Siamsa Tíre

Presented as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh in association with Nasc

Lasta - a nationwide arts programme for young people by young people, with a focus on up-and-coming Kerry talent 

In a new innovative approach to programming, twenty-one young curators have been engaged by the NASC Venue Network to programme Lasta, a festival of work for children and young people from 11th to 20th June 2021, delivering for the first time, a national arts programme curated entirely by young people. Lasta is presented as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a nationwide, ten-day season of arts experiences brought to you by the Arts Council. 

Under the guidance of theatre artists Maisie Lee and Fionn Foley, these young people will work collaboratively to deliver an ambitious programme of work for children and young people across the country. Featuring multiple creative disciplines and reflecting the diversity of modern Ireland, this pioneering project offers an opportunity to empower young people in developing their own creativity and finding their own voice as festival participants and future arts programmers and producers. 

Following a competitive recruitment process undertaken in partnership with the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in in the University of Limerick, Siamsa Tíre is delighted to announce that its three young curators are Ranóg Townsend, a native of Kerry, Aisling Clarke from Roscommon and Susan Ní Cholmáin from Donegal.

Siamsa Tíre’s young curators will work closely with the theatre’s expert team while collaborating with the other young curators to devise and deliver a programme of online events with both a local and national focus to engage children and young adults across a variety of artforms. The young curators will also engage with Siamsa Tíre’s team of fourteen Associate Artists, each of whom are being supported by Siamsa Tíre to develop projects that explore different aspects of folk culture and the traditional arts within their practice. 

With special events for Cruinniú na nÓg, Siamsa Tíre’s online youth arts festival will include partnerships with Music Generation Kerry and other local arts organisations to showcase Kerry’s young local talent in particular. 

“This promises to be a fresh, fun, diverse, accessible and exciting series of online events that will enable young people to engage with arts, theatre and music in a bold new way,” Róisín McGarr, Executive Director Siamsa Tíre comments. “The festival heralds the Summer Solstice, a time of year when Siamsa Tíre’s summer season is usually in full swing, celebrating our community’s talents and bright potential across generations. It is the most powerful moment of potential in the Celtic Calendar when light overwhelms darkness for the longest day of the year and shines in full force. After what has felt like a year of unrelenting darkness under the shadow of the global pandemic, this youth arts festival allows our young people to shine in full force again and share their talents, energy, potential and their brightest ideas. As The National Folk Theatre, we’re delighted that Siamsa Tíre’s programme will particularly reflect our young curators energy and passion for Ireland’s traditional performing arts.” 

For updates on the Siamsa Tíre Lasta Festival programme go to and for more information on Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh go to 

Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh is brought to you by the Arts Council, funded by the Government of Ireland and produced by Schweppe Curtis Nunn. 

Lasta is based on an original project conceived and delivered by Backstage Theatre, Longford in 2020. 

The NASC Network Venues are Backstage Theatre (Longford), Dunamaise Arts Centre (Portlaoise), glór (Ennis), An Grianán (Letterkenny), The Lime Tree Theatre (Limerick), Pavilion Theatre (Dun Laoghaire), Siamsa Tíre (Tralee) and Town Hall Theatre (Galway).