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The Permanent Present, the 1 permanent artwork in the MAC made from hundreds of colourful copper wires.

The MAC’s Hatch scheme is the formal development of a long-term project that will ensure that locally based, new and emerging artists are able to play their part in developing the creative energy at the heart of the MAC.


This is essential for the long-term evolution and good health of Northern Ireland’s creative arts economy.

The MAC’s HATCH scheme is designed to support new and emerging artists by providing them with the time and space to develop creatively. These artists and companies will take up their 12-month residency within the MAC to work on a range of exciting new projects and live performances. The artists have access to the MAC’s resources and receive support and guidance from MAC staff throughout the year.

Simon Magill, Creative Director at the MAC said: “We are delighted to welcome former Hatch artist Shannon Yee, as our new Artist in Residence and also to announce this year’s HATCH artists who are set to join us at the MAC.

The applications for this year’s HATCH scheme were of a particularly high standard and we are excited by the potential of the projects these four artists are working on. The  HATCH scheme is one part of our commitment to the long-term evolution and good health of Northern Ireland’s creative arts sector. We’re championing artists, encouraging them to take risks, be brave and to learn from themselves and others.”

Photograph collage of all 4 HATCH artists in 2017-18

Current Hatch Artists

Who are our current HATCH artists?

Emily DeDakis

The daughter of a musician and a journalist, Emily grew up in the Southeast U.S. and emigrated to Belfast in 2005. Holding MA and PhD degrees in creative writing from Queen’s University Belfast, Emily has taught creative writing extensively to undergraduates, ex-prisoners, school-kids, playwrights and community groups. Emily’s prose has appeared in Dead Housekeeping, The Vacuum, The Yellow Nib, Ulster Tatler, Poetry Proper and on 2SER (Sydney). For the Ulster Hall’s 'Literary Lunchtimes', she collaborated with drummer David Lyttle & pianist Conor Scullion on an improvised musical reading from her novel-in-progress Voicetown. As dramaturg and producer with Accidental Theatre, Emily has helped developed dozens of scripts & performances – including immersive plays, a multimedia stage play and dance theatre.

During her time as a MAC Hatch artist, Emily is writing and co-devising Shipwrecks & Lighthouses — a dance-theatre collaboration between Accidental Theatre (Belfast) and 13th Floor (San Francisco), blending innovative scriptwriting with lyrical physicality. The play is set on a fictional archipelago, isolated in a vast ocean. Massive celebrations are afoot for the 75th anniversary of the islands’ unification as one nation, but explosive rumours about the past and mischievous discoveries in the present threaten the islands’ future.

Paradosso Theatre

Mary Lindsay and Vittoria Caffola together form Paradosso Theatre. This new, Belfast-based theatre company was born out of a need to combat in some small way the hate speech & intolerance they saw reflected in everyday life and interactions, coupled with a desire to offer audiences new and existing writing that raises awareness of, and explores key societal issues. Paradosso is influenced and inspired by film, art, music and theatre-makers. Namely Robert Wilson, Side Pony, Societas Raffaello Sanzio, Drywrite, Fassbinder, Pina Bausch, amongst others.

Mary is a professional actor and director based in Belfast. She has extensive and varied experience in theatre and film while Vittoria is a member of Agent160 Theatre Company, a female writer-led company which seeks to address the 17% Figure.

Alana Henderson

Northern Irish singer-songwriter Alana Henderson's released her debut EP Wax & Wane in 2014. It was described by The Thin Air as “…a veritable Pandora’s box of burrowing folk-noir…”.

After spending 2014 establishing herself as an up-and- coming Irish solo artist at home and across Europe, Alana was invited by Irish star Hozier to join him on his worldwide tour throughout 2015 & 2016 as featured cellist, vocalist and occasional support act. This huge worldwide tour gave Alana a platform to perform in front of appreciative audiences across the globe, also garnering her fans of her own and a following for her solo work. Alana is now back on home soil and looking forward to using the HATCH residency at the MAC to explore projects which marry her love for music and theatre.

Previous HATCH Artists

Here's a list of our previous HATCH artists at the MAC.

2015 - 2016 

  • Paula O’Reilly 
  • Oona Doherty 
  • Amadan

2014 - 2015

  • Chatterbox
  • Off the Rails Dance
  • Shannon Yee

2013 - 2014

  • Niall Rea
  • Clare Lamont
  • Mary Francis Doherty