The Cloughjordan Community Amphitheatre was officially opened by President Michael D. Higgins on April 21st 2017. (read about the launch here)
This multi-purpose facility is capable of staging a diverse range of cultural events; from youth and amateur drama, to music concerts and recitals, educational talks and cinema screenings.
Flexible design means the facility is intimate enough to be used by small educational and workshop groups, but there will be permanent seating for up to 250.
Fundraising continues to fit-out a front of house and generator storage unit and also to install a stage canopy.
The principal beneficiaries of this project will be the young people of the area – both as participants and spectators at events. Engaging young people in community activities, and cultivating an interest in the arts and culture, is our goal.
Imaginative and popular programming will attract visitors to Cloughjordan, and help the local economy. The wider Mid-West Region should also benefit from the central location of a unique cultural amenity close to the population centers of Nenagh, Roscrea and Birr.
The amphitheatre is located directly adjacent to the route of the Ormonde Way, part of the much longer Berra Breffini Way (schedule to open in late 2017). The amphitheatre will be a cultural and educational landmark along this heritage and tourism route.
At the moment we are programming the 2017 Season and we welcome all suggestions. Technical specifications and other details will be available in the New Year.
Programming or production enquiries should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subsoil extracted during the infrastructure stage of the Cloughjordan eco-village in 2004-6 created a mound of earth almost 8 meters height, and covered an area of over 2 acres. This amount if material was too vast to be re-used. Disposal off-site was not an option for planning and environmental reasons. It was unloved and unlovable, and was known as the ‘mound’.
A number of years ago, no doubt very late one night, the idea of sculpting an amphitheatre from the mound was first suggested. This would be a logical application of permaculture principals: To see this problem as an opportunity; and to work with the resources at hand. A few years later the idea was adopted as part of the overall Land Use Plan for the eco-village, which set out the long term land use objectives for the 67acre estate. This was considered a long term aspiration, and there were many more pressing priorities for limited project resources.
In 2014 it was announced that grants would be available for 2016 Centenary projects. This presented an opportunity to secure funding to realise the amphitheatre project. Thomas MacDonagh, one of the signatories to the 1916 Proclamation was born and bred in Cloughjordan and the town could expect to be considered for cultural projects to coincide with the centenary. A committee was established and the idea was enthusiastically received by both State, and private philanthropic supporters.
By the end of 2015 the project had significant momentum and detailed planning documentation and drawings had been prepared and submitted to the local authority. Planning Permission was granted in March 2016.
By then sufficient money had been secured from the 2016 Special Projects Office of the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaelteact, Tipperary County Council, and the JVM Trench Trust, a private philanthropic trust with a particular interest in Thomas MacDonagh and the Cloughjordan area.
Construction began in August 2016 and the facility will be opened in April 2017.
Over the next three years we will raise sufficient finance through grant aid, gate receipts and fundraising to design and construct a professional grade canopy for the stage. Assorted technical equipment will be purchased, and audience and artist facilities will be further developed.
A 1916 Commemorative Project
The Cloughjordan Community Amphitheatre has received capital funding through the 2016 Special Projects Office of Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
The role of art and culture in creating the context of the 1916 Rising is well documented. For us this demonstrates the possibility of art engaging meaningfully and decisively, in adapting our culture to a new and challenging environmental reality.
The role of storytelling is much more than mere entertainment; it is through stories that we create our reality. The myths of human centrality, of man’s dominance of nature, need to be re-told.
The Irish Republic existed in a collective imagination before it existed in reality. Art and literature played a key role in this imagining and in the subsequent revolution.
For us this is the lesson of 1916 – it is possible to construct a new reality through art.
We hope that this arts and education facility will provide a space and a platform for this re-imagining.
Bookings and Enquiries
The Amphitheatre Management Committee welcome programming ideas compatible with our ethos, and contributing to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Cloughjordan.
Please Contact us with you idea at email@example.com