An explosion of digital art

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Bronwen Barrett and Samuel Coyle Photo by Vlad Gurdis

In a new form of media, the Tallaght-based Freshly Ground Theater presented “This is a blank page” with the aim of discussing improvements to the Leaving Cert system, by London Brazal.

Together with an ensemble of young artists, Freshly Ground Theater has created a remote online play that is experienced through a website platform and consists of a radio play, film and workshop.

“This is a blank page” collects the opinions of a group of students taking the Leaving Certificate through workshops and in-school interviews. Various mediums were used while the audience had the opportunity to listen and respond, with the aim of creatively answering the question: does the Leaving Cert system need to change, and why?

As there were heavy restrictions on theater companies due to the pandemic, the Freshly Ground Theater made a difficult transition from live theater to film to meet the limitations. The group was able to meet in safety, and the design, rehearsals and filming took over two months for the project. During the summer, they were able to work at the Civic with the help of their theater team.

Some of the actors at rehearsals
Photo by Vlad Gurdis

Executive Producer Sophie Coote commented: “We had a great experience at public shows. Our audience on Zoom got really involved in the article and offered so much of their own experiences and opinions on how to reform the system. We loved chatting with our audience after the show and continuing the conversation on social media.

“We really enjoyed that people felt the anxiety, the nostalgia and the memories of the departure certificate that we were trying to conjure up in the play. A lot of people have found it very frustrating that there has been so little change in the exit certificate since they took it many years ago, ”she continued.

The theater company is currently developing a new play, Sióg, for the Civic’s Ready Steady Show! Festival which will be an outdoor show mixing new technologies and live actors for young audiences and families.

They recently received the Tik Tok x Saint Patrick Festival Community Fund to create a new outdoor sound walk with the community focusing on the history of Tír na nÓg.

Freshly Ground Theater is a Tallaght-based theater company that creates responsive, engaging and entertaining work, with community at its heart.

For more information see @freshlygroundtheatre on Facebook.


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