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Kare Collaborates with Crooked House on Inspiring Video Project



A group of participants from Kare and Crooked House Theatre Company have joined forces in a powerful collaboration showcasing the power of creativity, inclusion and connection.


Through a series of drama workshops held in Newbridge Town Hall, the group produced a short film and documentary which was screened in the Riverbank Theatre this month and is also available to view online.


This collaborative project brought together individuals from Kare and Crooked House with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities, who worked side by side to share and learn from each other. The workshops provided a platform for individual creativity to flourish, allowing participants to explore storytelling, character development, and performance techniques. With the support of the experienced drama facilitators, the group brought their ideas to life on screen.


The resulting film, titled ‘The Journey’, was screened in the Riverbank Theatre and is now available to view online. It forms part of My Emotions (ME) Month, Kare’s programme of innovative wellness events held throughout February that aims to enhance the physical and emotional wellbeing of Kare’s service users, staff and local communities. 


The theme of this year’s ME Month is ‘Connecting Communities’, aligning well with the collaborative efforts between Kare and Crooked House Theatre Company.


Kare’s Social Inclusion Officer, Anne-Marie Potter, spoke about the aims of the project: “I first approached Crooked House looking for drama workshops for service users in Kare, but drama workshops with a difference. We didn’t want them just for service users in Kare, we wanted them to be inclusive, so people could try new things and develop new connections. As the weeks went on, people grew more confident, smiles got bigger and the laughter got louder. By the last week and recording the video, you could see how much everyone had gotten out of it and what they had achieved.”


The project was led by Crooked House Facilitator Ola Al Mamlouk who described how it worked: “We started with three ‘warm-up’ workshops to get familiar with the concept of drama and familiar with each other. We then started a series of workshops focusing on the five senses. We connected the five senses with the four seasons and different life events and celebrations.


“[The Kare participants] brought a lot to the workshops, it was a space of sharing information. We created a short piece around the topic of travelling. Each one of them chose a place to travel to, and we went from the beginning of the journey to the end, and it was an amazing experience.”


Speaking about the workshop, Crooked House Facilitator Ricard Garcia said: “The experience was unforgettable. Why? Because it was one group acting together. We were very different, from different countries, with different communication styles, different abilities and different approaches, but at the end we were together working and creating a performance… The Kare participants had plenty of ideas, they are very creative and they are very, very powerful. We have to spend more time creating this kind of project and focusing their skills, because they are amazing.”


Participants from Kare were Amy Glynn, Ann Darby, Brian Byrne, Deborah McGovern, Declan O’Connor, Kevin O’Callaghan, Leonard Kennedy, Mary Kelly, Michelle Cullen, Nicolae Buza, Paul Tobin, Peter Trueman, Rosie Doyle, Samantha Hyland, Sara Kelly and Tony McDonagh.


Feedback from the Kare participants on the project was equally positive, with Brian describing it as “awesome”.


Peter said: “I love drama, I hope we can do it again sometime. Thank you to everyone who does it.”


Nicolae Buza said: “I’m really happy that I took part in the class, and really happy that there might be another class next year.”

Kare: Promoting Inclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities was founded in Newbridge in 1967 and today provides services across Kildare, west Wicklow and east Offaly. Kare delivers a wide range of community-based supports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities in an innovative and progressive way, with the goal of supporting them and their families to create a present and future that fulfils their personal potential.


Crooked House is a theatre-making organisation established in 1993 in Newbridge. Their work is inspired by tolerance, equality, social justice, compassion, and empathy. Crooked House receives European funding through the European Solidarity Corps programme to support the international volunteers who participated in and co-facilitated this project.

 

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