‘In Our Words’
This was a partnership project between the National Museum of Ireland and the Abbey Theatre which commenced in early 2018. The common objective of the project was to engage young people with both cultural institutions in a meaningful and relevant way.
This intergenerational project took inspiration from Louise O’Neill’s novel ‘Asking for it’ adapted for the stage. The project involved students and teachers at St Louis Community School, Kiltimagh, County Mayo engaging with adults in the Museum’s Writers’ Group in an intergeneration project that was managed by the Museum’s Education Department and the Abbey Theatre collectively.
This partnership approach shared and maximised the expertise and resources of both cultural institutions in order to bring quality experiences to young people and local communities.Working with the Abbey Theatre, the Museum’s Writers’ Group and the students and teachers at St Louis Community School in Kiltimagh allowed us all to pool our collective resources and expertise and create something that is special and was an opportunity to learn from one another.
St Louis Community School, Kiltimagh
One of the characteristics that made ‘In Our Words’ so effective was the whole-school approach that was evident in St Louis Community School in Kiltimagh. The involvement of the parents, teachers and members of the Board of Management and their collective support was key to the running of this project.
Asking for It
The Museum wants to create and present exhibitions and programmes that are challenging and thought-provoking. ‘Asking For it’ has unsettling and harrowing content that also asks important questions around friendships, communication and consent – topical and relevant issues for young people today.
Workshop on the meaning of objects
As part of the workshops we looked at the meaning of objects with workshops exploring the meaning we invest in objects – those we see in Museum exhibitions or those we see on stage as props or those we use in our everyday lives.
The ResultAll the facilitated workshops culminated with the students taking the reins and they ended up writing, producing, directing and acting in their own play to a full house in the Linenhall Theatre, Castebar. They also put on a small exhibition of their process in the foyer.
'In Our Words' Film and Brochure
Abbey: Phil Kingston, Eimer Murphy & Johanne Webb
St Louis Community School Kiltimagh (Teachers in particular Murt Dunleavy, Trish O Brien and all the teachers involved and the Members of the Schools’ Board.
Members of the Parents Association and the parents of the students involved.
Museum’s Writers’ Group in particular (Theresa/ Alisa/ Tom)
Morgan Creative for documenting the process
Brendan McGowan, Galway City Museum.
Linnenhall Theatre, Castlebar
Museum: Project sponsor Lorraine Comer. Project co-ordinator Tom Doyle