Announcing the recipients of the Midsummer Commission and the Jane Anne Rothwell Award

Announcing the recipients of the Midsummer Commission and the Jane Anne Rothwell Award

Cork Midsummer Festival is delighted to announce the recipients of the Midsummer Commission and Jane Anne Rothwell Award following an Open Call process in December 2020.

Midsummer Commission – Tobi Omoteso

Tobi Omoteso is an internationally and nationally acclaimed Nigerian / Irish B-boy (Breakin’ / Breakdancer) and Hip-Hop Freestyle dancer. Tobi is the Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Top 8 Street Dance Battle who curate designed and delivered programmes in and to a wide range of settings, organizations and events. He has performed his own work at Irish Arts Centre New York, Belltable and Dublin Dance Festival, to name just a few. On screen, he has performed on Sky One’s Got to Dance, hit US TV show Penny Dreadful, RTE and numerous music videos, as well as working with some of Ireland’s leading choreographers including David Bolger, John Scott, Emma Martin, Fidget Feet and Catherine Young.

Speaking about the commission, Tobi Omoteso said: "I am most honoured to receive this commission at such a time like this, as we know we can still achieve a high standard, engaging and fun program accessible to all whether it be in person or digitally. I look forward to working with the team at Cork Midsummer Festival in achieving this for the festival and the community."

Tobi’s proposal involves the creation of a dynamic, exciting and inclusive day of celebration on Midsummer, bringing people of different cultures and backgrounds together through music, art and dance. Working with street artists, dancers, DJs and music artists, the event will include performances and interactive workshops for all ages and will be a testament to the power of community and Irish artists who have helped us through these difficult times.

Jane Anne Rothwell Award – Lesley Conroy

Lesley's love of acting began in the Monforts, Cork School of Music, UCC's Dramat and in Corcadora Theatre Company's seminal production, A Clockwork Orange. An IFTA-nominated actress she trained in the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, Dublin and has appeared on Ireland's stage and screens for the past 25 years. Her writing practice emerged in recent years through Mothers Artists Makers' workshops. Her monologue Cleaner was winner of Script Ireland's competition in 2020, and she is currently in pre-production on its adaptation to screen under the Screen Ireland / Bow Street Academy Actor as Creator scheme. The on-going support of Irish Theatre Institute, Axis Ballymun and The Corps Ensemble have been instrumental in Lesley’s recent creative output. Supported by the Arts Council, she is currently developing her practice with Judy Hegarty (Gare St. Lazare) and looks forward to executing new work as a self-producing artist in 2021 and beyond.

Commenting on the Jane Anne Rothwell Award, Lesley Conroy said: "I’m very grateful to Cork Midsummer Festival’s support at this early stage in my career. Embarking on a new direction takes courage, championing and belief. Mentorship has been instrumental in settling me on this new path as an originator of my own work - to have the support of the Jane Anne Rothwell award at this pivotal stage in my emerging practice is a true honour and a very real help. I wish to thank Jane Anne’s family and friends in allowing her to continue to be a mentor in championing and supporting female voices in the Arts."

Lesley is developing My Connection is Not Stable, an innovative new piece of site-specific theatre that is both live and digital. Examining our feelings of isolation, loss of self and the effects of the overwhelming demands placed on us during the pandemic and reflecting on the importance of reconnections with our city, place and each other.

Keep an eye on our website and social media for further information about both projects and additional Cork Midsummer Festival programme information. To sign up to our newsletter, click HERE.