BARNSTORM THEATRE COMPANY
After the successful return and tour of The Song from the Sea Barnstorm will embark on an extensive national tour with A Murder of Crows by Mike Kenny which wowed audiences in its first outing in October.
A Murder of Crows is a dynamic and theatrically exciting work for children aged 8 and over, based on the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel. The play explores themes of famine, family loyalties and personal growth.
This truly landmark production marks Barnstorm’s 20th year of providing high-quality theatre experiences for children throughout Ireland; and it is appropriate that the Arts Council has awarded a Touring Grant to the company to take the production on a nationwide tour Feb-March 2012.
‘…Barnstorm has achieved a combined strength through its small ensemble, reflected in the harmonies of their speech, the fluidity of their movement and their capacity to segue smoothly into doubling as both the crows and the human protagonists. ‘A Murder of Crows’ is rooted in story-telling but it upends the form in a satisfying manner. – Irish Theatre Magazine
Tour from 27th February to:
Draíocht, Blanchardstown; Civic Theatre, Tallaght; Hawk’s Well, Sligo; Backstage, Longford; Dunamaise, Portlaoise; Garter Lane, Waterford; Glór, Ennis; GB Shaw, Carlow; Town Hall, Galway; and Pavilion, Dun Laoghaire.
Incubate! – New Ideas, New Developments
Barnstorm constantly challenges itself and its practice in creating new theatre experiences for young citizens, whether through writing or style/form of presentation – mixing different art forms in the realisation of the theatrical journey of specific audiences.
Later this year the company will initiate Incubate! – a nurturing project that offers resources and support to new and emerging artists who wish to develop work for young audiences. This may be purely a space to explore and temper ideas to providing time, finance and support to develop, rehearse and produce a final piece.
An element of Incubate! will be the exploration of the event in schools and crèches as well as the studio or theatre.
This is a new venture within Barnstorm and we are happy to hear from those interested in this project to contact us for further information.
Barnstorm aims to provide innovative and sustainable arts activities to the people of Kilkenny and the South East in the area of theatre and drama, and its uses within a community context. The company runs an extensive programme of workshops, training and productions with young people and adults in Kilkenny and hinterland through its Outreach Department.
Outreach also connects with community groups, schools and the Kilkenny Education Centre to offer programmes to support existing structures e.g. Curriculum Support Projects in primary schools, Transition Year Projects in post-primary schools, Facilitation Training and support to local teachers. We also engage with other organisations on cross-arts projects.
Senior Youth Theatre will produce Gormenghast in The Barn in April 2012 with a cast of 19. John Constable’s adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy for the stage is an epic story of family responsibility and tradition versus personal freedom and choice, a theme that has particular resonance with this age group. The play offers opportunities for the young actors to enjoy the bombastic and gothic world of the play. The challenges presented in the play such as the birthing of Titus Groan, the disembowelment of Swelter and the Great Fire, among others, provide the group with an opportunity to explore the possibilities of theatrical language. The members have developed a broad skill-set in performance and stage management over the previous productions – for Gormenghast they will have the added benefit of working with a professional design team – lighting, set and costume.
Junior Youth Theatre members devised and wrote their own version of Beowulf last year. This process showed that there is some very natural talent in the group for dialogue and staging. To develop this talent, a writer will be engaged to work with the group to realise an original script based on improvisation and devising techniques with the 10-13 year olds.
Moving Up was a direct contact programme that Barnstorm’s Outreach ran with pupils in Presentation Primary School in Kilkenny in 2011. To develop this programme and to share its benefits in a wider setting, the Kilkenny Education Centre, in partnership with Barnstorm, will provide training for teachers of 6th class primary schools. The aim is to enable the teachers to deliver Moving Up to their pupils using drama methodologies which will in turn develop their own creative approaches and allow the pupils to explore their feelings and thoughts in regard to the sometimes difficult change to post primary school.
The participating teachers will receive six training sessions over six weeks. They will work with various drama methodologies such as tableaux, ‘Dynamisation’, ‘Mantle of the Expert’, status and the use of the fictional lens. They will also look at troubleshooting, such as using ‘focus’, to help the class work effectively in the less structured environment of a drama input from the teacher. Outreach will run workshops with the participating classes so that it can contextualise any challenges that the teachers may face in terms of group management.
Mess Up in Kilkenny!
In March 2012, Barnstorm will host Mess Up The Mess Theatre Company from Wales that offers dynamic theatre-making experiences to young people. As part of The Coracle Project, Mess Up The Mess will facilitate the members of Kilkenny Youth Theatre in a theatre workshop and then present their current show, Hidden by Bethan Marlow in The Barn.
Hidden explores the reality of families living with addiction.
“… very special – witty, wise and a bit wicked. Youth theatre at its best…” John McGrath, NTW
“It is everything youth theatre should be“ Theatre in Wales
The Adult Theatre Club (ATC)
The members of the Adult Theatre Club are in their second year of exploring and skills-building within Barnstorm. In February the members will present Cabaret Nights in The Barn – an evening of self-directed monologues presented in the ambiance of a cafe club with two stages, tables and chairs, wine, nibbles and punters!
Barn Owl Players (BOP)
Now in its fifth year, the members have developed a broad set of skills in theatre making and production. There are 15+ members involved in the established Barn Owl Players and they present 2-3 productions, as well as readings, recitals and storytelling sessions each year.
In response to a number of requests from local schools, the Barn Owl Players will present Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel in the Watergate Theatre from 29-31 March 2012. This is a major undertaking by the members to produce a full-length play in the main-house.
As the play is on the English Leaving Cert Curriculum BOP will present one matinee and one evening show especially for schools in the southeast, and two further public shows.