The Creative Connections programme consisted of participative drama workshops, professional theatre performances and creative seminars exploring gender equality, diversity, human rights and reconciliation, creating a sense of belonging and equal value for all. Throughout the programme, Smashing Times Theatre Company worked on a cross-community and cross-border participation basis, promoting greater community integration within the border counties and on a cross-border basis.
Creative Connections 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 Donegal County Council. With this support, Smashing Times Theatre Company delivered the programme between June 2012 and August 2013, working with schools and youth and adult community groups from Donegal, Derry/Londonderry and the border region.
Overall a total of 5,036 participants had access to project activities, information and printed material, and there was direct involvement by 536 participants. Throughout the programme, thirty drama workshops, five creative seminars, five school performances and five theatre performances of the specially commissioned Thou Shalt Not Kill were delivered. A ten-minute project documentary video was also developed as part of the programme.
A new performance-based workshop model using forum and image theatre was developed during the life cycle of the project with Creative Connections drama facilitator Idan Meir and edited by Mary Moynihan. This model demonstrates how an issue-based performance can be used as a starting point for a facilitator to further develop participants’ understanding of the issues raised, and to allow for exploration of the events of the performance through drama. The workshop model is included in the project report. A blueprint has also been developed for schools, youth and community groups to use to develop new collaborative projects using drama and theatre to promote peace and reconciliation.
Smashing Times Theatre Company can provide support and advice on using workshop models, how to plan and design 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.
Creative Connections 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 Donegal County Council.