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New book to showcase teens' plays


Tirna McGauley 17 Clondalkin

Tirna McGauley 17 Clondalkin

Tirna McGauley 17 Clondalkin

A NEW book will showcase a collection of plays penned by South Dublin teenagers that tackle subjects like domestic abuse and mental health.

Tenderfoot is a collection of 13 plays and three monologues written by Transition Year students and they are set to be studied in Irish schools.

The theatre initiative has been working with schools for eight years in the hope of allowing TY students to try their hand at something new.

Spearheaded by Veronica Coburn and funded by South Dublin County Council the programme, based out of the Tallaght Civic Theatre, has seen 330 of students take part so far.

In that time, students from eight schools from the local authority area have written 130 plays, of which 64 were produced.

"I like the idea of the apprenticeship learning where you can work alongside experts in the field," Ms Coburn told the Herald.


The young playwrights are not at all afraid of tackling tough subjects and have penned plays dealing with everything from domestic abuse to Nigel Farage's controversial UKIP political party or mental health problems, according to their mentor.

"Very often we get people who have never been to the theatre before," she explained. "It's interesting for them to come and realise that this thing called the theatre has something to offer them and that they are good at it."

Two new textbooks that are in line with the reforms in Junior Cert English have published some of the work produced under the Tenderfoot project.

This will allow pupils from around the country to get a flavour for what is taking place in the Tallaght Civic Theatre.

Tirna McGauley (17) from Clondalkin has her Transition Year play Weird featured in the book.

Her time with Tenderfoot has persuaded her to pursue a career in theatre after her Leaving Cert.

"It's been amazing. All the doors that are opened to me now after it is great," she said.

"It was surreal to watch something I had worked so hard on come together and be produced in a recognised theatre," she added.