MACHA Productions is a radical initiative, founded in 2015 by Jo Egan and Fionnuala Kennnedy, that presents, promotes and produces professional performance with grassroots collaboration, with under-represented communities and exceptional artists – locally and internationally. MACHA aims to use ground-breaking theatre to challenge the current structures existing in society which dominate, repress and block development of communities and individuals. Through its work, MACHA aims to democratise cultural expression by smashing barriers to participation and creation of arts activity, building a fresh generation of artists collaborating on work.
Current Artistic Director, Jo Egan is a theatre artist with over 25 years’ experience of creating work for traditional and non-theatre locations. Since she moved to Belfast nineteen years ago she has created work that examines the place “in-between” – space both temporal and physical where the narratives of “the other” can be found. She created and developed the concept for the Wedding Community Play which took place at a flashpoint interface area in Belfast. As Creative Producer with KABOSH Theatre, she produced work that questioned “what theatre is and where it takes place”. On leaving KABOSH she worked as an oral archivist, creating an archive of 42 interviews with the Belfast Orthodox Jewish community, conducted both in Belfast and England, which informed This is What We Sang, staged in the Belfast Synagogue. Additionally she has dramaturged and produced work for UVF ex prisoner, Bobby Niblock and supported the creation of Etcetera Theatre Co, dedicated to supporting work emanating from the Loyalist/Protestant working-class community. She has a history of creating: large-scale work with community participants, professional playwrights, actors, dancers, choreographers, visual and sound artists, lighting and set designers. Jo is herself a playwright and dramaturg and currently teaches creative writing and playwriting. She also works as a consultant with two theatre companies in London, Maya Productions and Intermission Theatre Company. Both of these companies initiate culturally diverse work with marginalised communities.