Karen’s solo play Drip Feed ran at the Edinburgh Fringe and Dublin fringe (Project Arts Centre) before transferring to the Soho Theatre London. It was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award, an Off West End Award and a Dublin Fringe Award. She is currently working in writer’s rooms for Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic. She wrote on Series 2 of The Young Offenders for BBC. Her script Fled is in formal development with A Very English Scandal’s executive producer and a broadcaster. Her first play The Half of It won The Stewart Parker Award, won a Dublin Fringe Award and was nominated for five.
Karen was the ITI Phelim Donlon Bursary recipient 2019, and worked on Fishamble’s A Play For Ireland in 2019. She completed the Channel 4 Screenwriting scheme 2019. She is The H Club’s Theatre Emerging Creative and an Arts Councils Next Generation Artist 2018/19. She has spoken on panels at RADA, the Traverse Theatre, the Guilty Feminist, and at RADA and written a monologue for the Guilty Feminist.
What did you do with your Next Generation award?
I travelled, read and watched a ton of theatre, built new working relationships and above all, I wrote like the clappers, in a way I would never have been able to without the award. It moved me forward in ways that will continue to show themselves for years to come.
What has receiving a Next Generation award meant to you as an artist/for your career?
It solidified my path as an Irish writer — the feeling of being supported in a very practical and psychological way is hard to articulate. It was a formative year for me.
How would you describe your creative process?
Chaotic, disorganised, by the skin of my teeth, traumatic and joyful.
What is the best piece of advice you received as an emerging artist?
Also, someone told me that if you want creative opportunities to come looking for you, you have to be putting creative energy into the world. There’s a sort of privilege in that but I think it’s a mind-set of carving out a psychological space for yourself as a maker of whatever kind. Even if you don’t have the time to sit and make work, the knowledge that you deserve that time and will keep seeking until it opens up in front of you. Being supported financially is a huge part of that. Only a very small percentage of privileged people can make work without regular injections of funding.
What or who has influenced your practice the most?
That’s tough. ‘Everything’ is a nebulous answer but it is true— making work is an answer or a conversation with rage, injustice, loathing, emptiness, longing, the lot of it. Other artists who have a thousand juggles and hurdles to overcome before making their work inspire me hugely.