Terry sat in a cafe wearing headphones, with 3 audience members sat behind him.

Spotlight On... Terry O'Donovan

Name: Terry O'Donovan
Role: Co-Artistic Director
Favourite Film: Dancer in the Dark
Dream site to make a show: Still dreaming about our ski-lift show that had an amazing R&D over a decade ago

What does your average day look like at Dante or Die? 

At the moment I’m jumping between script-writing for our new digital project Odds On, strategically planning the next 4 years and fundraising for our prison project, Kiss Marry Kill. The days are busy and very varied!

You’ve performed in most Dante or Die productions, do you have a favourite role that you’ve played and why? 

It’s got to be User Not Found, although it’s really difficult to choose between my babies. User Not Found was a huge leap for me as a performer - a 90 minute solo show - just me and 50 audience members in a cafe (although our two stage managers were my rocks and co-stars). It was an incredibly emotional production and it was so visceral to share that experience with audiences so up close. 

You launched Skin Hunger on Film last year, what was the biggest challenge when making the film? 

The biggest challenge was figuring out with our filmmaker, Pinny, how to weave the production into the three audience members’ stories. The film needed to be about them, and their experience of lockdown seen through the lens of them experiencing the show. It was a challenge to balance each element.

What is your most memorable moment of making and performing Skin Hunger, your production about the power of touch? 

Every audience member brought something so particular and so personal to the experience that it makes it almost impossible to choose. If I really had to it would be the woman who walked away from me after 3 minutes saying she didn’t have to listen to this. She then came back and told me that I sounded like her ex and we talked about relationships for the rest of the time she had with me. It highlights the power of live performance to provoke such a personal experience.

What project are you most looking forward to in 2022 and why?  

Odds On is our new digital project. It’s a mix between a film, an interactive digital experience and a piece of theatre. Daphna and I are writing it - we usually collaborate with writers. So it’s an exciting new venture for us. The work we’ve been doing with people with lived experience of gambling harm has been fascinating and I hope their stories and ideas are shared with our audiences.