New artist in residence & HATCH artists move into the MAC

The MAC welcomes its newest Artist in Residence Shannon Yee, the writer behind Reassembled, Slightly Askew, as well as this year’s newly appointed HATCH Artists who are writer Emily DeDakis, theatre company duo Paradosso Theatre and musician Alana Henderson.

The MAC’s Artist in Residence programme is helping to shape the cultural landscape in Northern Ireland. The Artist in Residence space is a unique facility that brings international, national and home-grown artists such as Shannon to the MAC.

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.”

Who is our new Artist in Residence?

Shannon Sickels (Yee) is an award-winning playwright and producer, based in Northern Ireland. Shannon’s perspectives as an immigrant, ethnic minority, queer artist with a disability living in NI are deeply embedded in her work. While she was a MAC HATCH artist (2014-15), she created Reassembled, Slightly Askew, which immerses audiences in her first-hand experience of nearly dying and her subsequent acquired brain injury. Reassembled… ( has received numerous accolades (5 stars, The Stage; 4 stars, The Guardian, Evening Standard, The Arts Review, Time Out London) and has been touring the UK, Ireland, USA and Canada since its premiere at the MAC in 2015. Shannon continues to work across artistic disciplines in her work, with music and movement company Assault Events, director Anna Newell, sonic artist Paul Stapleton, and local theatre companies Accidental Theatre and TheatreofplucK.

Who are our new 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.

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 Alan 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.