I first became involved with the Arrivals project in late 2013 through a call out to submit an expression of interest in the scheme along with an example of my previous work. I submitted and was first shortlisted and then accepted onto the project alongside the other chosen writers.
Through a series of workshops with members of the intercultural community, as well as the other writers and the creative team from Terra Nova and Accidental Theatre, I was given a unique opportunity to learn about other’s cultures as well as continuing an examination of my own. My writing benefited hugely from the time I spent working with community members and a team of theatrical professionals including the actors, some from different ethnic backgrounds than my own. I was able to explore the relationships between people from different cultures and – I believe – with the help of the dramaturg, director, cast and those who participated in the workshops, a thought provoking and entertaining play was produced.
As a consequence I believe I became more aware of how theatre – and the arts in general – can promote universal communication between cultures and explore what we have in common rather than what sets us apart.
When the call out came around for Arrivals 2 I submitted once again as I felt I had something more to offer as a writer and as a citizen in a country that is ever changing and becoming increasingly inter-cultural. I was delighted to be chosen as one of the 5 writers for the project, and once again gained valuable experience and knowledge through the workshop process, which this time around included members of the inter-cultural community born and raised in Northern Ireland.
The honesty, integrity and emotional truth-telling which took place during the workshops were invaluable to me and the other writers – as well as the creative team behind us – and left us moved, humbled and determined to do justice to the spirit of the stories of the people who shared them with us.
The challenge of Arrivals 2 has been to write short plays which explore the complex challenges faced by everyone in an ever-changing society, and through the use of drama uncover an emotional truth which the people of Northern Ireland can empathise with and understand. I believe we have succeeded in this.
Arrivals2 runs in the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast from March 11-14 before touring the country. Featuring short plays from Deirdre Cartmill, Daragh Carville, Maggie Cronin, Fionnuala Kennedy and James Meredith. Full details of the tour can be found here:
Read what 3 of the other writers have to say about Arrivals 2 here: