Watching The Nation OnStage
Watching The Nation OnStage was designed so that young people and leaders from across Dublin City could engage with the 2016 Centenary Programme and explore artistic responses to the centenary and the ideas and questions it invoked.
On Sunday April 10th, 23 young people aged 13-20 and 6 leaders from 4 youth theatres and 2 youth groups came together for a day-long workshop.
They explored: the role of the critic; the elements of production; how a critic prepares to see a production; key themes and questions arising from the 2016 Centenary Programme.
Key questions included:
What Does 1916/2016 Mean To Me?
What Themes Or Idea Would We Expect To See In Theatre About 1916/2016?
What Are The Elements Of A Theatre Production?
April to November
Over the six -month period, the young people attended theatre performances that explored themes associated with 1916/2016.
The Patriot Game – Lyric Theatre
The project culminated with a half -day workshop for youth theatre members and leaders to unpack their experience of theatre productions within the Centenary Programme; explore the young peoples’ responses to key theatre productions they have seen
Here the participants explored what they felt the theatre productions said about Ireland and whether they believed the programming reflected their experience of Ireland.
This dedicated WordPress blog was created to platform the critical responses of the participants. With the support of NAYD staff and professional theatre critic and blogger Saoirse Anton, the participants were given editorial support to create critical responses of a high standard.
- 107 young people saw 9 separate productions as part of the Centenary Programme and other related performances. These included revivals of canonical work as well as work made by other young people, site specific and those that challenged the established narrative of 1916.
- 90% of the participants said that they would definitely be encouraged to see more theatre as a result of the project.
Engagement with Artform/ 1916
- Overall the young people found the work to be ‘interesting’ and posed many questions about the narrative around 1916.
- Some felt that some of the work they saw – It’s Not Over – TheatreCLUB, really challenged the legacy of 1916.
- Others felt that engaging with Beyond The Barricades – ANU Dublin Bus Tour really helped them experience what it must have been like to be there when events unfolded over Easter 1916. They felt that that they could really understand what happened.
- While a production such as Town Is Dead didn’t obviously address themes associated with 1916,it more subtlety asked questions about Irish Identity and our relationship with Great Britain over the last 40 years.
You can listen to some thoughts on Town is Dead here
- Others felt that more traditional productions such as Tom Murphy’s The Patriot Game at the Lyric Theatre Belfast took a more traditional approach to the Leadership of 1916 and as a result felt more like a history lesson rather than offering any real insight to the events of Easter 1916.
- The groups that participated fully in the programme got to see high quality productions on the themes on 1916. They were further able to demonstrate their engagement, understanding and expressed their own critical responses to the work through the workshop and the written blog.
- Groups from different parts of the city came together and had a fun and informative experience.