Upstate Theatre project is an independent performing arts organisation located in Drogheda, County Louth. Less than an hour from Dublin, Drogheda is a major gateway to the border counties of Louth, Monaghan, and Cavan. Upstate's work draws not only from the life and culture of the town and surrounding area, but also from this wider border region, an area rich in literary tradition and the culture of performance. The project is also ideally located to develop links with colleagues and communities across the border in Northern Ireland.
Upstate seeks to attain the highest standards of excellence in performance and presentation, breaking new ground in its innovative relationships with community organisations, its educational and training programmes and its links with artists and communities in Northern Ireland and overseas.
Upstate Theatre Project
Upstate Theatre Project was founded in 1997 following a year of action research in the North East region. Our intention was to test the viability of a new kind of regional theatre company that would set the highest standards of artistic innovation while at the same time become connected to a defined region – its places, culture and communities.
From its inception, Upstate has received generous funding from the Arts Council and the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, and also from Drogheda Borough Council, allowing the company to experiment and to produce work that is now nationally and internationally recognized. The company is a teaching partner of the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University in the field of ‘Community-Engaged Theatre.’ Upstate Live productions have toured from major city venues to rural parish halls all across Ireland and Northern Ireland as well as internationally, including appearances on the Brussels 2000 European City of Culture programme and at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.
From 2002-2007, the company managed The Crossover Project, funded by Border Action, a cross-border, cross-community participative drama programme that involved hundreds of adults and teenagers in learning processes and in devising new, theatre performances.
In 2009/10 the company was designated a participatory arts organization for which it now receives funding from the Arts Council.