am acutely aware of the responsibility of the artist

In this video artistic director Paula McFetridge introduces Kabosh theatre company and talks about how hermes bracelet replica the Creative Industries Innovation Fund helped to create an app for the dramatic walking tour Belfast Bred.

Care for the Future Interview: Andrew Thompson explores with Paula McFetridge, Artistic Director of Northern Ireland’s Kabosh theatre company, the power of theatre to humanise the past and to hold up a different lensto what we think we know.

Andrew Thompson: You are the artistic director of a theatre company in Northern Ireland called Kabosh which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Can you tell me more about Kabosh aims, the type of work you commission, and where you perform?

Paula McFetridge: Founded in 1994, Belfast based Kabosh is a site specific theatre company committed to challenging the notion of what theatre is, where it takes place and who it is for.

We have presented original plays in a range of non theatre spaces from a moving black taxi to a synagogue, from a children’s playground to a pop up barn, from working city centre shops to replica hermes bags a local government building, from an abandoned workhouse to a spiegeltent, from the roof of the Titanic building to the basement cells in Crumlin Rd jail. We want citizens and visitors to look at their surroundings with fresh eyes.

The company believes that theatre can transform people’s lives. Over recent years Kabosh has become the leading theatre company in the north of Ireland working in conflict resolution.

For all of our work we commission local playwrights. The project conception can differ it may be to challenge a misconception or present an unheard voice, or highlight an issue of social importance. Then we find a location that would enhance our presentation of that narrative. This may be a contested or unusual space that we want to animate with a new narrative. The advantage of our work is that it appeals to those who don’t tend to engage with theatre they embrace the idea of an event, they are curious about a space they don’t know or sometimes it’s a space they feel they own and want to see what narrative hbags reviews we put in it.

hermes birkin bag replica cheap We are committed to community engagement. On several occasions we have captured an oral archive as stimulus for the playwright. We often employ freelance practitioners to deliver a related workshop programme, and we engage with the location ‘owners’ over a period of time to give them ownership of the production. Project legacy is important to us. We have produced digital apps of 3 of our productions, we have published commissioned plays within the production programmes, and we maintain regular contact with new audiences through a range of communication tools. hermes birkin bag replica cheap

What does your role as artistic director involve? What are the challenges of working in the Arts in a society replica hermes himalayan bag price which has only recently emerged from the Troubles and is still very much grappling with the complex and divisive legacies of the past?

I’ve been the Artistic Director at Kabosh for the last 8 years. I lead the small core team a General Manager responsible for finance, administration and funding; and a Production Assistant who deals with community engagement, audience development and all communication (we are governed by a volunteer board of 7).

Hermes Birkin Replica Last year we employed 199 individual practitioners I selected each of them, aiming to build the ideal team for each project. I am in charge of the artistic programme, in consultation and with the support of my colleagues. We identify stories that we are interested in exploring, spaces that intrigue us, locations that we feel Kabosh is best placed to open access to. Then I approach a suitable playwright, commission them and nurture the script through various drafts until we hbags.ru reviews walk into the rehearsal room. hermes mini evelyne replica I direct each project. The number of performances differs depending on the space and the scale. Hermes Birkin Replica

But this is only a part of my work I also advise students, speak at conferences, collaborate on pan European projects, explore funding opportunities, lead practical workshops and other things in between.

It hermes bag replica is challenging working in an environment such as the north of Ireland but given the work I am interested in doing and Kabosh’s commitment to confronting head on issues of social and political importance it is also an incredible opportunity. I always say; if you can’t imagine a provocative artistic response to history, space and community in Belfast where birkin bag replica hbags else could you do it? There are a number of stories still to be told, misconceptions that need to be grappled with, sensitive issues that the media and politicians can’t or won’t address, contested spaces that need re imagining, narratives to share nationally and internationally. The list is endless and an artist has an active role to play in all of that.

I. There is a time to tell a story. A time to challenge. A time to simply give a voice.

You say the advantage of your work is that it appeals to those who don’t tend to engage with theatre. Can you tell say more about who Kabosh has been able to reach out to and with what effect?

Hermes Bags Replica The audience demographic for every project is completely different. A lot of our cultural tourism work appeals to locals who want to see how we animate their space or people taking friends or family home for a trip to show off their city, as well as visiting tourists. Hermes Bags Replica

For example, when we staged ‘Belfast by Moonlight’ in St George’s Church, over a six month period we engaged with the caretakers, religious leaders, committee members, and their musical director. We ensured the entire company had a respect for the space and its users. We allowed the staff at St George’s to sneak into final rehearsals, and they became ambassadors for the project over time. On the opening night their pride was palpable, they owned the production, and they openly encouraged their friends, congregation and users to attend. The majority of the audience were new to Kabosh, they will hopefully Read Full Article return.

Our community engagement project for ‘Belfast by Moonlight’ was on Hermes replica Evelyne the Shankill Rd, a protestant working class community. We worked with Shankill Area Social History Group and curated an oral archive of local stories. We then commissioned a playwright to create four 10 minute plays which explored the history of the area and staged the dramas as part of a new walking tour delivered by locals. Both the participants and the audience for the live performances 9th 10th July 2013 had limited engagement with theatre, many also had limited knowledge of their area. The creation of an app will allow audiences who don’t know this street to experience its history through fact and fiction from the safety of their homes. Giving someone safe access to another’s story and/or space challenges pre conceived ideas, promotes acceptance and breaks down barriers to engagement.

We get excited when someone from the community comes to see our work because to us they own the space, and through trust they step outside their comfort zone and enjoy the show, which leads them to come back to see more of our work in the future. An example of this was when a taxi driver who worked with us on ‘Two Roads West’ in west Belfast came to see ‘This is What We Sang’ in the synagogue in north Belfast, or wholesale handbags suppliers the young person who came to our Halloween installation ‘Ghosts of Drumglass’ later coming to see an oratorio marking 400 years of the foundation of Belfast ‘Belfast by Moonlight’ in a city centre Presbyterian Church.

The Care for the Future Theme has a strong interest in the question of the archive in particular in what sense the archive can be seen as a resource for the present and a source of inspiration for mini birkin bag replica the future, and not simply a record of the past. Can you share orange birkin replica with us an example of how Kabosh has captured an oral archive as stimulus for a playwright?

Hermes Handbags In 2007 we were approached by a member of the Belfast Jewish community and asked if we could engage them in an arts project. They were an aging community very much in decline and wanted to find a way of archiving their story. At their height in Belfast in the early 1900’s they numbered approximately 1,000 people. Now, in 2014, there are less than 45. They were instrumental in the development of our business sector. The first Lord Mayor of Belfast was Jewish and he was the only man to be Lord Mayor twice. Hermes Handbags

I was interested in looking at the idea of ‘what would we miss when the Jewish community was gone’. I felt through exploring this idea we could look at a way of encouraging our society to embrace diversity rather than be threatened by it. The ceasefire in Northern Ireland resulted in an increasing number of people choosing to live in the north, as well as many returning home as a result of the peace agreement. I wanted to question what we as a society were offering them, what made our community an attractive one to live in? There was also an opportunity to look at the role of religion through the stories of a culture outside of the central two Catholicism and Protestantism which offered attractive possibilities to me.

Replica Hermes Birkin I was brought to see their synagogue in north Belfast, which I didn’t even know was there. It was incredible at that moment I decided to stage a play there. I knew the curiosity around the space would ensure many traditional non theatregoers would attend the performance and so engage with the narrative of an ‘other’. Replica Hermes Birkin

best hermes replica handbags The Kabosh Creative Producer at the time, Jo Egan, interviewed 45 members of the Jewish community 30 still living here and 15 who had left Northern Ireland since the start of the conflict in 1969. We transcribed the interviews and gave bound copies to each of the individuals as well as members of the Jewish community. The archive was then sent to Gavin Kostick, a respected Dublin based playwright, who we then commissioned to write ‘This Is What We Sang’. best hermes replica handbags

Over a 12 month period we created the performance, which was set on Yom Kippur, the Day of Forgiveness. The Northern Irish Composer Neil Martin took traditional music from the Yom Kippur service and reimagined it for a sean ns singer (traditional unaccompanied Irish music). We staged it in the Belfast synagogue in 2009, then in 2010 we took it to the Synagogue for the Arts in Tribeca, NYC and won ‘Best Production’ at the 1st Irish Festival. The script is available on the Kabosh website.

Many things came up in the oral archive that shattered local myths particularly the assumption that the decline in the Belfast community was a result of the conflict. There were many reasons for the emigration including a lack of key employment positions in the sectors they educated themselves in, mainly medicine. They witnessed the sectarianism prevalent in Northern Ireland, as well as experiencing anti Semitism themselves, and decided to take action to avoid it. Due to their community size, as they got older there were not the local mechanisms for them to uphold their religious practice which meant many left.

What is important to me is when you take an archive and then fictionalise it then you challenge both the storyteller and the new listener. You can ask difficult questions as the story is fictional but because the story is based on a truth, audiences cannot dismiss it. Inevitably working in a space like the synagogue, and with a story taken from a community, has its challenges but the project location and narrative are ripe for creative engagement.

You live in a society in which commemoration and historical anniversaries are very important and sometimes the trigger for sectarian violence. We are also currently in the midst of a major centenary commemoration of the First World War. It’s clear that people can take very different views of whether something should be commemorated, the spirit in which it is commemorated, and even what is being commemorated. How does commemoration figure in the work of Kabosh? Do you think there really is scope for commemoration to play a part in healing and reconciliation in divided societies?

We take inspiration from the idea of commemoration, marking moments in our past, exploring the power of theatre to humanise the past and hold a different lens up to what we think we know. We need to see what unites us, what separates us, ask the difficult questions, not be reverential, give voice to universal emotions such as grief, loss and triumph.

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