This year’s Cruinniú na nÓg, a day of free creativity for children and young people, takes place on Saturday, June 12, and Roscommon Arts Centre have two wonderful free family friendly events taking place on the day which can be accessed online at www.roscommonartscentre.ie The first event on the day is a children’s theatre performance called AN ANT CALLED AMY, written and performed by Julie Sharkey. This is a story about an Ant called Amy, her brother Andy, and a brown spider. Amy the ant works very hard. When she wins the Employee of the Month Award Amy feels happiness that drives her to work even harder. But with the help of the brown spider, Amy finds true happiness by embracing her brother’s memory in the everyday. A story about a busy little ant who learns to slow down. It is suitable for children aged from five to eight years and is available from 9am on June 12 and June 13.
AN ANT CALLED AMY was first conceived by Julie during her time as 'Theatre Artist in Residence' at Roscommon Arts Centre (2017/2018 ), during which a work in progress performance took place as part of the Bookworms Festival. Since then, and with the ongoing support of Roscommon Arts Centre, The Arts Council and mentors Martin Drury and Mikel Murfi, Julie has continued to develop the piece and now, under the direction of Raymond Keane and with the support of the Creative Ireland Roscommon programme, AN ANT CALLED AMY makes her debut as part of the 2021 Cruinniu na nÓg programme. Julie is an actor, writer and drama facilitator who trained at the Gaiety School of Acting and also holds a Diploma in Drama in Education and an MA in Drama and Theatre Studies from UCC.
Raymond Keane, who directs the piece, is a founding member of multi award winning Barabbas Theatre Company.
“I am delighted and honoured to direct one of Ireland's finest actors Julie Sharkey in her beautiful, tender and delightful play An Ant Called Amy. Julie (Amy ) has assembled an extraordinary team of busy, busy and dedicated artist ants and producer ants to make this such a special treat for young and not so young audiences. And of course, none of this would have been possible without the support and dedication of her indomitable Ant Hill that is Roscommon Arts Centre," Raymond said.
Also on June 12, the Arts Centre in partnership with the LIVE Network, will present SARAH BOWIES’ OBSERVATIONAL STORYTELLING from 12pm. Sarah is a cartoonist, writer, and co-founder of The Comics Lab. In this online tutorial, suitable for ages 12+, Sarah will show you how to take ordinary, everyday life and turn it into material for compelling storytelling!
This as an opportunity for young people to look beyond the surface of our seemingly mundane lives, and find the potential stories within. She will explore different ways of observing – observing ourselves (our moods, thoughts, activities and conversations ); observing others (family members, neighbours, strangers, wildlife and pets ), and observing our environment (our homes, our local park, the supermarket, the weather ); looking at how to edit these observations and mould them into shape, as complete short stories in themselves, or springboards for longer fiction pieces.
Sarah is the co-founder of Ireland’s first Graphic Short Story Prize in partnership with The Irish Times. Her ‘Socially Distanced’ comic strip, an observational look at life in a pandemic, updates weekly on Instagram at: [email protected]__bowie and her latest picture books are available online.
Both events will be available to watch for free on www.roscommonartscentre.ie from June 12.