Through an interplay of storytelling, animations, music and poetry, Richard Kearney and Sheila Gallagher’s Twinsome Minds mines what is often lost behind official historical accounts and acts of commemoration, and proposes a transformative work of interpreting Dublin’s Easter Rising for a new generation.

Twinsome Minds (a phrase from Finnegans Wake) re-imagines a series of micro-narratives surrounding 1916 in Dublin and the WWI battlefields of Belgium. The stories and images of eclipsed history concentrate on ‘twinned’ pairs – family members, neighbors, school friends, lovers – who ended up on opposite sides during this time of great upheaval in British-Irish relations. The various scenes explore crossings of memory and imagination, anecdote and legend, history and myth – as well as loyalty and love. They are framed and retold by writer and philosopher, Richard Kearney with screen projections by the artist, Sheila Gallagher, and an original music score by Dana Lyn.








Spring Tour

Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Jan 23
Swedish Museum of History, Stockholm, March 6
Gulbenkian Arts Centre, Lisbon, March 8
Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, March 11
Irish Arts Center, New York, March 22
Quinnipiac Performing Arts Center,  New Haven, April 4
Tsai Performance Center, Boston, April 29

Summer Tour

The Nerve Centre, Derry, Northern Ireland, June 9
The Belfast Book Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 10
Muintir Na Tire Hall, Limerick, Ireland, June 13

Fall Tour

This list is updated as venues are confirmed

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA, Sept. 23
Lincoln Theatre, Damariscotta, Maine, Oct. 7
St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, Nov. 4
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, Dec. 9


Richard Kearney

Writer, Performer & Co-director

Richard Kearney is a writer, professor and cultural organizer of several international projects. He has written two novels, a volume of poetry, several books on the role of imagination and narrative in Irish culture, literature and the arts. He has served as a member of the Irish Arts Council, Chair of the UCD Film School and public intellectual and broadcaster. He is founder director of the International Guestbook Project, 'Exchanging Stories, Changing Histories'.

Sheila Gallagher

Performer & Co-director

Sheila Gallagher is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and professor of art at Boston College. She has had numerous solo­ exhibitions, and has exhibited widely at commercial galleries, museums, and universities internationally. Gallagher is the co-curator of the Becker Collection, a private archive of Civil War drawings currently touring the United States. Together with Richard Kearney she co­-directs the Guestbook Project.


Kevin Sweet
Boston based artist, educator and organizer of digital cultural projects.


Dana Lyn
Brooklyn-based violinist, arranger and composer


Fanny Howe
Robert Savage
Roy Foster


Brian O’Donovan
Writer, producer, and the voice of WGBH’s “Celtic Sojourn”


Adam Weiss of Mix One Studios, Boston

Twinsome Minds at the Irish Arts Center, NY

Sheila Gallagher and Richard Kearney take the stage at the Irish Art Center in NY, NY on March 22, 2016.

Images: Courtesy of Irish Arts Center, Photo by Amanda Gentile


“One of my questions here this evening is how to distinguish between good and bad commemorating? Between remembering backwards, where we become addicted to repetition compulsion and melancholy, and remembering forwards, where we try to reanimate rich potencies of the past? In short, how do we tell the difference between memories that incarcerate and memories that emancipate? How do we reclaim the proclamations of 1916?

In his contemporary 1916 novel, A Star Called Henry, Roddy Doyle says that we tell stories in order to fill the hole inside us. In our presentation tonight, we will be trying to fill in the gaps of certain micro-histories by supplementing memory with imagination, fact with fiction, telling it both as it happened and as-if it happened in this way or that. For it is in crossing story and history that one may give a future to the past.

Lets begin at the beginning.

From the time Cuchalain battled with his frère-enemi, Ferdia, on the planes of Ulster, the tale of two siblings in arms has been a leitmotif of Irish cultural imagination. Our mythology and literature – in both Irish and English – teem with such stories of conflict and crossing, right down to the icon of the suffering hero standing in the GPO today: a statue famously commemorated in Yeats’ verse:

‘When Pearse summoned Cuchulain to his side, what stalked through the post office?’

Was it ghost or god, hero or martyr, or just ordinary complex conflicted human beings? I shall hazard a guess by telling tales of some twinsome minds caught on opposite sides at that threshold moment of history. Tales – oral as much as written – that rarely make it into the cannons of Official Commemoration.” — Richard Kearney


Check back for news, updates, and a behind-the-scenes look into the production and tour of Twinsome Minds: Recovering 1916 In Images and Stories, or access our full collection via the button below.

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