European Solidarity Corps
September 2023 - August 2024
What is the Acting Together project?
Acting Together is a European Solidarity Corps project. It is
a volunteering programme based in Newbridge, Ireland for
young actors aged between 21 and 30. The volunteers
work with our theatre company, providing free drama and
film-making workshops to teenagers 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 and directing 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 directing them in
theatre pieces. Therefore, trained actors are best suited to
be volunteers on this project.
This project promotes the European Solidarity Corps goal
of inclusion and diversity by selecting volunteers from
countries and cultures whose backgrounds are different to
ours in Ireland. We are interested in all trained actors, or
experienced professional actors, from any country in the
EU, and beyond the EU, who are aged 21 to 30. We
especially welcome applications from young actors and
who have ethnic, migrant, black, Asian, North African,
who are openly LGBTQI+. Their presence here models
and makes visible diversity for your young people with
whom they work closely;
from Eastern Europe (Poland, the Balkans, former
Soviet countries, Slavic countries etc);
from Turkey, from the Baltic states, from Russia and
who are available to come to Ireland for a full year
(not just part of a year) from September 1st 2023 to August 31st 2024.
Are social, outgoing, friendly young people who can live independently; who are curious and ask questions; and who can take initiative;
Can speak English well.
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 decide 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 programme 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 work will volunteers do?
Volunteers will ‘shadow’ or support professionals in the
They will take part in a full training programme on drama facilitation and directing. They will be able to facilitate their own workshops and direct plays on their own, 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
Some volunteers will also practice:
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.
In our centre we offer drama workshops, we devise plays,
and we rehearse work for performance. The young people come to separate workshops, each one tailored to their age and interests. Workshops are in the evening time and at weekends. There are between 16 and 26 young people in each workshop. Therefore, a lot of the volunteering activity
happens in evenings and at weekends.
Crooked House also visits youth clubs, schools and youth
projects where we deliver either once-off drama
workshops, or more usually, 10-week drama programmes
or a programme for the full year (once a week). In all these
cases 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
Project Activities: what will volunteers learn?
They will learn about the theory and practice of youth drama facilitation.
There is a part-time training programme delivered every week to all volunteers. They will learn:
methods and techniques of drama facilitation;
working creatively with young people
strategies for devising and creating work;
effective planning of workshops;
safety and ethical issues;
theatre for social change;
using theatre to raise awareness of equality issues;
developing a drama programme for young people
running a young actor’s agency
running a youth theatre.
They will take part in theatre-making, developing their skills in performing in English. Some of the work will be in international groups and other projects will be with their Irish peers. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work with Irish theatre-makers in order to:
• rehearse and stage scenes from classical work in English (including Shakespeare);
• rehearse and stage scenes from contemporary Irish playwrights;
• create a post-dramatic and documentary-theatre performance about themselves and their concerns, to be staged for an Irish audience and live streamed;
• create a 30-minute performance for schools, that will be staged in several schools in the region;
• there may be opportunities for volunteers to take part in plays being rehearsed and staged by Kildare Youth Theatre.
Volunteers will learn how to direct plays and performances
with young people. For the first 5 months they will show
experienced professional directors, attending rehearsals
and perhaps acting as Assistant Director, Support Director
or Stage Manager. There will be opportunities to do
• a Shakespearean production
• a new play especially written for young people and
supported by Britain’s National Theatre in a project called
• in every weekly workshop young people will devise and
perform short scenes by which they learn to act and
Volunteers will find out here how to use feedback and
how to direct those short scenes. From January to June, the work of shadowing will continue, but from now, volunteers will also co-direct their own small-scale projects with young people. They will work in pairs on co-directing a one-hour contemporary script from one of the following sources:
the National Theatre (UK) Connections portfolio of
plays for young people - click here
Youth Theatre Ireland’s Playshare collection of
contemporary scripts for young people - here
Crooked House’s collection of new work for young
Any play from their own culture that might be
attractive to do with young people in Ireland
A classical one-act play that they admire, and think
would be suitable.
A devised piece of new theatre made in collaboration
with the young people.
All plays will be staged for the public, in very small
audience numbers in the intimate setting of our own workshop room.
They will be staged during June Fest, a community festival in Newbridge (https://www.junefest.ie/).
They will also learn about theatre project administration
and project support - managing attendance registers,
workshop planning, scheduling, and email communications
with our partners.
It will include creating content for our social media,
as well as reporting formally on events and projects.
They will also have a regular session on understanding
European and other funding mechanisms, such as
Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps.
Some of the volunteers will manage and run
Crooked House’s Young Actors’ Agency. They will
maintain communication between agents and young
people, organising filming for auditions, and update
members profiles on the website.
Other volunteers will support our international projects (Erasmus+) by recruiting young people for the projects, helping to make project learning materials, liaising with partners, and assisting with training and hosting projects.
Producing events will be a feature of the administration work. This involves planning to organise venues, participants, scheduling, marketing and evaluation.
Some volunteers will form part of the digital media team.
They will have specific skills or third level training in
filmmaking and website design and maintenance. One will
have graphic design skills. They will:
Shoot and edit films with our members
Shoot and edit photography, documenting events and
Assist with graphic design for all our projects
Maintain social media accounts and generate creative
Our project takes place in the town of Newbridge in County
Kildare, Ireland. 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
and we have done so 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. We will give you a monthly
budget of €450 to pay for food and other necessities (this
amount includes the ‘pocket money allowance). In some cases, there will be two volunteers in each house (each with their own rooms). We pay the owner directly €350 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.
Recently, Ireland – like many countries - has taken in
thousands of Ukrainian refugees and accommodation has
become very scare since people are offering their spare
rooms to refugees. This is commendable, of course. It
means that it is even more difficult to get accommodation,
so we are grateful to the families who provide us with the
rooms. We hope that you understand.
Who are the staff team?
Volunteers will be a core part of our organisation, working
alongside other volunteers and staff. There will be 12 ESC
volunteers, along with 2 students from Maynooth
University on placement, and up to 4 Erasmus+ Student
Traineeship placement students from European
universities. They will all work as a team, receiving the
same training and sharing the same programmes. Those
16 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
During this time, they will be supported by 5 staff
Peter Hussey – Artistic Director and Programme
Coordinator Contact Peter
Oğuzhan Şahin – Outreach Manager, Workshop
Facilitator, Volunteer Supervisor Contact Oğuzhan
Cansu Genç – Administrator. Contact Cansu
Ann-Marie McIntyre – English language teacher, Volunteer Mentor. Contact Ann-Marie Contact Ann-Marie (put For Attention of Ann-Marie in the subject line).
Anna Galligan – Volunteer Trainer in Drama Facilitation. Contact Anna (put For Attention of Anna in the subject line).
These are the criteria we used to select our volunteers:
This is a project for 10 young actors, 1 young filmmaker
and 1 young graphic designer.
- We ask for people who have training in performing in
theatre / film making / graphic design
- Volunteers should be aged 21 to 30
- Volunteers should have initiative – i.e. they are able to
start their own work.
- Volunteers should be prepared for cold, dark and wet
- Volunteers should be able to work in flexible, changing,
and organically structured 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.
- 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
You may be experiencing difficulties in your home
society related to your beliefs, cultural identity, gender,
religious background (including being atheist), or
Your human rights are being denied or repressed
You are an actor from a neighbouring country to
You feel that you have fewer opportunities in life
compared to those your age in your country or in other
You speak English well;
You understand and accept liberal, EU values.
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
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.
7. Round 3 will be a live interview on a digital platform.
8. After this you will be informed if you have secured a place or not on this project.