The multi media picture
A CrossBorder Project
A favourite project of mine, and a good example of a drama / art based cross border project took plce between children in the county of Sligo, the Geevah/ Ballymote area, and Omagh, in Northern Ireland. The project was set up through C.L,A.S.P.. The community of Lough Arrow Social Project. Our task was to produce a play and a piece of art work to present to the friends and families of the participating group. The Northern group were working with an established Youth group. No such group previously existed in the rural area.
As I regularly worked in schools in the area, teaching drama and creative writing, it was not difficult to build a group, mostly 10-13 year olds, to take part in the project. The group met on sundays, for twelve weeks with a few extra sessions towards the end.
As this group lived in an area of mythical significance, Moytura, we decided to create a play based on the local stories. The play was devised with their help.
At the end of the Cath Maghtuireadh, the battle of Moytura, one of the characters, the Morrigan sings two songs. One is a song of renewal. One is the song that heralds the end of the world. We imagined that if she returned, she might sing the second song as a reponse to the environmental damage done to the world. In our play, created largely in the round, with the actors started by being seated in the audience, the characters have to find the four ancient treasures of the Tuatha De Danaan in their surprising modern forms, to save the day. The two facilitators, my partner, magician Christophe Lombardi and myself, acted along with the children. This had the effect of empowering the cast. We were all in it equally together.
A scene from the play's finale
The play script "Strength in Everyone" is available on request