Smashing Times Theatre Company was funded by the PEACE III Programme, through the County Louth Peace and Reconciliation Partnership, to deliver a theatre programme for secondary school students and youth groups. Acting for Change ran from July to November 2013 and throughout the programme 360 young people participated in project events.
During October, Smashing Times Theatre Company drama facilitator Fiona Bawn Thompson, good relations facilitator Deirdre Blakely, and actor Adam Traynor, worked with 339 students across Louth as part of an in-school programme. Students participated in four drama workshops exploring equality, identity, racism and sectarianism, and attended a performance of Crossings. Schools taking part included St Joseph’s CBS, Ardee Community School, St Vincent’s Secondary School, St Mary’s College, Drogheda Grammar School, St Louis Secondary School, Scoil Ui Mhuirí and O’Fiaich College.
Youth Theatre Symposium
A youth theatre symposium for young people also took place on November 16th from 2pm to 9pm in the Barbican Centre and Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, and included a participative drama workshop as well as an evening performance of Thou Shalt Not Kill.
Thou Shalt Not Kill is an installation of ‘living theatre’ performances exploring themes of conflict, trauma and hope. Using the body as a site of performance, memory and emotion, and centering on The Troubles, Thou Shalt Not Kill imagines the future through a remembrance of things past. Thou Shalt Not Kill consists of Crossings written by Paul Kennedy and directed by Mary Moynihan, Thou Shalt not Kill written by Paul Kennedy and directed by Bairbre Ni Chaoimh and Depth of My Being, a movement piece devised by Mary Moynihan and Fiona Bawn-Thompson based on text from Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Crossings tells the story of Tom, a man with a troubled past who is forced to confront his history and his violent past. Thou Shalt Not Kill tells the story of Alice, a Protestant woman who recalls her doomed romance with a Catholic man in her youth. Both Crossings and Thou Shalt Not Kill are based on original research and interviews carried out by Smashing Times Theatre Company.
Smashing Times Theatre Company has developed a series of workshop models and used some of these during Acting for Change. The company can provide support and advice on using these models, planning and designing services around the accessible use of drama, and how to continue using drama and theatre to promote participation and active citizenship. For further details and support, contact the Smashing Times Theatre Company Company Manager, Freda Manweiler.
Acting for Change was supported by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund, through the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by Louth County Council.