ESC Project 11

Community Theatre Making 01.09.2024 – 31.08.2025

This project is for all applicants who wish to be considered as volunteers on the European Solidarity Corps programme which will run in Newbridge, Ireland from 01/09/2024 to 31/08/2025.

Please note:

  • It is a full year volunteering programme (for 12 months)
  • It is for 10 trained or professional theatre-makers
  • It is for those aged 23 to 30.

The deadline to receive applications is Wednesday, 31st January 2024 at midnight (Dublin time).

Rules and Eligibility

  1. Fill out the online application form in English. If you do not your application will be deleted.
  2. You must be a theatre-maker in order for your application to be considered. A ‘theatre-maker’ is someone who makes theatre with other people (an actor, director, performer, stage manager, producer or project manager). We do not have space for writers, technical crew or designers.
  3. You must be legally resident in one of the European Solidarity Corps eligible countries in order for us to consider your application. See which countries are eligible here: https://youth.europa.eu/solidarity/countries-covered_en
  4. You must register with the European Solidarity Corps and receive a Participant Number. https://youth.europa.eu/solidarity/young-people/volunteering_en
  5. You must commit to the principles of the European Solidarity Corps programme: https://youth.europa.eu/solidarity/young-people/principles_en
  6. Only people who take their time and answer all questions as fully as possible will be considered.

Applications are open from 1 st December 2023 until 31 st January 2024

To go directly to the application form on Google Forms click here:
https://forms.gle/CoiusHKCJymypAjv8

The Project

What is the Community Theatre Making project?

Community Theatre Making is a European Solidarity Corps project. It is a volunteering programme based in Newbridge, Ireland for young actors aged between 23 and 30. The volunteers work with our theatre company, providing free drama and film-making workshops to teenagers and community groups in our community. The volunteers support all areas of the theatre company, from administration to directing plays. In return, the project will train the actors in the process of drama facilitation so that they can enhance their employability by gaining valuable new skills.

Who should apply?
You need to be an actor, and to understand acting techniques. This is because you will be facilitating theatre-making with young people and community groups. Therefore, trained actors are best suited to be volunteers on this project. You also need to be aged between 23 and 30. This is because you will be most likely better prepared to live away from home and be independent and have developed some resilience in life. Our projects often involve working with people who are vulnerable and who need our resources and attention, so we prefer more mature applicants. Any applicant must be legally resident in one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, North Macedonia, Turkey, Liechtenstein, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Norway, Palestine, Russia, Serbia, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine.

 

What kind of people are we looking for?

We are especially interested in theatre-makers:

  • from eligible countries who have ethnic, migrant, black, Asian, North African, or Arabian backgrounds;
  • from Eastern Europe (Poland, the Balkans, former Soviet countries, Slavic countries etc).
  • You need to be available to come to Ireland for a full year (and not just part of a year) from September 1st 2024 to August 31st 2025. You would ideally be a social, outgoing, friendly young people who can live independently; who are curious and ask questions; and who can take initiative. You should be able to speak English well and have at least a B1 level.
  • Volunteers should have initiative – i.e. they are able to start their own work.
  • Volunteers should be prepared for cold, dark and wet winters
  • Volunteers should be able to work in flexible, changing environments.
  • Volunteers should be social, curious about people, ask questions and contribute positive energy to groups and teams.
  • Volunteers from outside the EU must obtain a visa to work here, and they must guarantee that they will adhere to the conditions of that visa. We will help with the visa process.
  • Volunteers must be vetted by the Irish police force, An Garda Siochána, before they can volunteer with us.
  • We positively encourage young actors who have one or more of the following criteria to apply:
  • You are LGBTQI+
  • You are from a migrant background, or your family has migrated
  • You may be experiencing difficulties in your home society related to your beliefs, cultural identity, gender, religious background (including being atheist), or ethnicity
  • Your human rights are being denied or repressed
  • You feel that you have fewer opportunities in life compared to those your age in your country or in other countries
  • You understand and accept liberal, EU values.

Why This Project?

Young people who have trained as actors in several countries face barriers getting into a career in theatre-making. In many cases they were the brave ones, who decided not to do Engineering, Law, or another subject that would make them employable. They choose acting. We are honouring their bravery in making this choice. In some countries, employment is marginal at best for actors. Our project aims to increase their access to the job market by training them in youth drama facilitation, a skill that enhances their actor-training. This year-long project would also show them how to set up a youth theatre and youth drama project when they return home, as well as how to use drama as a tool for social change in their own countries. Thus, they would be better equipped to promote inclusion, overcome economic barriers, and other barriers linked to education and training in their home countries. The volunteers will return to their countries, hopefully inspired by the liberal values we espouse in our theatre work, and enriched by the knowledge of using theatre to effect social change, to make projects of their own that promote these values and aspire to change society for the better in their communities.

 

What activities will volunteers do?

Volunteers will ‘shadow’ or support professionals in the areas of:

  • Drama Facilitation
  • Theatre Directing
  • Project Administration
  • Filmmaking
  • Performing/Acting

They will take part in a full training programme on drama facilitation. They will be able to facilitate their own workshops, having spent some time observing, and then working (under supervision and support) to run workshops in pairs. Most volunteers will practice and develop such skills as:

  • youth drama facilitation
  • theatre-making with young people
  • youth theatre administration
  • performing in English
  • creative collaboration

Who will volunteers work with?

This is a solidarity project. That means that the project is designed to have a positive impact in our local community. We need the help of volunteers to achieve this. Our positive impact will be on the lives of:

  • Young people aged from 11 to 25 in County Kildare in Ireland. Crooked House works with young people who come to our centre for drama workshops and to make theatre projects. We also work with young people in the community, where we go to give workshops (e.g. to schools and youth clubs). Most of the young people with whom we work are in the 14 to 17 age range. We do not work with children.
  • Adults who have intellectual disabilities in Newbridge. We work with KARE (https://www.kare.ie/) to provide drama workshops for young people and adults who have mobility difficulties and additional needs. The workshops help integrate them to our community, and build social and personal skills that will assist them in life.
  • International Protection Applicants who are migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and people who are here under the protection of the state. We provide Integration Workshops (games, English language classes, Drama and short film activities) to adults who are waiting for their applications to be processed by the Irish government.

In our centre we offer drama workshops, we devise plays, and we rehearse work for performance. Participants come to separate workshops, each one tailored to their age and interests. Workshops for adult and community groups, schools and youth projects are in the mornings, and workshops for young people are in the evening time and at weekends. There are between 16 and 26 young people in each workshop. Therefore, some of the volunteering activity happens in evenings. Crooked House also visits youth clubs, schools and youth projects where we deliver drama programmes. The drama work focuses on helping the young people develop resilience, acquire performance skills, and re-learn the skills needed for active citizenship. We have published material online about how we think drama
does this (and it can be accessed here. You can also read
about it, and the type of drama activities that we do, on the Drama for Youth Works website
You can see a lot of the performance work that we have done over the years on our Crooked House You Tube Channel

 

Accomodation

Our project takes place in the town of Newbridge in County Kildare, Ireland. There is an accommodation crisis in Ireland. There are very few houses or rooms to rent. And also because accommodation is very expensive in Ireland (and especially in Newbridge) we locate our volunteers with families that we know. It is usually not possible, financially, to rent houses for volunteers only, as the cost is well beyond the budget that we receive, and we also must rent it for a full year. Therefore, we find accommodation for our ESC volunteers in family homes. You will have a bedroom of your own. You will have the use of the kitchen to cook your own meals. It is important to take note that the family does not cook for you. In some cases, there will be two volunteers in each house (each with their own rooms). We pay the owner directly for the rent (this includes all costs for heating and water etc). Most houses are within 1 kilometre of the town, but some are 2 kilometres from the town centre, and we give each volunteer a bicycle to come and go to these. Because these are family houses in which the owner lives it is usually not possible to have guests, or boyfriends or girlfriends stay over in your room. In those cases where someone is visiting you and wishes to stay it is best for you both to rent an Airbnb for the time needed.

 

Financial Support

We will give you a monthly budget of €450 to pay for food and other necessities (this amount includes the ‘pocket money allowance). We will pay the cost of a return flight to and from your country so long as it is within the budget allowed. You can calculate the budget here. We will reimburse the costs of applying for a visa provided that you keep the receipts and give them to us. We will pay for any travel and expenses associated with your volunteering while you are in Ireland. You will registered on the Henner Insurance scheme which will cover your medial and health costs while in Ireland.

 

Who are the staff team?

Volunteers will be a core part of our organisation, working alongside other volunteers and staff. There will be 10 ESC volunteers, along with 2 Erasmus+ Student Trainees, and perhaps a student from Maynooth University on placement. They will all work as a team, receiving the same training and sharing the same programmes. Those 13+ young volunteers will form a learning group and a community. They will have the sole use of our Centre during the day while our members are in schools and college. During this time, they will be supported by 5 staff members:

Peter Hussey – Artistic Director and Programme
Coordinator Contact Peter
Oğuzhan Şahin – Company Manager and Volunteer Supervisor Contact Oğuzhan
Narod Shahinian – International Projects Manager. Charlie Hughes Farrell – English language teacher.
Anna Galligan – Drama Facilitation Trainer. Contact Anna (put For Attention of Anna in the subject line).

Volunteers will also be connected to a mentor who will advise and support them in their journey.

How to apply

Most volunteers will have applied through our website and filled out the application form there. If you have not already done so, then these are the steps that you go through in order to be considered for this project:

  1. Register with the European Solidarity Corps here
  2. After you have registered, search for opportunities from Crooked House Theatre Company (whose Organisation ID is E10012295). We have a Quality Label. Our latest volunteering opportunity will be this one called ESC10 Acting Together. Apply for this.
  3. Return to www.crookedhouse.ie and complete the application form
  4. Wait to hear if you have been selected to move to Round 2. Round 2 will require you to send us more details about yourself and your work.
  5. You will receive an email informing you about the next step in the process. If you are successful in this, then you will move to Round 3.
  6. Round 3 will be a live interview on a digital platform.
  7. After this you will be informed if you have secured a place or not on this project.