I’m Anna Grace and I am 14 years old and part of Craic youth theatre! It’s great fun ad I have made loads of new friends. Panto has just finished and I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment. Before I came to Craic in October I had never stood up in front of a crowd of strangers to perform and would never think of doing it but now I do it with ease. Today in the workshop we started out like normal, sign in, chat for a few minutes and catch up on the week and then John (One of our mentors. Mad as bag frogs but is mother hen of Craic.) leads us into the auditorium. We all got in and settled down while John, Sarah-Jane, Claire, Tony talked us through what we were doing today. We started off with a dance off; we were split into two groups and went to either side of the stage. With the assistance from Sarah-Jane and Claire we got into the swing of dancing in no time. Then we split up into eight groups and were told to come up with a “Hakka.” It was funny to watch each of our groups come up with things realistic with a side of crazy. We got to know some of the new members and tried to make them feel as welcome as possible during this activity. After that John suddenly put on a very serious look and got four volunteers to do something that will be hard and challenging for us to do. Blánaid, Michaela and Michael were picked along with me. The rest of the group left, leaving us four and the staff. We were given a back ground story on the Magdalene laundries. The thought of it genuinely sickened me. Then the dreaded tomato soup was marched in… When the others came in there was a dim light on us. Blánaid and Michaela were in the back in their psychotic world like two sedated victims of the very disturbing reality. Whereas I was sitting with a bucket of water and a rag cleaning the floor. The audience were respectful and quiet which really helped me imagine myself in the situation of a young girl being forced to be so submissive to anyone. Then Michael came in and dramatically poured a drop of tomato soup on the floor, which I very tiredly tried to mop up as it splattered from the floor onto my hands. I had to imagine what would I feel like to be in the situation of a girl who had been cleaning from extremely early hours then have someone spoil the work I had been doing and yet not being able to be angry or even make eye contact. He continued to do this but no matter where he did it I followed. I could almost feel what the girls must have felt when they were doing this, how tired they were, how beaten they were and how downtrodden they were. When we were finished, everyone else was in deep thought about the scene and were asked questions about how it made us feel and if this type of drama should be open to the public so we developed some debating skills and learned a lot of history in a way that was engaging, realistic and interesting for our audience. Each actor gave our opinions about what had been happening and each of our opinions was valued. We then threw around some ideas for what out next project is going to be and we definitely had some crazy thoughts, But in Craic Theatre, every crazy thought can easily become reality. I will give you NO spoilers! Bye!
Due to the inclement weather today, Friday 17th January 2010, the performance of Jack and the Beanstalk by Edendork primary School is postponed to Monday 20th. Sorry for the inconvenience
CRAIC has been working hard to finalise the Autumn Programme, with a mini film festival as part of the line-up in September.
Friday 1st October: Credit Union League of Ireland presents The Big Talent Show for 12-19 year olds…The CU Factor.
Sunday 9th October: Michael McCoy Star comedy Hypnotist.
Friday 15th October: The Boat Factory – a play written by, directed by, and starring Dan Gordon.
Thursday 21st October – Saturday 23rd October: Craic One Act Drama Festival. 6 plays over 3 nights. Companies from Wexford, Donegal, Bangor & Belfast.
Friday 5th November: “National Anthem” presented by Ransom Theatre Company.
Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th November and Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st November: Craic Theatre presents “The Righteous Are Bold” by Frank Carney.
Wednesday 24th November – Sunday 28th November: Martin Ryan presents “Music From The 70′s Stage Show”.
Monday 29th November -Friday 3rd December: Centre Stage presents “Little Miss Muffet’s Magical Christmas” Panto for schools.
Friday 10th December: Gaelscoil Ui Neill presents their annual “Christmas Show”.
Wednesday 15th -Sunday 19th December: Edendork Primary School presents “Jack and The Beanstalk”.
For information on joining the CRAIC film club or entering the CU Factor contact Oliver Corr.
Posted by Catherine Wylie
Sole Purpose Productions will take their gripping play on elder abuse, ‘See no Evil’, to CRAIC Theatre on Monday 21st June at 11am. Their tour, which runs from 2nd to 25th June, marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th. This annual event was established by the United Nations to give abuse and neglect of older adults a global relevance and to highlight appropriate action.
Written by Patricia Byrne and directed by Shauna Kelpie, See No Evil tells the story of how vulnerable elderly farmer Danny, illiterate and living alone, is “looked after” by his neighbours. Grateful for their assistance, he is unaware that these helpful neighbours are actually helping themselves to his finances, manipulating his thoughts and actions, and turning him against the only family he has left. When his niece visits from London, she can sense that something sinister is in the air, but is she too late to stop it?
This riveting play looks at financial, emotional and psychological abuse. It illustrates the subtle dynamic that exists between the victim and the perpetrator and the difficulties in recognising this kind of abuse.
Posted by Catherine Wylie
by Councillor Sean McGuigan
“It gives me great pleasure as Mayor of Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council to be associated with Craic and the opening of their purpose-built theatre and arts centre in Coalisland.
Since its formation in 1995 Craic has endeavoured to pursue the involvement of young people in the Arts with the aim of providing a positive alternative to drugs and alcohol. Craic’s success has been outstanding. Prestigious shows such as Annie has been staged and some of the actors have progressed to star in television shows.
I would take this opportunity to extend congratulations to the Board of Craic on their hard work not only in highlighting the talent of their members but also provision of the excellent centre. Porjects such as this don’t just happen, they require foresight, planning and most importantly the securing of funding. As a Borough Council and through STAP Local Strategy Partnership, we are proud to have contributed funding for the development of the centre.
I would endorse the work of Craic and would wish them every success in theiry new premises as they continue to promote Art in its widest form in Coalisland and surrounding districts.”
by Vera Sullivan
“It is a pleasure to be part of the wonderful tradition of drama and music in Coalisland. Presenting our early plays in the old parochial centre was quite a challenge, the moving to St. Joseph’s school stage and returning to the new parochial center. With the late Dan Scott a wonderful stage and set designer, a great back stage and lighting team, talented actors and actresses we progressed.
One of the highlights at that time was the production of Right Again Barnham by author and playwright the late Joe Tomility who came to see our performance and was very complimentary about the production. With this encouragement we moved on to present many more plays including Arsenic and Old Lace and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Great plays, wonderful nights and performances.
Congratulations to the committee and management of Craic for keeping and developing the tradition of drama in Coalisland. Moving to their own modern Craic theatre is a significant acheivement.”
by Jim Canning, Chairman CDDA
“Coalisland and District Development Association (CDDA) are pleased to provide Craic with a permanent home in what was known as the “White Room” of Coalisland Weaving Co. The transformation of the premises into a fine theatre was brought about by the hard work and dedication of the members of Craic who gave generously of their time and talents to make it all happen. Anyone who saw them in action marvelled at their optimism for the venture and their enthusiasm while they worked.
The great Coalisland tradition of home grown entertainment is alive and well and Craic follows in the footsteps of groups from the past organised by legends of drama and variety like the late PJ Looney, Rory T. O’Kelly, Jim Devlin and Frank O’Neill and others who are thankfully still with us.
As well as the performer who is seen on stage Craic offers a great variety of opportunities to others in such stage-craft disciplines as Directing, Choreography, Sound, Lighting, Costume making and Set Design and has already helped some young people to find careers. This theatre will offer many people particularly our young people to do one of the most difficult things – to perform before their neighbours. It will seek out their talents and give them confidence to face life.
I look forward in this theatre to many high standard performances that have been the hallmark of Craic over the years and I congratulate them on their magnificent achievement.
Well done Craic!”