the following people and organisations who each helped make this conference happen:

  • Maynooth University and the Dept. of English, for supporting the project, in particular Dr Lauren Arrington and Dr Emily Bloom, for collaborating on this venture with us and for hosting the ‘Disability and the Archive: Teresa Deevy in Context’ event on 10 February which launched this festival of Deevy!
  • Dr Suzanne Denieffe, Head of School of Humanities, WIT, for supporting this project, Theatre Studies at WIT, and our Deevy endeavours over the last number of years. Many thanks to Dr Séamus Dillon, Head of Department of Arts, WIT, for his support.
  • Tracey McEneaney, Sinéad O’Higgins, and all at Waterford Libraries for supporting the project.
  • Bridge Interpreting, in particular we thank Isabelle Murphy, Michael Feeney, and Vanessa O’Connell, for their participation and guidance.
  • The Deevy family for sharing Tessa’s material so generously with Maynooth University and for their continued support.
  • Amanda Coogan, Lianne Quigley, and Alvean Jones, and all at Dublin Theatre of the Deaf for sharing their work and their time so generously with us over the past few years. Many thanks to Amanda and DTD for photographic permissions.
  • Our keynote speakers: Professor Chris Morash and Professor Ann Shanahan for their commitment to the conference, their scholarship, and encouragement.
  • Ken McCarthy and Peter Windle at the Centre for Technology-Enhanced Learning (CTEL), WIT for their patience, training, and support in all phases of the conference design.
  • Cian O’Connor and Martin Browne (WIT) for their advice.
  • The panelists and presenters who have enriched our conference and worked so hard to create accessible conference materials, and many thanks to their technical teams who offered assistance.
  • Professor Emerita Charlotte Headrick and Hayden Wilcox for sharing Oregon State University’s production of The King of Spain’s Daughter for the duration of the conference.
  • Jonathan Bank at everyone at the Mint Theatre for sharing Katie Roche as a production for the duration of the conference, and for photographic permissions.
  • Caroline Byrne for her contributions and permission to use photographs from her production of Katie Roche (2017).
  • Helen Fallon, Dr Shonagh Hill, Dr Barry Houlihan, and Dr José Francisco Fernández for their continued support of this project.
  • Dr Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin for her advice and supporting us in drafting the conference Call for Papers; Dr Cathy Leeney for her ongoing encouragement and for reviewing the Call for Papers.
  • Mairéad Delaney (The Abbey Theatre) and Barbara McCormack (Royal Irish Academy)
  • The English and Theatre Studies team at WIT. Thank you to our Theatre Studies and English students (past and present) whose work on Deevy, both in the studio and in the classroom, has enriched our scholarship.
  • Elaine Larkin, WIT, for marketing support; Geoff Harris and Mary O’Neill (WLR FM); Clodagh Finn (The Examiner); Ros Kavanagh; and Richard Termine (photographers).
  • Sr June Fennelly, Ursuline Convent, Waterford.
  • Nicholas Kavanagh and Mick O’Meara for technical assistance.