Adapting to the enforced new circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Playhouse (who are core funded by the Community Relations Council) has elected to showcase their work across the world.
The Playhouse Derry-Londonderry has an ambitious global broadcasting programme of live performances that will be available online through its newly installed live broadcasting infrastructure.
Kieran Griffiths, Director of the Playhouse, said: “When lockdown began, we asked ourselves, how do we change? How do we programme for our communities and keep them safe? And how do we survive when social distancing means our theatre can hold only 20 audience members? The answer was, by using technology to ensure that the show can certainly go on, both at the Playhouse and online!”
Now audiences around the world can watch live performances and remain safe and socially distanced.
Kieran continued: “We’re asking audiences watching from around the world, and those locally who wish to safeguard the future of their local arts, to consider donating, and help us to deliver creative, innovative and accessible arts, theatre and education to the community.”
Proud to Be
The Playhouse will begin their new season on 28 August 2020 with “Proud to Be” an innovative play created by the poet and performer Mel Bradley and director Kieran Smyth. Proud to Be explores the diverse experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.
New Digital Experience
This new digital experience will then present life in Northern Ireland in 1972. The premiere of “Anything Can Happen 1972: Voices from the heart of the Troubles” by Damian Gorman, will be broadcast live from The Playhouse from 16 September 2020 as part of The Playhouse’s PEACE IV Programme’s Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy.
As part of the production, those who have lost people in the Troubles, due to Covid-19, or in any circumstance, are invited to contribute to Anything Can Happen 1972. They can send objects or photographs of significance or importance to them, to be placed on the other 130 empty chairs in the theatre.
The “Art in the Place of Conflict” Conference on 17 September will showcase and discuss art produced through the Academy with acclaimed artists such as Jo Egan, Laurence McKeown, Conan McIvor and Ailin Conant.
The keynote address will be given by the internationally acclaimed John Paul Lederach. Photographer Giles Duley will discuss and present his portfolio of work, Legacy of War.
A digital Playhouse
Griff Rhys Jones, Patron of the Playhouse, said: “I’m proud to be associated with a theatre whose award-winning work is an ark for engagement, peacekeeping and education. During this rather strange time, the Playhouse has been making plans. It’s going to launch a digital Playhouse to bring education, engagement and theatre online. We need your help to build our audience online; you can do this by subscribing to our YouTube channel.”
Find out more about the Global Broadcasting Programme here: www.derryplayhouse.co.uk.