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A play by Maura Williamson

In September 2011, two local community groups in Carrigallen: Margaret of New Orleans Birthplace and Bredagh Old School Heritage Committee jointly engaged in a major peace building programme called ‘Integrating Communities’. The programme is currently ongoing and is designed to facilitate community organisations to work in partnership on a cross community basis with a view to building relations locally. It is funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and delivered by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC).

Over recent months, both groups have been receiving a range of support to develop the links between their committees. In addition, a joint project has been developed in the form of a drama production entitled The Other Place. It tells the story of Margaret Haughrey and Percy French who meet in the Other Place and share a common thread of having spent time in Carrigallen. The play has been written by local playwright, Maura Williamson and involves children from four national schools in the area taking part. As part of the process, people from the wider community have been brought together to engage in story telling sessions about their knowledge of Percy and Margaret and the wider area. The play is also enhanced with songs and poems written by Tony Fahy, all of which are being performed live at each event.

A Word from Bernie O’Rourke on behalf of Margaret of New Orleans Birthplace
A community is about its people. This project enabled both sides of our small community to work together and achieve something which we hope will have a lasting effect for generations to come. While it has been a challenge to get the project off the ground, I hope the work we have done, will lay a path towards greater harmony in our community and this country.

A Word from Gladys Richardson on behalf of the Bredagh Old School Heritage committee
This project has been about bringing our community together and working with young and old alike. It has been wonderful to see how the young people have come together and worked so hard to perform the play. We hope to continue to work together in the long term.

Thank You

The seed for this project was sown twelve months ago, continuing to its birth, growth and development. We hope you enjoy the performance. We would like to thank the funding body IFI and RDC and all those who contributed to the event.

A Word from Maura Williamson:

My journey on this project commenced with drama workshops in four nationals schools in our community.
Killeshandra National School (C. of I.), Drumeela, Newtowngore, and Carrigallen. The brief was: to inform the
children about the links of Margaret of New Orleans and Percy French to our community; to introduce the children to the art of story making and script writing; to invite the children to take part in this cross community project linking children from four schools along with the larger community, into this production. The process was extremely enjoyable, and those children are here tonight, fulfilling their journey into working with others, finding new friends and learning new drama/theatre skills—all part of this cross community project.

Storytelling sessions involving the two committees coming together, sharing, opening the doors of each others’ houses, reminiscing and proving valuable material for the play script, new friendships developing, characters coming alive, and laughter—all were heard. The life of an artist or writer can be a lonely one, when the words don’t come, and the creativity stays away for another day. The introduction of a songwriter and musicians added light to that journey, and enhanced this play. The words began to flow, rehearsals commenced in the local community hall and the Bredagh Old School, and the process from page to stage swung into action, characters appearing and the scenes developing. The school children, Leitrim Youth Theatre Company, Carrigallen, singers, songwriter, musicians, Margaret of New Orleans Committee, Bredagh Old School Committee, Corn Mill professional technical and design team, backstage managers and production team—the production is is your stage, take your bow!

The Other Place: What's On
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