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Quintessence Theatre (2015 – early 2019)

Founded in 2015 by director Anna Simpson as the inaugural Theatre Company-in-Residence of An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk, Quintessence dedicates itself to exploring the human condition through the most theatrical means available to us: the actor themselves, their imagination, and embracing the live relationship between actor and audience.

We believe in play; we believe in collaboration; we believe in amplifying voices not always heard; and we believe in the democraticisation of art: that it should reach people beyond the cultural hubs of large urban populations. We believe that great work can be made from modest means if you have those quintessential elements: a story, a performer, and audience.

We harness the full potential of the actor’s body through heightened physical approaches, mime and a playful ensemble. We seek to surprise, move and provoke our audiences, entertaining them and creating dynamic, innovative, visceral, compassionate story-telling that finds the new in the familiar, and touches on urgent issues at the heart of Irish society here and now.

Quintessence is made up of four core artists: Anthony Kinahan; Company Manager, Leah Rossiter; Company Liaison Fiona Keenan O’Brien; and led by the founder & Artistic Director Anna Simpson.

Productions to date include The Picture of Dorian Gray (April 2015), Alice in Wonderland (August 2015), Vessel (November 2015 & May 2016, the New Theatre), Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet (April 2016), Grimm Tales for Young and Old (July 2016), Cracks (October 2016, January 2017 & 18 venue, Island of Ireland Tour 2018), The Pink Planet (Scene and Heard, Smock Alley 2017), Dracula ([An Táin Arts Centre & Drogheda Arts Festival] April 2017 & Smock Alley Halloween Week 2018 – Winner of Broadway World’s BEST NEW PLAY 2018), The Warrior of the Táin (Work-in-Progress) (May 2017) Romeo and Juliet (November 2017), Some of Our Children (February 2018), The Star of Chester’s Lane (Commission of Drogheda Arts Festival 2018 & revived for Heritage Week 2018), The Deadly Wizard of Oz (July 2018), Warrior of the Táin (February 2019); Boy, Girl, Repeat (Work-in-Progress, Droichead Arts Centre July 2019); #Me Too, Three, Four (November 2019) & The Curious Case of Albert Cashier: Lincoln’s Lady Soldier (March 2020).

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