ISU SSP15 alumna Dr. Niamh Shaw will be presenting her third science theatre show 'Diary of a Martian Beekeeper' at Smock Alley Theatre Dublin from March 13-16h as part of Engineers Week Ireland. And she credits her ISU community in helping her make the show a reality.
Niamh is especially grateful to the Space Studies Program (SSP) community and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) Blackrock Castle Observatory (hosts of SSP17) who have supported her in the making of her new show over the past two years: she told us that the concept for the show began with interviews conducted at SSP15 with CSA Astronaut Bob Thirsk and ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who were onsite for the annual Astronaut Panel event.
Lorraine Conroy (SSP17) and Juan de Dalmau from ESTEC’s communications office have been advocates of this show since its inception and have provided invaluable support in getting the project off the ground. Awarded project funding from Science Foundation Ireland with CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory for project funding Niamh has been working with Cork Institute of Technology for the past year as their artist-in-residence to present the show. ESA's Astronaut Centre also played a key role in providing access to employees at the centre, reflecting the massive human effort in space exploration- without their input, this show would not have been possible. The poster was designed by Hugo Simoes (SSP15), the space suit is on loan from SSP17 lecturer Barbara Imhof of Liquifer Systems and our SSP17 videographer, Caleb Barrett created her promotional video below: A genuine group effort indeed!
Niamh based some of the characters on her Crew 173 crew mates at Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) - alumni Michaela Musilova (SSP15) and Richard Blake (SSP14) who joined her at MDRS as part of Crew 173. They kindly agreed to voice these characters, which Niamh uses in selected scenes during the show.
The play is set in 2036. Niamh is on Mars and is a member of Crew 173, on a long duration mission to investigate new ways of growing food in this arid foreign land. As their 2-year mission comes to an end, one crucial experiment remains for Niamh. But will she overcome her personal struggles or put the whole crew and the mission in danger?
A highly visual exploration of future interplanetary human exploration, Shaw and her creative team have created a new world order, reminding us of the power of the collective, the fragility of the solitary human and the united will behind all major breakthroughs. Because we may one day leave the cradle of Earth, but we will always be human.
Commenting Dr. Niamh Shaw said: “The play will be rooted in truth and science but will inspire and open the imaginations and hearts of audience”.
'Diary of a Martian Beekeeper' runs from March 13th- 16th at 7.30pm at Smock Alley Theatre Dublin.
A special discount is available for members of the ISU community. Alumni, staff, faculty, when booking, quote that you are affiliated to ISU!
Photo Credit: For the top image - Provision Photography & The second image - Liadain Ní Chearbhaill.