After the success of Car Show last January in Roscommon and at Boyle Arts Festival in the summer, Roscommon County Youth Theatre returns to Roscommon Arts Centre with a new production this December, Understanding Marcus by Veronica Coburn.
Understanding Marcus follows the story of a group of teenagers one summer in Dublin. Marcus is 16 and one of the very many young people who exist within the spectrum of autism. The world for him is a confusing place and he has to work very hard to negotiate the realms of normal social behaviour. Marcus likes trains. And pens. Pens that click. Ballpoints. Ross and Laura are popular. Bright. Intelligent. They have a large group of friends.
An accidental meeting in a Dart station brings Ross and Laura and Marcus together. The story that unfolds tests the understanding of all involved. Understanding Marcus is a gripping tale which explores our understanding of ‘normal’ and the complex nature of teenage relationships.
This play was specially commissioned for youth theatre groups by the National Association of Youth Drama, and Roscommon is one of 12 groups around the country performing the play. This is one of a number of national programmes RCYT has been involved in over the last number of years.
The cast of nine, all aged between 15 and 18, has been working on the production since September and on November 9 they performed as part of the National Association of Youth Drama’s New Stage Festival in Roscommon. Five youth theatres from around the country travelled to Roscommon Arts Centre to share the work they had done over the last few months as well as taking part in workshops. The weekend was a great success giving RCYT members the opportunity to meet other young people from around the country who share their interest in theatre as well as seeing the different approaches other groups took with the same script. Veronica Coburn, the playwright, was in attendance over the weekend and congratulated the cast on their production of Understanding Marcus.
As well as the cast, Karen Harte and Blaithin Cox have taken on the roles of lighting and sound operators under the guidance of Stephen Nicholson, technical manager at Roscommon Arts Centre. The play is directed by Catherine Simon and stars Ruadhan Mew, Claire Raftery, Rhys Reynolds, Lydia Jones, Freddie Hill, Aine Kelly, Callum Regan, Heather Croghan, and Blaithín O’Rourke.
After all the hard work and excitement of the New Stage weekend, RCYT members are now getting ready to perform for their home audience. The performance will take place on December 5 and 6 at 8pm, with a schools show at 12pm on the Friday.
Tickets are now on sale at a cost of €12 per person (€10 concession ) with a rate of €8 for groups over 10. To book tickets for Understanding Marcus, phone Roscommon Arts Centre on (090 ) 6625824.