The Guthrie Gazette Issue 02

March 2023


Hello readers! 

Welcome to the second edition of The Guthrie Gazette.


We are absolutely delighted to tell you that we welcomed nearly 550 resident artists through our doors in 2022, many of whom were here with us for the first time, along with our returning residents, and our award winners and bursary holders.


The first article in this edition of The Guthrie Gazette features Sir Tyrone Guthrie (1900-1971), his focus on the architectural design of the stage, and his interest in access to the theatre for everyone.

Scroll down and you'll find a poem about Annaghmakerrig, along with all sorts of news and updates, with live links, about forthcoming work by our residents, along with our Congratulations page, news of a new appointment to our Board of Directors, big '0' birthday tributes to members of our in-house team, and a glimpse into our Director's Diary.

As we are based in Guthrie's ancestral home, we will feature aspects of his career, and introduce you to his family and friends, and to associates who were guests in Annaghmakerrig House during his lifetime in future editions of the Gazette.

Meantime, we hope that you enjoy this issue of The Guthrie Gazette.

From the team at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

Sir Tyrone Guthrie Remembered

We get all sorts of queries here at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Who was Tyrone Guthrie? What did he do? Was he born here? Are you in Tyrone? Where does the name 'Tyrone' come from? Why are you sometimes called 'Annaghmakerrig'? We even get letters from time to time addressed to Miss Anna Makerrig. The second edition of our Guthrie Gazette gives us an opportunity remember our namesake, and in later editions, we will tell you more about his friends - actors, writers, musicians, poets, stage designers - who visited Annaghmakerrig House while he, and his wife, Judy, Lady Guthrie, were in residence. We will also tell you more about the names associated with our rooms in our 'Big House' - the Moorhead Room, the Fitz-Simon Room, the Morning Room, and the Guthrie Study.

In the meantime, Sir Tyrone Guthrie (1900-1971) was Scots-Irish - born in Tunbridge Wells in England, and died while at home in Annaghmakerrig House, Newbliss, County Monaghan, Ireland. Following the marriage of his only sibling, Susan Margaret (1905-1996), Guthrie was the last direct descendant of the original family to live at Annaghmakerrig House, a generation that outlines itself in reverse order as Guthrie back to Power back to Moorhead. His equally talented sister, Susan Margaret, who was known as Peggy, trained as an artist and was a published author, married the essayist, Hubert Butler. It is for this reason - to honour Susan Margaret and her husband - that we have The Butler Bedroom at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

Sir Tyrone Guthrie was a renowned theatre director - a specialist in the works of Shakespeare - who created a method by which to stage classical theatre productions that is still in use today. He was also an excellent, engaging, and witty author who left accounts of his life in theatre, including A Life in the Theatre (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1959), and a fascinating description of his work in Minneapolis titled A New Theatre from which some of the following material has been sourced (New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964).

As it happens, 27 March 2023 was World Theatre Day. We take this opportunity to say a big hello to our colleagues at The Guthrie Theatre Minneapolis, and we note, with great delight, that the theatre is staging a production of Hamlet, April to May 2023. Hamlet (a very long version, according to himself) was the first play that Sir Tyrone Guthrie directed on his 'open thrust stage', more of which belowl, to launch the new Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, on 7 May 1963.

Image - Sir Tyrone Guthrie on the steps of Annaghmakerrig House, copyright The Trustees of The Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

Sir Tyrone Guthrie Remembered

Sir Tyrone Guthrie's open 'thrust' stage began in 1936 during a production of his Hamlet for


'...the Old Vic Company which was to appear at Elsinore by invitation of the Danish government, out-of-doors, but  the weather was so inclement that the production was to be cancelled:  Guthrie and the cast thought this would be a shame and their hosts agreed that an improvised production would take place in the ballroom of the hotel where the actors were staying.  Guthrie and helpers set about arranging chairs in a semi-circle and the actors, once they had figured where they would enter and exit for the various scenes, were left to get on with it.  It worked so well that it demonstrated for Guthrie that Shakespeare and certain other ‘classics’ would be better accommodated ‘in the round’ and ‘in the three-quarters’ as they had been in the 16th century.  He and others subsequently brought a proposal to the Old Vic Board for a new building in London in that shape;  the proposal was dismissed, Guthrie continued to look for places where the idea could be properly advanced.'

(Christopher Fitz-Simon).


Guthrie followed through with the open stage Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1948 where he was invited to produce a little-known Scottish play, The Three Estates, an edited and shortened version of the 1540 original, Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaites. The editor and dramatist of the play, Robert Kemp (1908-1967), suggested that it should be staged in the Edinburgh Assembly Hall, with spectators seated on benches around a raised stage.

A few years later, in 1952, Guthrie was invited to produce a Shakespeare festival season in the aptly named town of Stratford, Ontario, Canada. The festival began in a tent, the audience seated on three sides around a platform stage. By 1957 the tent had been replaced with a permanent theatre featuring the open thrust stage, which had been designed by Guthrie's collaborator, Tanya Moiseiwitsch (1914-2003). See link below.

On 5 May, 1963, after four years of looking around and finally settling on a place, the Minneapolis Repertory Theatre, later the Guthrie Theatre, opened with the eponymous director's rather long production of Hamlet. Importantly, the theatre featured a Guthrie open thrust stage, the battle for which was won by Guthrie and his collaborators, Moiseiwitsch and actor, Douglas Campbell (1922-2009) against the architect of the building, Ralph Rapson (1914-2008 - then Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota). See links below.

Guthrie and his collaborators had good reason to believe in the benefit of the open stage, which he  outlined in A New Theatre:

'...the proscenium stage is deliberately designed to encourage the audience to believe that events on stage are "really" taking place, to accept a palpable fiction for fact; whereas the open stage discourages "illusion" and emphasizes that a play is a ritual in which the audience is invited to participate. The audience is so arranged that spectators can see on another around, and beyond, the more brightly lighted stage. This certainly does not encourage illusion. You can hardly be expected to believe that you are right there at the Court of King Arthur when just over Sir Lancelot's left ear you can descry, dim but unmistakable, the Halversons, who keep the corner shop. This, however, does emphatically, and I think valuably, imply that theatre-going is a sociable, a shared experience, and that the audience, unlike the audience for movies or television, has an active part to play, has to do its share towards creating the performance, can make or mar the occasion.' (pp. 69-70).

It was important to all involved in the design of the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, that the entire audience felt at ease and at one, which was, according to Guthrie, 'brought about by not allowing those in the cheaper seats or less fashionable seats to feel that they are only second-class citizens.' (p. 70). Therefore,

'...the second class citizen problem was ingeniously solved by blurring the division between upstairs and down, between orchestra and balcony' by installing high, acutely angled asymmetrical seating, creating clear sightlines for the entire audience, and which followed the asymmetrical shape of the stage (p. 71). (See photograph). 

Various iterations of Guthrie's open thrust stage were used in several theatres during the following decades: Baumont-Lincoln 1965; Perth, Australia 1969; the Young Vic 1970; The Crucible 1971 (designed by Tanya Moiseiwitsch); the Globe 1997; and of course, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, London 2011. So, not only was Sir Tyrone Guthrie 'the most important theatre director today' according to the New York Times quoted on the inside cover of A New Theatre, but he was also a director with a keen sense of the importance of the audience, and a clear vision on how to achieve that all important symbiotic relationship between the viewer and the actor through the design of the open thrust stage and its associated seating.

For more on Sir Tyrone Guthrie's life and career

For further information on Tanya Moiseiwitsch

For further information on Douglas Campbell

For further information on Ralph Rapson

For more information on Susan Butler (née Guthrie) see The Butler Gallery and the Irish Times Susan Butler Opinion Piece

Photograph of the Guthrie open thrust stage, Minneapolis, 1963, was taken by the author of this article for The Guthrie Gazette, Dr Éimear O'Connor, in the V&A Museum, London, March 2023, and reproduced herein with the kind permission of the V&A Museum, London. The author would like to acknowledge and thank Christopher Fitz-Simon for his insight and knowledge of Sir Tyrone Guthrie, his family, and his career.

Barbara Crooker, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland


Tyrone Guthrie Centre,

Annaghmakerrig, Ireland


And so, as the rain comes down in great sheets,

I’m having tea in the drawing room of a manor

house turned into a retreat, pretending

I actually live here, with a carved marble

fireplace, gold-crusted mirror, fruitwood

bookcase, parquet floors.  There’s an old

wooden radio off in the corner, and I turn the dial,

think I hear Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw.  The window’s

a screen of pointillist drops that jitter and jive their way

down the glass.  It’s October, and the rose hips are swollen,

artillery shells about to explode.  Someone’s lived by this lake

going back to prehistory.  The wind whistles, a fife, as it blows

round the stones.  My mug of tea is growing cold.


Barbara Crooker


'Tyrone Guthrie Centre Annaghmakerrig, Ireland' is published in Barbara Crooker, The Book of Kells (Cascade Books, 2018) (Winner of the Best Poetry Book of 2018 award from Poetry by the Sea).

Barbara received a fee for the reproduction of her poem under our Payment of the Artist Policy.

Image - Annaghmakerrig Lake photographed by Dr Éimear O'Connor.

Visual Artist Elizabeth Greisman Working on Character Portraits from Productions by Sir Tyrone Guthrie

Canadian visual artist, Elizabeth Greisman, a frequent resident with us at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, is developing a series of portraits of characters from productions directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie for the Stratford Festival in Canada between 1953 and 1957.

Having researched each of the main characters, and working from historical theatrical sketches, Greisman's approach is organic. The portraits are made without reference to the individuality of each actor so that the artist concentrates instead on an interpretation of the role itself.

Greisman is also creating a series of portraits of characters who feature in the current productions of the American Shakespeare Center, Stanton, Virginia, U.S.A., for the 2023 season.

Elizabeth Greisman

American Shakespeare Center

Propeller Art Gallery Greisman Page

Illustrated - Elizabeth Greisman, Portrait of Sir Tyrone Guthrie.

Jerry McGrath to Release Love In County

We warmly congratulate producer, Jerry McGrath, on the Spring 2023 release of his film Love In Country

Jerry has undertaken many residencies with us here at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre since 1999, always working on visual art, mostly photographic images, video, and mixed media sculpture. Jerry exhibited his work in the first ever exhibition at the Monaghan Market House Gallery

Jerry is the producer, art director, and a partner for Love In Country, and we are absolutely delighted to celebrate his success with our readers.

Dolores Lyne, To the Letter, an exhibition in three parts

Warmest congratulations to visual artist, Dolores Lyne, who recently had a residency with us, and who has been working on a three part exhibition in response to the personal letters of Liam Lynch. The exhibitions run throughout April 2023:

Unfolded Paintings, The Coal Shed, Dublin Road, Fermoy, April 2-12, 2023.

Works on Paper, Fermoy Library, April 1-30, 2023.

Trilogy Paintings, Mitchelstown Library, April 1-30, 2023.

Rosie Hannigan aka Amy Gaffney forthcoming publication

We are very pleased to let our readers know that Rosie Hannigan's new book, The Moonlight Gardening Club, will be published by Avon Books on 27 April 2023 (paperback) and 20 April 2023 (ebook).

Rosie, aka Amy Gaffney, wrote to tell us that a 'huge chunk' of the book was written in one of our self-catering cottages last year.

Bestselling author, Marian Keyes, describes Hannigan's book as 'sweet and heartwarming.'

Warmest congratulations!



Meave McKenna's forthcoming second pamphlet

Warmest congratulations to author, Maeve McKenna, on her forthcoming second pamphlet, Body as a Home for This Darkness, which will be published by Book Hub Publishing in April 2023.

Maeve wrote to tell us that some of the poems in her new pamphlet were written while she was resident in one of our self-catering cottages in 2022. She added that 'the book travels the journey of my father's life, including his final years suffering with dementia.'

Forthcoming Bursary Opportunties


We have  four in-house bursary opportunities that are funded by bequest, or by anonymous patronage.

Our Anita Young Bursary for a Mid-Career Painter, funded by bequest to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, is run in conjunction with the RHA and the RUA each year - so we award two bursaries. Last year, 2022, our winners were Vera Klute (RHA) and Stephen Shaw (RUA). The bursary opportunity will run again this year, and as well as receiving two weeks, full board, and use of a studio with us, the winners will also be invited to exhibit one painting at the alternate academy. We would like to thank our colleagues in the RHA and the RUA for their strategic and financial support of this bursary opportunity. The 2023 winners will be chosen from among the entrants in the annual RHA and RUA exhibitions.

Our 'McB' Dance (and choreography) bursary is funded by an anonymous patron with a keen interest in dance and in The Tyrone Guthrie Centre. We worked with Dance Ireland in 2022 to do the call out, and to organize the peer panel that selected our winner, Alison (Ali) Clarke. We would like to thank our anonymous patron without whom the 'McB Dance Bursary' would not be. We would also like to thank our colleagues in Dance Ireland for their strategic and financial support of this bursary opportunity in 2022. We will announce our call out for our 2023 McB Bursary later this year. We would like to thank The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon for their financial support which enables us to ensure that our peer panelist is paid for their work.

Our Debi O'Hehir Bursary for a visual artist working in paint, print, sculpture, or textile, is supported with funds left to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre by Debi, who had been a frequent resident prior to her death in 2015. Organized 'in-house', the applications are peer reviewed, and our winner in 2022 was Noelle Gallagher. We received so many applications for our call out in 2021 that with Debi's sister, Siobhán, it was decided to focus on the west of Ireland for the 2022 call out. This year, please take note, it has been agreed that the call out will focus on visual artists working in paint, print, sculpture, or textile, who are living and working in Northern Ireland. The call out always takes place late in the year, and the winner is announced just before we close for Christmas. We would like to thank The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon for their financial support which enables us to ensure that our peer panelists are paid for their work.

Please see our website for information about bursary opportunities through our many local, national, and international partnerships.


Illustrated - an image of Visual Art Studio 1, photographed by Mary Clerkin.

Congratulations To You From The Team at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre

Eiléan Ní Chuillanáin

Warmest congratulations to poet, Eiléan Ní Chuillanáin, on her election to Saoi of Aosdána by her peers therein, which took place in May 2022.

Liz Nugent

Warmest congratulations to author, Liz Nugent, on the recent publication of her book, Strange Sally Diamond

Joseph O'Connor

Warmest congratulations to author and Professor of Creative Writing, University of Limerick, Joseph O'Connor, on the recent publication of his book, My Father's House

Laura Ní Fhlaibhín

Warmest congratulations to visual artist, Laura Ní Fhlaibhín, whose exhibition, 'Wet Wishes', at the Britta Rettberg gallery, Germany, closes on 1 April 2023.

Oein DeBhairduin, Deirdre Sullivan, and Yingge Xu

Warmest congratulations to Oein DeBhairduin, Deirdre Sullivan, and Yingge Xu on the publication of Weave by Skein Press.  Written by DeBhairduin and Sullivan and illustrated by Xu, Weave 'explores a shared passion for storytelling, folklore, and ritual.'

The three artists were resident with us as part of our collaboration with Skein Press in 2022.

Kikki Ghezzi

Warmest congratulations to visual artist, Kikki Ghezzi, on the publication of her monograph, Consciousness Unthought (Italian and English translation) (2022) launched in Milan February 2023.

Peter Fallon

We warmly congratulate poet, publisher, editor, and former Chairperson of The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Peter Fallon HRHA, on his exhibition, Cover Versions, at the RHA, Dublin (18 November 2022 - 29 January 2023). The exhibition featured artworks that have graced the covers of The Gallery Press publications over the last 50+ years.

The catalogue of the exhibition is also available.

Martina Dalton

We warmly congratulate poet, Martina Dalton, whose poem 'Wedding Dress' won the Listowel Writers' Week Poem of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards in November 2022.

Marcella Reardon

We warmly congratulate visual artist, Marcella Riordan, on her recent exhibition, titled 'Acton to Cork - a London Irish Childhood', which was held at the W3 Gallery, Acton, England, from 7-31 March 2023. Marcella wrote to us recently to say that the 'first definitive photographs for the project' were made during a residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in November 2013. The work 'went on to be part of the Culture Ireland Centenary Programme, showing in the Irish World Heritage Centre, Manchester, and St Peter's, Cork.

Janet Moran

Our warm congratulations to Janet Moran on winning the Irish Times Best Actress Award for her performance in Heaven by Fishamble (2022). More information in the Irish Times Article The 25th Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards: Owen Roe and Janet Moran win best actors as full list revealed.

New Member of the Board of Directors Fergus Finlay

We are delighted to announce that Fergus Finlay is joining our Board of Directors.

Fergus Finlay is a retired CEO of Barnardos, Ireland’s largest children’s charity, having worked in this position for 13 years. For around twenty years prior to that he was employed as Senior Adviser to the Labour Party. He was one of the drafters of the Downing Street Declaration and was centrally involved in the election of President Mary Robinson. He also served as a Director of Wilson Hartnell Public Relations. He is the author of four best-selling books.

He has been a life-long campaigner for the rights of people with disabilities and is currently chair of a government task force to implement a comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities. For ten years he has also worked as Chair of the Dolphin House Regeneration Board. He is also Chair of Lakers in Bray, a highly successful club and service provider for young people and adults with an intellectual disability, and is a member of the Charities Regulatory Authority. He broadcasts regularly on radio and television and contributes a weekly column to the Irish Examiner. Fergus Finlay was awarded a Human Rights Award by the French Embassy in Dublin in 2013 to recognise the work of Barnardos with Ireland’s children. He was also honoured by UCC as an Outstanding Alumnus in 2016.

Fergus's nomination was ratified by the Board of Directors of The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at the Board meeting held on 25 March 2023, and we very much look forward to working with him over the coming years.


We Are Seeking to Appoint a Board Member with Sponsorship and Fundraising Experience

We have big plans here at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, more of which we will reveal in future editions of The Guthrie Gazette. Meanwhile, and following on from our new Strategic Plan, 'Rise Above', we are actively seeking to appoint a person to our Board who has sponsorship and fundraising expertise. If you think that you are that person, and you would like to get involved in what will be an extraordinarily exciting series of projects for The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, then please email your CV and a letter of intent, with 'Board Appointments' in the subject line for the attention of The Chairperson to, or post your CV and letter of intent, marked 'Board Appointments', for attention of The Chairperson, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig House, Newbliss, County Monaghan, Ireland, H18PP70. 

The Board of Directors of The Tyrone Guthrie Centre meet four times a year, with one meeting taking place in Northern Ireland. Our sub-committees meet four times a year. While we encourage members of the Board to attend in person where possible, conferencing facilities are available to enable access to meetings. Appointments are for a five year term.

We would be delighted to receive CVs and letters from all persons with the relevant experience from across all communities on the island of Ireland. All applications for nomination to the Board of Directors will be considered by our search committee. We may form a panel from among applications for future appointments to Board of Directors of The Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

It is our intention to form a Sponsorship and Fundraising Sub-Committee, as per our Strategic Plan, and as such, we would be delighted to receive CVs and letters of intent for appointment as external members to that committee from anyone with the relevant experience, across all communities on the Ireland of Ireland, and indeed, further afield, as conferencing facilities are available. Please email your CV and a letter of intent, marked 'External Membership', for the attention of The Chairperson to, or post your CV and letter of intent marked 'External Membership' to The Chairperson, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig House, Newbliss, County Monaghan, Ireland, H118 PP70. External appointments to our sub-committees are for a five year term. External appointments to the Sponsorship and Fundraising Committee will be made by our search committee. We may form a panel from among applications for future appointments to the Sponsorship and Fundraising Committee.

Happy Big 'O' Birthday to Two of Our Team Members

Those of our readers who have been resident at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, or who are arranging dates to stay, already know Mary Clerkin. Mary, who has been with us for many years now, is the person at the other end of our main email address. She organizes the 'jigsaw puzzle,' as she calls it, that is our booking system, sends out our invoices, answers the main telephone, and generally ensures that everything goes smoothly for residents booking in.

Mary has many talents, one of which is photography. The still photographs on our new website are the result of her keen eye for composition.

There was a big birthday for Mary this year - it took place in March. We would like to wish Mary a year of wonderful birthday celebrations, as all other days are 'unbirthday' days that should be celebrated too!

There was another big birthday on our team which took place for our FO, Martina Beagan, in June 2022. Residents may not see too much of Martina, as she works on our accounts in an office away from public view. But you'll remember her if you've sat at the round table for coffee at 11am, or you are sure to have met her outside if you are fond of walking.

Like the rest of our team, Martina also has many talents. She is, for example, a fine actor. Many of our readers may well have seen her in action on stage in The Garage Theatre.

We would like to wish Martina a continued year of 'unbirthday' celebrations.


Director's Diary

We thought you might like a flavour of our Director's diary. Our Director, Éimear, works from an office in our Big House - Miss Worby's room. It is a busy office, with lots going on, but Éimear is also out and about representing The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at various events.

On Friday 3 March 2023 Éimear attended an event in the RIA in Dublin. Titled 'The Future of Cross-Border Cooperation in the Arts - What Next?', the event coincided with the publication of the eponymous ARINS report. 

On Monday 13 March 2023 Éimear was invited to talk on a panel to celebrate international women's day. The panel included Sinéad Buckley Quinn, founder of the Irish Design Gallery, Moroccan mountain climber, Bouchra Baibanon, who has scaled the seven major summits of the world (and who flew in especially for the occasion), and award winning Moroccan nuclear physicist, Rajaá Cherkaoui El Moursli (on screen). Invited by His Excellency, Lahcen Mahraoui, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Ireland, and Cathaoirleach of Dunlaoghaire Rathdown, Cllr Mary Hanafin, the audience consisted of c.120 young women from local schools. The panel discussion and questions ranged across education, collegiality, discrimination, motivation, mutual support, leadership, and courage. Following the close of the panel, the speakers were each  honoured with an award from Dublin crystal.

On Saturday 1 April 2023 Éimear will join Liam Hannaway, Chairman of ACNI, Jimmy Fay, Lyric Theatre Belfast, and Hilary Copeland, Director of Fighting Words NI, on a discussion panel on arts and culture prior to a matinee performance of 'Agreement' by Owen McCafferty. The panel is organised by The Irish Association. 

On Monday 3 April 2023 Éimear will give a public talk titled 'Ireland Strayed Angel: AE, Art, and Irish America' at Armagh County Museum. The event is taking place as part of the annual George Russell Festival. 

On 3 May 2023 Éimear will host a visit to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre by The Contemporary Irish Art Society.

In Conclusion and Getting Ready For Our Next Issue

To coin a phrase that seems apt, 'that's a wrap' for this edition.

We appreciate you, our readers, taking the time to scroll through The Guthrie Gazette.

To follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, please see the links on

We are pleased to receive articles, poems, short stories, images of paintings or prints, prizes, general news from our resident local, national, and international artists for consideration for publication in our next Gazette, especially if the work was conceived, thought out, or completed while resident at the Centre. (Payment is offered to artists whose work is selected for publication under our Payment of the Artist policy). We also invite our local, national, and international artists to send information about forthcoming publications, launches, performances, public talks etc., which are to take place between July and September 2023, for publication in the next edition of The Guthrie Gazette. Please send to Éimear at marked 'for newsletter' in the subject line. Closing date for submissions - close of business, 6 June 2023.


Apply for a Residency

Find Out More Apply Now

The Arts Council | Funding the Arts The Arts Council of Northern Ireland Res Artists | Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht National Lottery Office of Public Works

Go to top