Equity Diversity Interdependence
Promoting a Peaceful and Fair
Society based on Reconciliation
and Mutual Trust.
Spanner in the Works Theatre Company
Spanner in the Works Theatre Company is an organisation supported through the Community Relations and Cultural Diversity Grant Scheme.
Spanner in the Works Theatre Company is a cross-community group established in 1998. The group works with people from all traditions across Northern Ireland and through the medium of drama, it addresses issues of social concern. Spanner in the Works was initially an all female theatre group but has grown in both popularity and size over the years and now has male participants.
Spanner in the Works aims to identify and create opportunities for the exchange of skills, resources and information and to bring their work to communities at a local level throughout Northern Ireland.
'Powerwalker' (supported by CRC Community Relations and Cultural Diversity Grant scheme)
The Artistic Director of the group put forward a proposal to undertake a theatre project which would involve women from across Northern Ireland and indeed across community divisions. The ethos behind this project was that the young women involved would devise, produce and perform a depiction of their own life experiences which would identify similarities and differences transcending community barriers.
A number of community groups indicated their willingness to participate in this project and as a result of this, both rural and urban groups worked together to research and debate stereotypes. Participation from community groups in areas such as Shortstrand, Crossmaglen, Omagh and Shankill ensured that there was widespread debate and a reflection of life from different regions of the province.
'Powerwalker' was a drama exploring stereotypes, written following a series of workshops when friendships were made and co-operation and trust was necessary. The participants found themselves in parts of Northern Ireland where they had never visited before, working with people who would not necessarily have held similar values or beliefs. It was an excellent example of successful relationship building through safe, facilitated processes.
The development of the project spanned over a six month period and culminated in the production of 'Powerwalker' which was staged in 5 venues across Northern Ireland from South Armagh to the Waterfront Hall.
The success of this project can be measured not only in terms of audience numbers but in the follow up work the group are doing with 'Powerwalker' participants. Five new community groups have expressed an interest in working with Spanner in the Works simply from seeing 'Powerwalker' and the positive community relations work it produced.
Future for Spanner in the Works
The group are striving to maintain a focused belief in the need for community theatre and the use of drama as a medium to break down barriers. They are steadily increasing their audience and participant base and hope to continue writing their own work. One key objective over the next year is to provide community relations training for members and undertake projects which have a direct impact on community difficulties and concerns.
Spanner in the Works has continued to prove a strong driving force, with committed volunteers and members who hope their enthusiasm and dedication is reflected in the continual support of and demand for their work.
56 Divis Drive
Telephone: 028 9061 2106
Fax: 028 9043 0009