The Playhouse presents CreatEVE House Conference Women in Creative Industries Friday 11th March 2016 9am- 5pm

The ‘hardest way to make an easy living'? The industry of ‘play'? The lonely world of free labour and inequities? Our greatest success story?

With more than 2 million people employed in digital and creative industries, it's now worth £137bn a year to the UK. This new creative, tech savvy arm of the economy is a full of creative thinking, and its credited with driving our economy.

But only one quarter of those working in the digital sector are female.

What is the impact of this new mingling of story, design, and technology on women? The freelance worker, an individual, a micro‐business, an entrepreneurial women? The women starting out in this sector of autonomy, creativity and ‘play'.

Does she have to choose between art or commerce? ‘Art' or ‘industry'? Pixels or paint?


This one day conference, tying in with International Women's Day, explores the role of women in the creative industries, in line with Derry and Northern Ireland's aspirations to grow the creative industries


9am- 10am Yummy breakfast!

10am- 10.30am Welcome
10.30am- 11.15am Panel- Pixels or Paint
11.15am- 11.30am Tea Break
11.30am- 12.15 Panel- Coming Home to the creative industries
12.15- 1pm Lunch
1pm-2.15pm Panel- The Lonely Artist in the creative industries
2.15pm- 2.35pm Performance- You Might as Well Live
2.35pm- 3pm Tea Break
3pm-4pm In conversation with... Queen of the Track
4pm-5pm In conversation with... Eva Birthistle

10.30am- 11.15am Café Conversation- In the Spotlight... Sarah Jane Shiels
2.15pm- 3pm Café Conversation- Creative shorts

The Playhouse Plaza
5pm- 7pm Networking Event- Meet and freak!


Panel 1
Theatre 10.30am- 11.15am

Pixels or Paint
Art Vs Industry in the creative industries
The distinction between the traditional artisan based creative arts and industrially produced cultural forms, the publicly funded and commercial. Does today's creative economies place productivity and profit uncomfortably at the centre of the creative process? How do we value art?

Panel :
Fionnuala Deane is Managing Director of Dog Ears, children's media company who believe in characters and stories, everywhere - on paper, on tablets, devices and in living rooms.

Charlene Hegarty began her career in Publicity and Tour Management, working campaigns for Tom Waits (Epitaph), Presidents of the United States of America (Columbia), Devotchka (Anti) and Fighting With Wire (Atlantic). In 2010, she joined DIY label Smalltown America heading up all label management operations. In 2011 she established Smalltown America Music - a dynamic full service publishing company representing song writing talent across rock, acoustic and electronic genres. Smalltown America Music now represents over 24 international talents and has secured global brand clients including Toyota, Vodafone, O2, Icon Films & Nickelodeon.

Sara Greavu is a visual artist and curator of Public Programmes with CCA Derry. She was Artlink Fort Dunree Artist in Residence Winter 2012. Sara has a wealth of experience creating work around issues of race, gender and identity both in Ireland and overseas.

Chaired by
Joe Carlin is a designer, singer, and presenter. Having made a name for himself in the fashion scene here in Northern Ireland, his recent practice in contemporary art has been received locally and internationally to great acclaim. No stranger to a conversation or a microphone, Joseph has worked with Other Voices(Banter Salon), BBC TV & Radio, and has presented various events across Northern Ireland, from Fashion to Fitness.



Panel 2
Theatre 11.30am- 12.15

Coming Home to the creative industries
Northern Ireland as a site of pioneering creative work
What draws people home to nurture their independent projects? How important is it for the creative sectors to be in place in which they engage, exchange ideas and trade? Does that produce a creative bubble, with a lack of global ambition? Are we ambitious enough in social and cultural terms for the makers of tomorrow?

Panel :
Charlotte Dryden is the creative development director at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, where she is responsible for youth, talent development, creative programming and outreach.
She is a co-founder of the charity Love Music Hate Racism NI and sits on the board of Over The Hill, a music collective aimed at supporting older musicians. Charlotte is currently working on a new festival called Women's Work aimed at celebrating women in music.
Margaret Henry was appointed to the role of CEO of an all-female team at Audiences NI in January 2014 following 13 years at the BBC. Since joining Margaret has been actively listening to ANI's members to see how our offer can be developed to meet current and future needs.

Catherine Ross has 15 years experience producing award-winning factual content for people like the BBC (she was a producer on Blue Peter!) She is chief operations officer of Makematic a new curated space which provides creative classes for young digital makers worldwide.

Chaired by:
Matt Jennings Born in Australia and raised in Canada, England and Australia, Matt has worked as an actor, writer, director, teaching artist and musician since 1987, working in Australia, Ireland, France, Italy, Morocco, Holland and the UK. He moved to Northern Ireland and completed a PhD on applied theatre and conflict transformation in 2010. He continues to act, write, direct and facilitate drama in the community outside of his university lecturing and research duties with University of Ulster.


Panel 3
Theatre 1pm-2.15pm

The Lonely Artist in the creative industries

Let's look at the way in which this industry can be characterised by high degrees of autonomy, creativity and ‘play', but also by long working hours, a blurring of the line between work and leisure.
The ‘autonomy' involved in freelance work can provide freedom to combine work with childcare and family life, but it can also involve isolation and a lack of solidarity with other creative workers.
What about self-care? Self-drive and ambition? What support or mentorship is there?
What about gendered aspects of these conditions, is there pressure on women now to find satisfying and enriching full-time work, uninterrupted by family commitments?

Panel :

Street artist Friz is a Belfast based artist who works in both traditional and digital mediums. She is primarily known for her large scale mural artwork which can be throughout Ireland.
Her work revolves around the female form, exploring aspects of nature and identity.

Ursula MucHugh a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Founder and Director of The Creative Path, Yoga Teacher and Singer based in The Playhouse Theatre, Derry,Londonderry

Victoria Harrison a ballerina who has set up her own School Of Ballet

Edel Murphy Small Grants Programme Officer at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She is a champion of disabled artists and Arts.

Chaired by
Una Monaghan A harpist, composer, technologist. She also runs a series called JamJar: conversations with/concerts by female experimental musicians.




Theatre 2.15pm- 2.35pm

You Might as Well Live

A short extract from a new play by Sean McMahon
Performed by Mairead Mullan and Mary Murphy
Directed by Ken McCormack

Dorothy Parker and Edna St Vincent Millay were two of the most gifted of American literary ladies of the first half of the twentieth century. They both wrote verse, Dorothy's often wickedly satirical - she was known as the wittiest woman in America - that of Vincent (as she preferred to be called) marvellously sensual and lyrical. What follows is an excerpt from a play which describes their imagined meeting in some anteroom to infinity.

The full show will be performed at The Playhouse for National Poetry Day on Thursday 6th October at 8pm.



Session 4
Theatre 3pm-4pm

In conversation with...
Queen of the Track
Join the editorial team of Liverpool based feminist ezine

Queen of the Track is a zine and digital platform for self-identified women run by a tiny team of feminists and friends based in Liverpool.

Aimed at creative and thinking women, Queen of the Track offers energetic articles and perceptive polemic from varied writers; including dynamic fashion and using make-up as dramatic theatrical fun; tackle issues of gender politics, history, literature and encourage insightful social debate.

Without taking it's self too seriously Queen of the Track offers a much needed alternative to traditional magazine offerings for women; ambitious and funny, Queen of the Track is vogue on crack.


Chaired by
Joe Carlin





Theatre 4pm-5pm

In conversation with... Eva Birthistle

Eva Birthistle is an actress and writer, known for her roles in The Children (2008), Brooklyn (2015) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005). Eva trained at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. She has won the London Film Critics Circle Best British Actress of the Year award for 2004, and has twice won the IFTA (Irish Film and Tlevision Awards) Best Actor in a Leading Role (Film) award.

Café Conversation
Bar 10.30am- 11.15am

‘In the Spotlight...Sarah Jane Shiels'
Award-winning Irish lighting designer Sarah Jane Shiels in conversation with Playhouse Producer Kieran Griffiths.

Sarah Jane Shiels is an award-winning Irish lighting designer who has worked extensively in Ireland, England, Scotland, Hungary, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia and the USA. She is freelance lighting designer and Co-artistic Director of WillFredd Theatre Company, with whom she designs set, costume and lighting, photography and graphic design.

Kieran Griffiths is a Director and Playhouse Producer. He also has an extensive performance C.V. Kieran joined our team at the Playhouse as Creative Producer and in house Director for the City of Culture year working on 13 critically acclaimed productions in 2013 alone, seven as producer and six as Director. He has since went on to implement the Playhouse legacy strategy creating new work and touring important theatre around the island of Ireland



Café Conversation
Bar 2.15pm- 3pm

Creative Shorts

Hear artists, creatives and experts in their field share their knowledge over a cup of coffee!
Hear 5 minutes of creativity each from...

Niamh O Donnell One of Northern Ireland's most emerging promising producing talents, Alleycat Niamh produced All4 Helluva Tour, RTE1/ BBC1 NI Stetsons and Stilettoes, BBC4/ Showtime Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story, BBC1 NI Music City/ CBBC Hit The Stage, as well as working on Life Patrol, and Here Comes The Summer: the Undertones Story.
Niamh is now back in her hometown after a long period in exile, studying Drama at Trinity College Dublin, and working as a director/actor in theatre in Dublin and Belfast.

Michael Barwise is a filmmaker, director and photographer living in Derry, Northern Ireland.
Michael studied BA (Hons) Film Production at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Farnham, won Best Art Film at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) in York. He is currently working on his fourth short film, Bucket.

Jilly St John is a singer, former model, actress and blogger. She was a member of the Clipper Round the World Race Crew 2015/16. She is frontwoman of local rock outfit Wyldling.

Marie Clare Duncan Graduate Entrepreneur in Residence at Eighty81 in Derry. Her business idea is to create a unique fashion brand, with an online clothing store consisting of all over printed garments designed by myself and produced within the UK. Block Clothing is a fashion brand which caters for fashion lovers' sense of style, individuality, and personality. Block Clothing is also a proud advocate of ethical production methods in order to raise awareness and tackle global issues such as sweatshops and child labour.




Meet and freak!

Meet and greet networking event
The Playhouse Plaza Friday 11th March 5pm- 7pm

Get in their faces! Freak out the movers and shakers in the industry. They're there to provide knowledge and vital facetime, talk about bursaries, apprenticeships, and give financial and copyright advice- so make the most of it!

NI Screen
Nerve Centre
Audiences NI
Theatre NI
Deb O'Donnell - Chartered accountant
Niamh Hargan - Solicitor specializing in media & copyright law

Also featuring DJ Stray Kitten aka Jillian- Jillian Canney is a native of Derry although she only recently returned to the town after almost 20 years living the dream in Ibiza where amongst various career moves, she ran her own PR agency, building up an extensive client portfolio and working mostly, but not exclusively in the music industry for many years. Aside from organising events, she also DJs under the guise of the Stray Kitten, playing an eclectic mish-mash of all kinds of everything at venues and events including, over the years, the world's biggest night club, Privilege, Ibiza Rocks, Manumission and for numerous private parties and celebrations both here and abroad.

Beer tasting with Martina Rodgers, Northbound Brewery Did you know that there are many factors that can influence what we taste or smell in a beer? The husband and wife team behind Northbound Brewery invite you to come experience their craft beer, made using Irish ingredients and the Master Brewer's knowledge.

Yummy Pyke n' Pommes Steet Food Style #MakingOurCityTasteBetter



CLICK HERE to book your FREE place!


Funded by:



FREE. All are welcome.

« back to What's On



Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll send you all The Playhouse news straight to your inbox.
First name: Last name: Email address:




Arts Council of Northern Ireland
a zoocreative website.