independent

Friday 18 October 2019

Bringing on-stage dreams to life

Some of the members on stage
Some of the members on stage

David Looby

Wexford Artists Community Theatre (WACT) are back in action this September and are looking for new members.

WACT provide quality drama training and opportunities for young people and have theatre workshops in The Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy, St Michael's Theatre, New Ross and at St Joseph's Community Centre in Wexford.

The youth theatre is open to teenagers who are in secondary school. It is developing a 'young actors programme' which means young people aged seven to 11 can also come along to classes which will set them up for when they transition to the senior youth theatre.

WACT is a registered charity which are presently offering classes for the seven to 11 age group in Enniscorthy and New Ross but expressions of interest are welcome for the Wexford branch. WACT is affiliated with Youth Theatre Ireland which means that when you become a member of WACT you can also avail of all of the opportunities that Youth Theatre Ireland provides.

Joanne Donohoe Doyle of WACT said: 'This year the members from the three branches of WACT came together in May to perform in The Jerome Hynes Theatre in the National Opera House. This annual coming together of all of the members affords the chance to perform for a packed house and make even more friends across the county of Wexford with a common interest in drama. In July WACT were invited to take part in the National Festival of Youth Theatres, one of the many perks that come from being an affiliated member of YTI.'

The eight members who attended had the chance to camp for a week in an atmosphere of learning and acceptance together with 13 other youth theatres from across the country.

'They learned so much from the many national and international theatre practitioners who were there to facilitate their workshops. They learned a lot about themselves as performers as well as coming away with a deeper sense of self and awareness of their world. Through doing all of this they also made many new life-long friends.'

Ms Donohoe said the young critics programme run by YTI is another fantastic opportunity that one of the members of WACT was involved in this year. The weekend residential programme in Dublin teaches young drama enthusiasts the craft of looking at professional theatre with a critical eye.

WACT have been involved in the Expressions Competition run by the Wexford Mental Health Association for the past three years. This competition encourages the devising of performances around the theme 'positive mental health is. 'WACT are looking forward to taking part again in November and are looking at the theme of gender identity as a springboard for their piece. WACT believe in giving our members significant platforms to express their unique voice and going to see professional theatre that does this well.'

On a recent WACT trip to The Abbey Theatre in August, 26 WACT members travelled together to see the National Youth Theatres production 'Ask Too Much Of Me'. 'This production impressed upon the members that their voice matters and can be presented on stage as a powerful piece of theatre.'

WACT will be performing in the Library Park amphitheatre, New Ross, on Friday, September 20, at 5 p.m. and any young person interested in joining should go along and see what all the fuss is about. 'While it is a short time to get stage ready WACT are really looking forward to strutting their stuff and showing that there is a quiet force of young people attending weekly drama workshops getting ready to explode onto a stage near you.'

For further information search WACTyouththeatre on facebook or phone 086 4413181. Check out their recent task for the Kilkenny Festival Of Youth Theatres on Youtube.

Gorey Guardian

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