"The Playhouse is at the forefront of a global movement that engages with the power of performance to build peace. The Playhouse's productions reach beneath people's defenses, supporting them to articulate their painful, necessary stories, and to listen to, and empathize with each other's stories as well." Cynthia Cohen, PhD Director, Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, Brandeis University, USA
"It's too easy in the fervent world of social media to forget what binds us as a human family and art is the great reminder because great art can't be bigoted, it can't be hateful, it can't peddle lies it can't avoid the shared challenges of the human condition and the complexity of divided places. The Playhouse didn't discover these values yesterday. For years it's been a symbol of hope and there's no better place in my mind to.... explore the power of art by addressing conflict war pain and hurt with the aim of rehumanizing healing and educating those damaged by conflict" Fergal Keanw, BBC Journalist and War Correspondent.
The Playhouse has spent nearly three decades using arts activity to promote healing, understanding, reconciliation and transformation between our communities.
Our honest, peaceful intention is to help participant and audiences understand a little bit more, the Troubles we have emerged from, and the legacy of the conflict on the lives of individuals.
"As an artists currently working in using theater to accompany the work of the truth commission in my native Colombia, i am constantly inspired by the work that The Playhouse has done for years in Northern Ireland. From 2008 to 2014 I was honored to facilitate 9 one-month residency projects using social theater to facilitate creative dialogue among diverse communities in Belfast, Derry, Strabane, Letterkenny and other locations including some prisons. That experience marked not only my current work but the work of other international artists from 13 different countries who worked with me. The Playhouse has proven how theater can open the deepest wounds of our history and transform them through beauty to find the medicine that will eventually heal us all." Hector Aristizabal, Theatre Practitioner, Medellin, Colombia
Hosted International Training Seminars on the theme of Theatre for Change which invited artists, youth arts workers, administrators and policy makers interested in looking at the role of art in a conflict torn society and the role of arts in the healing process post conflict. Youth Culture Arts Network was a cross border arts network led by Boomerange Theatre Cork and The Playhouse and was funded by the EU Programme for Peace & Reconciliation.
A multi-national learning exchange project with Arts & Educational partners in N. Ireland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Lithuania.
Every partner has applied a research and development process focusing on the development, test and optimization of a new adult education action related to the thematic frame “Identity and Difference” with artistic activities as a core element. In these actions the participants are made aware of their own cultural, social and personal identity in a way that promotes their ability to appreciate diversity and differences as enrichment to their personal, social and cultural life. READ MORE HERE
The What IF? Project is a three year project funded by the International Fund for Ireland that works with young people from Interface areas in Derry Londonderry and cross border in Donegal. The project used creative arts activity to enable young people to work with others from areas they are apprehensive of and support each other as they work towards common goals. READ MORE HERE
A vibrant three year project delivered and designed by the Playhouse in partnership with North 55, Co. Donegal. This project was part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III) Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
The ICAN project used and developed the Playhouse and North 55's international connections to bring high quality artists to the North of Ireland and the Border Counties to work with, trade and exchange skills and knowledge with the local communities. You can get more information at the ICAN website www.icanplayhouse.com
Theatre of Witness is a form of performance, developed by founder and artistic director Teya Sepinuck that gives voice to those who have been marginalised, forgotten or are invisible in society. Their true, life stories, performed by the people themselves, are shared onstage so that audiences can collectively bear witness to issues of suffering, redemption and social justice. READ MORE HERE
The Playhouse continues to explore the pathway to peace and engage with real life stories and experiences of The Troubles in accessible, moving, and inspiring Theatre of Witness workshops. Groups, in particular community and educational groups, can engage with performers and storytellers from all sides and realties of The Troubles to explore the path to healing from conflict. READ MORE HERE
Street Talk is a cross community project that enables young people from Limavady, Derry-Londonderry, Magherafelt and Strabane to come together with their local police officers to address issues relevant to them in their own communities. Law, order and policing, understanding the legal system, and breaking down barriers between communities are all addressed. Young people to use the arts to discuss issues that affect them in their everyday life and communities. This give the chance to talk about and break down community relations issues felt by both communities with the aim of promoting friendships. Street Talk provides an opportunity for the young people to meet with and share creative skills with their local neighbourhood PSNI Officers. READ MORE HERE
The Playhouse will work in partnership with Holywell Trust, Thomas D’Arcy McGee Foundation and Queen’s University to programme a range of internationally based artists, with significant experience of using arts activity in conflict areas / areas of social breakdown throughout the world. These artists will use theatre to promote healing and reconciliation, over a 2.5 year period, throughout N Ireland / Border Counties. READ MORE HERE
"The Playhouse has woven the arts and peacemaking together since its inception. From the premise that arts projects bring people together, The Playhouse has served as an international centre where artists, community members, academics and professionals have come together across divides of difference to play, create, perform and discuss issues of conflict and peacemaking. As the founder of Theater of Witness, I am eternally grateful for the large role that The Playhouse has played in supporting my work as a creator of international testimonial theater.” Teya Sepinuck, Founder and Artistic Director, Theater of Witness of Culture Trust Greater Philadelphia
“Theater is the art of paying attention to life in action - a relentless and fearless sensitivity to movements wherever they lead, regardless of the challenges. art's method is compassion and the rubric is insight leading to change of heart. The Playhouse is courageous this way, attentive, in motion, and committed to change. the work advances the fellowship of opened-eyes. research at the playhouse establishes the fact of hope, facts shared at an international scale, promoting migration of humane conversations and agendas.” Playwright and Director Erik Ehn, of Brown University