Selina Cartmell, A protégée's turn to mentor

Selina Cartmell

A protégée's turn to mentor

July 2011 - Selina Cartmell, 2006-2007 Theatre Protégée

Selina Cartmell, protégée to Julie Taymor in 2006/2007, recently served as mentor to a young Irish director.

The mentoring was part of an extended artist-in-residence scholarship granted to Cartmell by the Arts Council of Ireland in association with Dublin City Council and Trinity College. “Having been a protégée to Julie Taymor, I was enthusiastic about experiencing this from the other side,” Cartmell says. “Rosemary got a lot out of the experience and I took pride in a production she did recently. The mentoring was very useful to me too, as I had someone to bounce ideas off during rehearsals.”

Cartmell, who is British, is full of praise for the artist-in-residence system, which gave her the rare privilege of use of the Samuel Beckett Theatre for the rehearsal process before she and her company Siren Productions staged a new version of Euripides’Medea, the world premiere of a translation by Scottish poet Robin Robertson. Cartmell gave this ancient Greek drama a contemporary setting, in a two-storey house. “It’s astonishing that, even during Ireland’s financial crisis, I have been able to be artist in residence and get support,” she says. The show proved a great success, playing to full houses. It was nominated for five awards from theIrish Timesand won best director.

Also as part of her artist-in-residency, Cartmell worked recently on Jacobean theatre, from one of the richest periods in English drama, the early 17th century. Workshops and readings of two gripping and witty plays by Jacobean dramatist John Ford – 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and The Broken Heart – were held by Cartmell, with students and professional actors.

In February 2012, she will stage her first play in the United States when she directs The Broken Heart at New York’s Duke on 42nd street, with the Theater for a New Audience company. Cartmell got to know the company via the Rolex Arts Initiative and Julie Taymor, with whom she is in regular contact.

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