Sharon Fogarty
Listen to Sharon on becoming a company member.
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Sharon Fogarty’s work with Mabou Mines has taken many forms and spans almost twenty years. A Boston native, early on she performed in the company’s productions of Cold Harbor in Mexico City and Lear in New York and Toronto (“Among other things, I held down Gloucester while she had her eyes gouged out”).  Beginning in 1996, she became the producer for many Mabou Mines' productions including the OBIE Award-winning An Epidog, Hajj and Ecco Porco, written and directed by Lee Breuer; Ruth Maleczech’s Belén: A Book Of Hours and Song For New York; Mabou Mines DollHouse; Red Beads, directed by Lee Breuer, and three plays written by Samuel Beckett (Worstword Ho, Company and Happy Days).

Fogarty became a Co-Artistic Director of the company in 1999; she then conceived, wrote and directed Cara Lucia, a music theater work inspired by the life of James Joyce’s daughter, Lucia, with Ruth Maleczech in the title role.  A more portable production, Lucia’s Chapters, continues to tour the U.S. and internationally and has received a nomination for the Elliot Norton Award from The Boston Globe as well five nominations for American Theater Wing design awards.

Fogarty is currently at work on FINN, a chronicle of the boyhood adventures of Celtic hero Finn McCool in his quest to become a warrior.  The work will combine live action with digital motion capture techniques and is a collaboration between Fogarty, the Irish playwright Jocelyn Clarke, Scottish composer Phil Cunningham and Czech digital artists Misha Zabranska and Misha Votruba.

Fogarty graduated cum laude in Theater from Emerson College, “all fired up” for ensemble created experimental theater after training in the physical work of Jerzy Grotowski.  She then went to Ireland to earn a master’s degree from University College, Dublin, graduating with honors.  When she returned to New York in 1993, she participated in the company’s Resident Artist Program, Mabou Mines/Suite, directing Tom Murphy’s Famine at Theater For The New City.  At some point, she remembers, “There was a huge stack of unopened mail and Ruth said, ‘You know business, right?’  Next thing I knew I was the company manager.  That’s the great thing about this company: They’ll let you try anything if you dare!"

“I was looking for really good Irish writing to play with.  In 1996, I became the Artistic Director of the Daedalus Theater Company [in residence at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side].  By day I was managing Mabou Mines; by night, directing contemporary Irish plays with an experimental spin.  Eventually, the split focus made no sense to me or anybody else. We had a meeting in Lee’s office and Ruth turned to me and said, ‘So what do you want to make?’  It was a rather intimidating question but I’d just read a new biography of Nora Joyce, James’s wife, so I suggested a piece about Lucia Joyce, their daughter.  They went for it, because of the Beckett connection; Lucia was in love with Beckett.” Out of that meeting came the “quite moving…subtle and beautiful” (The New York Times) Cara Lucia, an impressionistic portrait of Lucia in all her rattled brilliance.

“I have been lucky to have a consistent home that encourages artistic evolution,” Fogarty says.  “When you know your work will be produced, it gives meaning and weight to the process.”

Fogarty has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, TCG New Generations (Mentor), Irish Arts Council and Irish Institute, as well as travel grants to Prague, Czech Republic and, from the Association of Arts Presenters, to Morocco.  She has also received a nomination for a Cal Arts Alpert Award.

She is currently on the faculty of Barnard College and has taught at New York University's Experimental Theater Wing as well as the Voice & Vision Summer Theater Intensive at Bard College, CAL State Summer Arts program, Colby College (Maine), SITI Company, Abbey Theater (Dublin) and Wexford County Council Arts Office (Ireland).  She is a co-founder of ACT NOW (Vienna, Austria) and of Communities in Performance, creating site specific performances in rural towns across Ireland.