Were you a first responder during the Troubles?

Posted on: 9th September 2019

Playhouse invites local First Responders to collaborate for Peacebuilding Residency

The Playhouse Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy is inviting contributions and stories from those who were first on the scene at shootings, atrocities and Troubles related incidents. 

Professional first responders and members of the public are invited to work with Japanese- American director Ailin Conant, who was announced earlier this month as the third international artist residency for the project.

Ailin’s vast experience using theatre as a platform for post-conflict dialogue includes work with former adult- and child-combatants, refugees, war orphans, and survivors of genocide.

As part of her work with the Playhouse, Ailin is inviting contributions from first responders and other members of the public including medical personnel, fire officers, security forces, youth and community workers, counsellors, and civilians on both sides of the border.

Those First Responders who are interested in getting involved- to share their stories, perform or simply to contribute to research for the residency- are invited to attend one of three introductory workshop at The Playhouse on Thursday September, 12 from 1-4pm and Friday September, 13 from 4-7pm. The Belfast workshop will take place at the Duncairn Centre, Belfast on Wednesday September 18 from 4pm - 7pm. To attend contact elaine on elaine@derryplayhouse.co.uk

Ailin’s London-based devising company, Theatre Témoin, is a supported company of The Lowry, an associate company of The Everyman Cheltenham, a Without Walls Portfolio company, and has held residencies with The Salisbury Playhouse and others.

She has worked freelance for various companies including The Bush Theatre, Yellow Earth, and Theatre503 (all UK), Ayyam Al-Masrah (Gaza), Clown Me In (Mexico, Lebanon, and Sweden), The Catalyst (Switzerland), and Satellite Théâtre (Montreal), and has produced work through Theatre Témoin in Rwanda, Israel, Kashmir, Lebanon, France, and the USA.   

Ailin enjoys working with young artists and has directed showcase work for East 15, Italia Conti, and Fourth Monkey; and outreach work for The Old Vic Theatre and The Young Vic Theatre.

She will join the Playhouse’s Peacebuilding Academy for a sixth month residency, beginning this month, using theatre to explore the pathway to peace and engage with real life stories and experiences of The Troubles. Ailin’s residency will finish with a performance in The Playhouse in February 2020. During her time with The Playhouse, Ailin will also mentor a local, socially engaged creative artist to refine, enhance, and develop their own artistic practice.

Ailin is the latest artist to be announced for the two-and-a-half-year EU PEACE funded project, which will work with a range of internationally based artists with significant experience of utilising arts activity in conflict and areas of social breakdown throughout the world.

Delivered in partnership with Holywell Trust, Thomas D'Arcy McGee Foundation and Queens University Belfast, the project aims to use theatre as a tool to promote healing and reconciliation in a healing and transformative way.

The PEACE IV Programme is an EU funded Programme designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border region. It is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office and the Department for Rural and Community Development.



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