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World Theatre Day - An Artform for Everyone

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3 min read

World Theatre Day - An Artform for Everyone

3 min read

World Theatre Day - An Artform for Everyone

To mark the celebration of World Theatre Day, we’re showcasing just some of the breathless, magnificent varieties of theatrical expression among young and older people across the island of Ireland.

An artform that is inclusive, welcoming, singular and yet communal, theatre can encompass wide stages filled with thousands as brilliant artists tread the boards or it can exist in the simple yet grand gesturing of a highly skilled puppet-master, Creative Ireland is proud to have supported the efforts of thousands of artists, both professional and amateur across a microcosm of theatre pieces, big and small.

Here are just a snapshot of some of them.  

Youth Theatre Ireland (Nationwide) 

Each week, on average, more than 2,600 Irish young people participate in over 500 hours of drama activities with 55 Youth Theatre Ireland affiliated youth theatres around the country. For many years this network of youth theatre groups has been an intrinsic part of the Irish theatre infrastructure and has launched some of our best known actors. With the support of Creative Ireland, Youth Theatre Ireland is able to roll-out a new nationwide expansion programme. This includes designing and implementing a structure for the development, training and start-up of youth theatre groups. It also means that Youth Theatre Ireland will expand their presence to a new group in Dublin as well as Offaly and Westmeath – two counties where there had previously been no formal youth theatre.

Youth Theatre Ireland expansion

Open Video

Making Hay Reminiscence Theatre Project, Dublin (Fingal County Council) 

An intergenerational theatre project with a difference, Making Hay engages older people living in the Fingal area with dementia and their family members or carers to be involved in the performing arts through reminiscence theatre. Giving a voice to many older people who live with dementia in the local community, this is a beautiful project which uses the power of memory theatre to create understanding and awareness, while building social connections.

Theatre Skills Mentoring Programme (Waterford County Council) 

Supporting young people to be the co-creators of their own creative process, this project at the Theatre Royal in Waterford encourages combined thinking as a group of like-minded young people form a ‘company’ with mentoring support from arts professionals and venues. Supported by Creative Ireland and the Arts Council, it’s an initiative which emboldens and empowers young people to have complete ownership of their artistic output while under the watchful, yet supportive eye of experienced theatre practitioners and mentors. 

Luminaria: a play for children (Longford County Council) 

Introducing young children to the basics of theatrics can be a wondrous thing and this magical feat is explored in Luminaria, a play developed by Maisie Lee, Artist-in-Residence in Backstage Theatre, Longford, involving primary school children. The project was done in partnership with Roscommon Arts Centre and opened up a new world of fun and adventure to a group of young people, with a performance of the finished piece created as part of the Aisling Children’s Festival. 

Puca Puppet Theatre (Sligo County Council) 

An opportunity to combine imaginative storytelling with the art of puppet theatre, The Mice and the Elephants was a piece commissioned by Dublin City Council and created by Puca Puppet Theatre to celebrate and mark the arrival of three new baby elephants in Dublin Zoo. Using simple paper sets and puppets, the piece re-enacted a Panchatantra Hindu fable from India with interactive responses from the children through drawing.  

Above: BLUE!

Blue! (Dublin City Council) 

An interactive adventure, developed by theatre artist Anna Newell, that involves two performers utilising the Imagination Playground that organically develops into an interactive session that children aged between 18 months and 4 years can participate in. Laying the groundwork for imaginative expression and theatre, this project toured various libraries across Dublin. 

Better Together (Louth County Council) 

Theatre is a welcoming and inclusive artform and no project better defines this than Better Together, a short piece of movement drama on the universal theme of friendship. Created by Ablevision who work with adults with intellectual disabilities through the arts, the project was a labour of love and after a series of collaborative workshops, was performed at Droichead Arts Centre in Drogheda. 

Down at Heel (Kildare County Council) 

Theatre isn’t just restricted to a wooden stage, it’s versatile, movable and often portable. The incredibly ambitious Down at Heel project, led by writer Martina O’Reilly, takes on a mammoth 48 site-specific theatre pieces, all telling the story of a fictional Maynooth Family and set in the years 1920-23. The plays explore what the War of Independence and Civil War would have been like for an ordinary family living in extraordinary times. 

Find out more about the hundreds of theatre projects Creative Ireland have supported nationwide here.

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