The Argus

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Encore stage Our Town

Encore Productions, who have been confirmed as theatre company in residence for a further two years with An Tain Arts Centre, are planning a very big project which will cast a spotlight on life in Dundalk in the 21st century.

The company, which features actors from Rehabcare, have secured funding from Creative Ireland and are about to start work on a new adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize Winning play 'Our Town', written in 1931 by Thornton Wilder.

This classic play deals with life in a small American town and is presented in three parts-

daily life, love and marriage and death and afterlife and the company, under the guidance of director Sandy Sneedon, plan to use this structure to examine life in Ireland today.

'With a cast of actors with intellectual disabilities, our viewpoint is very much going to be from their perspective but we want to broaden the picture as much as possible and draw in voices from as many diverse groups as possible,' explains Sandy. 'As such we intend to run workshops with school/youth and diverse community groups as well as senior citizens and people who have come to live in Dundalk from other parts of the world.'

'We hope that involvement in this play will not only create a new piece of theatre but also help those involved to become more reflective/connected and informed members of the communities in which we all live. We also believe that this is a great opportunity to engage the people of Dundalk and Louth in a conversation about life today in Ireland - the joys and the sorrows/challenges and opportunities - the traditions and the changes.'

They also plan on approaching artists, writers, film makers and musicians to invite them to respond to 'Our Town'.

The company also want a broad representative of statutory and community groups to get involved in the project.

It's envisaged that the play will be staged in An Táin Arts Centre later this year or early 2021.

The Argus