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Virtual Summer Festival Aug 26th -29th

Posted by SocsBox on Fri, 07-08-2020

NUI Galway Virtual Summer Festival August 26th - 29th

To celebrate Galway’s as wealth of artistic and creative talent both within  the University and in the wider Galway Community, the University Societies office is partnering with local artists and creators for the first NUI Galway Virtual Summer  Festival. The festival will feature Theatre, Visual Art, Music, Film, Gaming and Social events, for all age groups and interests. According to Festival Director and NUI Galway Societies Officer Ríona Hughes “After the success of our Summer Drama Festival last year and in response to the Covid-19 lockdown we wanted to explore what was possible virtually, we invited creative people within and outside the university to work with us in creating this exciting programme, We hope you will join us."

For theatre enthusiasts the festival includes the Irish Student Drama Awards (ISDA) with virtual productions from five third level  colleges plus the Awards Ceremony. NUI Galway Dramsoc were due to host ISDA last April and are instead going virtual in August. Hot Potato Productions presents ‘WiliLeaks on Trial’, the audience will form the jury in a dramatised version of the Julian Assange extradition trial. There interactive children's theater from Beluga Theatre Company after the success of ‘Marty Moncrieff: The Teddy Bear Thief’ at last year’s NUI Galway Summer Theatre Festival,  join them for a new adventure as they celebrate the power of creativity and connection within and between us all. Suitable for children of 4 +. 'Luna’ is an intriguing  film drama from Dramsoc, you choose the ending. The plot centers on two friends who devise a plan to help their friend Timmy who has been hiding away in his room all summer with a broken heart. This plan includes a missing dog, a ransom note and some questionable decisions.​  Join Hardiman Library archivist Barry Houlihan and members of Dramsoc for fascinating  ‘Stories from the Archives’  There will be two radio dramas from Iaro Productions, both by Galway playwright Gerry Conneely.  “Delia” follows the extraordinary story of Delia Murphy, the singer from Mayo who was involved in the resistance movement in Italy during World War 2. ‘Michael Davitt: Our land’ tells the story of the man from Straide Co Mayo, involved in setting up the Land League, who changed the history of Ireland.

Music lovers are in for a treat with three events. The first is a tribute to Galway based singer Mary McPartlan who sadly left us in April in the early days of the Lockdown. This memorial concert features her fellow musicians and friends.  No tribute could be complete without some songs from Mary herself and these will be accompanied by an animated photo essay, highlighting her very active life and her enormous contribution to the Arts in Galway, Ireland and internationally. The second concert is a celebration of choral music in Galway and features a wealth of choral talent brought together in the virtual world, Including the Galway Baroque Singers, Cois Cladaigh, Vox Orbis, Schola Cantorum, The Testosterones, NUIG Alumni Ensemble, The Sing'n'Tonics, and NUI Galway Choral Society and Musical Society. With Solo performances from Eleanor Leadbetter and Dottie Knauwer. Another group of musicians and performers who missed out on an opportunity to celebrate were the Galway Secondary Schools Musical participants when the NUI Galway Musical Society (GUMS) had to cancel their live awards event in May. The awards event will celebrate the talent of students in fifteen Galway secondary schools. 

The Virtual Visual Art programme features the virtual exhibition ‘Presence out of Place’  which brings together the work of graduating Burren College of Art MFA students Chetan Bhakuni, A.S. Dutton, Nell O’Leary and Jenette (Jet) Rodriguez. There are two photo exhibitions featuring the work of NUI Galway lecturer Dr. Chaosheng Zhang called ‘Galway: Beauty As Usual’ and an exhibition of student photography on the theme ‘Life in lockdown’ from the NUI Galway Photographic Society. There will also be a Virtual Exhibition of  the University Art Collections featuring a selection of the acquisitions made in the last ten years, with occasional reactions from staff to the artworks they encounter. For those of you missing NUI Galway campus there will be a short film tour, made for the festival, of the campus, stopping at each of the outdoor art works for a show and tell. 

The festival will feature nine film shorts made by students from the Huston School of Film and members of the  NUI Galway Film Society. A series of NUI Galway Films from the College of Medicine and ICAPSS on how actors contribute to health care education: 'Playing Sick', CÚRAM, SFI Research Centre for medical devices: 'AfterImage.' The film shows the work of Aine Cleary and Denis Connolly. It includes portraits of 19 people who live or work in the Westside of Galway, and reveals the remarkable diversity of contemporary Irish society. Each portrait is composed of a black and white portrait accompanied by a colour negative.  'History of Life' is a series of shorts from NUI Galway Earth & Ocean Sciences. Since 2011, final year undergraduate science students taking the class module History of Life have worked in small groups to produce short documentary-style films on any aspect of evolution they choose, these films are the result. 

Gamers are in for a treat with two events including a video montage from Galway Game Developers followed by a virtual Q & A. Plus online demos from Galway Game developers including Romero Games with their soon to be released "Empire of Sin', via a twitch stream hosted by a popular Galway streamer. 

There is also a BIG Festival Quiz Party with lots of prizes and all live streamed events will include a zoom after party. Some of the events are in aid of the festival charities chosen from NUI Galway charity based societies.

The exhibitions, radio plays and the film programme are free to view throughout the festival. The rest of the events need to be booked, many of the events are free or tickets range from €3 to €5, Tickets go on sale on August 13th. 

The Festival runs from August 26th - 29th full details on

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