Friday, March 03, 2023

Women of the Green Room: From left, Regina Mangan, Liberty Blue Estate Agents, Linda Kelly, Waterford News & Star, Mary Frances Ryan, Editor, Waterford News & Star, Dymphna Nugent, WLR FM, Maria Clifford, Liberty Blue Estate Agents, and Sarah Jane Cleary, Creative Spirit Ambassador for Waterford’s Cultural Quarter, pictured at the Waterford News & Star Green Room Awards. Photo: Joe Evans


International Women’s Day, 8th March 2023


By Mary Frances Ryan

Editor, Waterford News & Star


WOMEN don’t do things by half measures. It is true of how we mother, how we work, how we put our best side forward to network, how we participate, share and contribute in our businesses and hobbies, and how we celebrate when the occasion requires.

I had the privilege recently of working with a group of fantastic women on the Waterford News & Star Green Room Awards. There were wonderful, collaborative men involved as well – including of course the legendary Pat McEvoy, Waterford News & Star arts correspondent, but I am going to take this opportunity to reflect upon the female input. (We didn’t set out to achieve an equilibrium of male and female involvement, but it naturally fell that way, and it was a pleasure to work alongside all involved).

Regina Mangan, of Liberty Blue Estate Agents, who came on board as lead sponsor, said afterwards, when their female-led company commits to something they are all in. I can testify that that was very much the case. In teaming up with the Waterford News & Star, alongside Waterford City and County Council, to support the Green Room Awards a little over a month out from the event, Liberty Blue immediately committed their expertise. I learnt extensively about marketing – and how to enhance an event.

Running in parallel was the judging and artistic process, which was greatly assisted by Sarah Jane Cleary, Creative Spirit Ambassador for Waterford’s Cultural Quarter. Sarah Jane is passionate and deeply knowledgeable about the arts in Waterford.

On the graphic design end, the beautiful Green Room Awards logo and theatrical artwork – fast becoming familiar across social media – was the creation of my colleague Michelle Treacy.

On the night of the show itself, Dymphna Nugent, journalist and broadcaster, took the co-hosting reins with panache.

And in the background, our show was replete with the expertise of women – from the Theatre Royal staff led by manager Mary Boland, to stage manager Darajane O’Sullivan, who was called in literally on the morning of the Green Room Awards due to another person falling ill. Darajane was a phenomenon of professionalism on the day and night.

Seeing these women at work is inspirational and a privilege to experience and learn from. Within the Green Room Awards show alone there were countless more, too many to mention. Skilled singers, actors and performers, knowledgeable, astute back stage theatre women… and younger women and girls who dazzled in the depths of their talents when the curtain went up.

It was a particular treat to be able to bring my 11-year-old daughter along on the night, to show her what is possible when creative minds collaborate together, and to show her how, as a community, we should celebrate the best of our people. The Green Room Awards provided the stage, the Déise community, and what it achieves in the arts, had already provided the foundation.


Mary Frances Ryan, Editor, Waterford News & Star


At every turn on the journey to creating this event were a couple of key components, most crucially trust and support, which permitted the flourishing of an event, which serves to enhance and propel our corner of the South-East further forward.

This piece is dedicated to the female involvement – but the Green Room Awards were very much a shared space, showing how mutually valuable it is when good people, male and female, work together.

On this International Women’s Day, it is my wish that women – and men – continue to embolden their fellow women to reach into their greatness. Our society, and our children coming forward, will be the better for it, whatever their stage might be.

By Mary Frances Ryan
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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