The ISACS Network are delighted to partner again with Wexford Arts Centre to bring you back LIFT – one of our artist development programme. This residency offers mentoring and creation space for duo ground-based circus artists via an open-call residency. LIFT is supported by County Wexford Arts Department, Wexford County Council and Arts Council Ireland.

LIFT aims to provide space, support, expertise and room for circus artists to develop their practice. The selected artists for this 2022 edition are Nora Kelly Lester and Ruth Lehane.

The artists will be granted the use of theatre space at Wexford Arts Centre along with the support of the Arts centre staff in the form of skill share sessions and mentoring from the centre’s Technician, Marketing Manager and Director. The use of a hot desk at the ISACS Network office for desktop research and subsequent reports/applications will also be made available.

About Nora and Ruth

Nora Headshot Small

Nora Kelly Lester is a multidisciplinary artist, clown, performer and theatre maker from Dublin.

In 2018 she trained with internationally acclaimed clown expert Sue Morrison in Clown Through Mask. Since then she has discovered a great passion for clown theatre.

As an artist she is currently exploring ideas that challenge audiences’ perceptions of female identity in playful, funny and provocative ways.

Nora has worked extensively with theatre company Dead Centre. Her credits as assistant director include Lippy, Chekhov’s First Play and Hamnet. She has toured extensively with the company.

She has created work as Catalyst artist in residence with Dublin Circus Project and Dance Ireland and as Director in Residence at The New Theatre.

Her previous directing work includes:

Drawing Crosses on A Dusty Window Pane (Dublin Fringeby Dylan Coburn Gray.

Dead Air (Bram Stoker Festival 2017) Belvedere House, Mother Stoker’s Sickly Stories (Bram Stoker Festival 2016), The Assassination of Brian Boru The New Theatre (National Tour 2014/2015)

Ruth Lehane

Ruth Lehane is an award-winning actress, theatremaker, movement director and performance coach.

Having trained at The Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, Dublin, her interest in movement brought her to further study at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris for two years; and The Theatre Resource Centre, Toronto, Canada.

Ruth is a highly skilled practitioner influenced by the methodology of Jacques Lecoq and the disciplines of Theatre of Clown, Neutral Mask, Gestural Language and The Architecture of the Space.

Her vast range of experience has seen her work with a diverse range of companies both nationally and internationally some of which include; The Abbey, Dublin; The Lyric, Belfast; Barabbas; Blue Raincoat and Fabulous Beast.

She has toured with her work internationally to London, Edinburg, Glasgow, Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Bulgaria, Romania and New York.

The founder of Fourth Leaf Productions, Ruth’s company makes theatre that provokes challenges and delights an audience.

She runs workshops and teaches at The Lir Academy; The Gaiety School of Acting; Helena Walsh Voice Studio and The Abbey Theatre Skills for Business Programme.

She works as a movement director in film, her recent feature films include:

Award-winning, “The Hole in the Ground” 2019; “Vivarium” 2019; and “The Cured” 2017. For more info visit:

What do they expect from LIFT?

LIFT  is the perfect opportunity for myself and Ruth to put our continued investigation of red nose clown performance and contemporary theatre into practice through the development of this new work. Lift will provide us with the necessary time, space and support to develop our practice through developing ‘Bunny Bunny’ into full show.

-Nora Kelly Lester