Backstage Ambassadors

Our Ambassador Programme gives communities of Longford a voice in what we programme and in how we communicate. In addition to arts lovers and representatives from cultures and ethnicities including our African, Eastern European and Asian communities, our Ambassador Panel includes representatives of those with disability.

Through our interaction with these representatives, we are increasingly aware of the challenges facing those with disability and the shortcomings of our building and organisation in ensuring that those with disability can access and enjoy our programme of activities.


Kofi Appiah

My name is Kofi Appiah, also known as K Muni. I am a local musician with deep passion for music, film and sports.

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Currently, I am pursuing a degree in international business at Maynooth University to develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the global marketplace.

I’m very excited to be part of this programme and hope to make a positive impact alongside the other ambassadors.

Ambassador David Byrne

Dave Byrne

My name is Dave Byrne and I moved from Dublin to Longford just over a year ago.  I’ve been involved in the arts for over 30 years.

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From 1991 to 2013 I was the director of the Blue Moon Theatre Company in Dublin. I’ve been the Festival Director for the Underground Cinema International Film Festival for the past 14 years in Dun Laoghaire. I’m also the Director of the May the 4th Sci Fi Film Festival in Portmagee in County Kerry which hosts its first festival along the Skellig Coast this year. I’m looking forward to playing my part as an Ambassador to Backstage Theatre and to supporting its growth over the coming year.


James Cawley

As a proud Disabled man I’m really looking forward to bringing my diversity, equity and inclusion experience to the programme of events and overall to Backstage.

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James works professionally as the Business Development Executive with the Irish Centre for Diversity. He provides guidance and support for organisations across Ireland that are looking to move the needle on their Diversity and Inclusion journey.
James is a proud disabled person from Drumlish Co. Longford. He has established a high profile as one of Ireland’s leading Disabled activists and has a wealth of accomplishments in advancing D&I.

James was formerly the Policy Officer for a National Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) which is led by and for Disabled people. He graduated with a BA in Business and Geography, a Professional Masters of Education and most recently completed a Level-9 certificate in “Leading Transformative Education” at Maynooth University. James was a secondary school teacher and has done research on disability issues on a National and European level.
James co-facilitated the disability studies certificate course at Maynooth University. He is a member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) Disability Advisory Committee and featured in their TV, Cinema and Radio campaign “All Human – All Equal”. James was appointed to many Government policy forums in the past including the Disability Stakeholder Group (DSG 6) and Taxi Advisory Committee. He was an active board member and Chairperson of the EAPN – European Anti Poverty Network. James was also part of the organising committee of the successful Granard Booktown festival which aims to go from strength to strength each year.




Siobhan Cox Carlos

I am a contemporary Irish painter.  I have a new studio and gallery at the  New Art Gallery in Boyle.

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I was in Engage Studios for 9 months last year and enjoyed being in Longford. I have three adult children and my first grandchild and am very close to all of them. I have a wide range of interests from dancing to music, reading, walking, cycling, art exhibitions, theatre, meeting and chatting to friends, old and new! I also love to travel and took a ‘sabbatical’ a couple of years ago before the pandemic.

Ray Darcy has a funny interview with me – I still blush at that one!!!

I enjoy life to the full and believe in treating others as I would like to be treated. I hope to expand interests in the Backstage by going to events that I might not have
otherwise have done – with an open mind, and will give my honest opinion of each production.


Nevlonne Dampare

I’m ND, from Longford, one half of the K Muni & ND duo.

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I’m an artist who creates music and experiments with many different genres, although I’m most know for our trademark Afroswing sound and catch hooks.

Recently I’ve been introduced to the art of film making and acting and I’ve been engrossed in it ever since. I’m looking forward to being part of the backstage ambassador programme and seeing how we can help push the backstage and creative arts forward.



Elaine Jenkins

Elaine is from Longford and has an interest in special education and also improving access for special needs children to local amenities.

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As Ambassador to Backstage Theatre, her main focus will be making theatre more accessible to the county’s special needs children.


Slavek Kazek

Slavek is originally from Poland and moved to Ireland in 2006 and settled in Ballymahon, co Longford.

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He was involved in secondary school theatre group and had been singing in choirs for nearly 20 years – music is very close to his heart. Professionally, he is working in the financial sector however he is very active in voluntary and community sector as well. He is a founder and chairman of Midlands Polish Community

CLG, non profit organisation which aims to deliver project which foster artistic, cultural and social development in our modern, diversified, Irish communities. One of the biggest project organized to date was joint Irish-Polish choral concerts in St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford and Limerick back in 2019. Slavek is very keen to share his expertise to encourage more migrant members of Longford communities to come and enjoy Backstage Theatrea experience.



Masha Khaleeva

Thrilled to announce my new appointment as an Ambassador to Backstage Theatre.

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Honoured to represent such a respected Irish institution and thanks to the Board for giving me this opportunity. I’m excited to work with the team in supporting the growth of the Backstage Theatre community.


Kinda Nassli

Kinda Nassli is a former Syrian TV host. She represented College Connect as a peer researcher on

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the College Connect research in partnership with the Irish Refugee Council, with the aim of supporting refugees to gain access to 3rd-level education. Kinda graduated from Aleppo University with a bachelor’s in English Literature, and discovered in Ireland that the secret of finding identity is not only through building cultural bridges between people but also in discovering those bridges that already exist. Along with being a working mother of three, Kinda is a University of Sanctuary scholar and currently doing a Masters in Adult and Community Education in Maynooth University.



Francesca Pawelczyk

Francesca feels passionately about supporting artistic endeavours. The net positives for people,

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communities, and society as a whole are too often lost in the mire of people focussing on the commodification of creativity. However, she fully recognises without financial support, people would not have access to spaces such as the Backstage Theatre.
Social justice is extremely important to her and ensuring people are able to express and develop their creativity, while processing trauma and building their sense of self, is crucial for healthy communities. Although her educational qualifications and professional experience are not within the theatrical field, it allows her bring a different perspective to the role as Backstage Ambassador.


Kate Ann Rowan

Kate Ann has a degree in English with drama and a masters in drama and performance studies from

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University College Dublin. Her favorite playwrights are Brian Friel, Martin McDonagh and Marina Carr. Kate Ann has a YouTube channel called notsotypicalkate. She is excited to be a part of the Backstage Theatre Ambassador Programme.


Anne Sheridan

Long term teacher of English and History in Ballymahon Vocational School.

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Married to John Sheridan and mother to two sons and a one daughter.

Member of Ballinalee Players, an active amateur drama group in the picturesque North Longford village.
Loves drama on stages of all sizes be it local or national

Was a member of the Goldsmith Festival for almost twenty years. One of 6 hosts of a weekly Poetry Ireland prompt on Twitter.

Really looking forward to this new project with Longfords beloved Backstage Theatre.


Lee Williamson

Thrilled to announce my new appointment as an Ambassador to Backstage Theatre.

Honoured to represent such a respected Irish institution and thanks to the Board for giving me this opportunity. I’m excited to work with the team in supporting the growth of the Backstage Theatre community.