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Sep 11 2020

Bringing It All Back Home

The Town Hall Theatre team are currently putting the finishing touches to an innovative online cultural project involving local artists and residents in Galway Nursing Homes and Care Centres. The project will culminate in the release of a series of digital arts vignettes at the end of September. Funded by Creative Ireland and Galway City Council, ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ is a series of ten short-form digital pieces (each 6-10 minutes long) created by a panel of Galway-based artists who have engaged with residents in Nursing Homes and Care Centres across the city and county this summer and researched, wrote and presented digital pieces inspired by those engagements. The first of the vignettes will be broadcast on social media and digital platforms in the coming weeks.

This unique intergenerational initiative, created to shine a light on older citizens affected by the lockdown, was designed to show collective support for older citizens and the people who care for them, especially in times of crisis. The outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year was a source of significant stress, worry and perhaps even fear for many older people and the restrictive measures put in place to deal with the crisis - particularly in Nursing Homes - increased the social isolation experienced by many. As the project progressed, it expanded to include older people living outside of care home settings and also others deeply affected by the lockdown.

At the beginning of the summer, the Town Hall Theatre invited a number of Nursing Homes and Care Centres in Galway, Moycullen, Oranmore, Corandulla, Clarinbridge and Tuam to nominate a resident to interact with one of a panel of local theatre makers, musicians and writers. The artists then connected (via phone or Zoom or in some instances, via safe visits) with the resident and with the resident’s family, listening to their stories and then creating a unique series of short-form vignettes for broadcast on social media and digital platforms. The digital stories feature a diverse range of subjects, from recent experiences to fond if distant memories of childhood and varied lifetimes. The panel of artists working on the project include:

Bringing it all Back Home is funded by Galway City Council’s Creative Ireland Funding as part of the Irish Government’s campaign, Getting Through Covid-19 Together, which aims to support people through the restrictive measures that have been put in place to deal with the C-19 crisis. The campaign emphasises the importance of collective support and staying connected to others, and while all of us are experiencing different concerns, it highlights: “no matter what you’re going through, let’s stay connected and make it through, together”. The initiative is being run in association with Backstage Theatre Longford (who were the original architects of the project) and the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire, and was co-ordinated by Oranmore-based freelance director of theatre and radio, Maisie Lee. The Town Hall Theatre expressed gratitude to the project’s funders Creative Ireland and Galway City Council, all of the participating artists and especially to the residents who so generously shared their stories, and to their families and carers.

For more information on broadcast channels, dates and times, keep watch on Town Hall Theatre’s social media channels or visit www.tht.ie