Michael Mulcahy Returns to Kerry with Schools Drama Classes

Michael Hilliard Mulcahy, a Dublin based playwright and actor from Kerry, has been travelling to Kerry every week since September to facilitate drama classes with second level schools in the East Kerry area.

He has worked with students in Castleisland Community College, St Patrick’s and Presentation Secondary Schools in Castleisland as well as in Rathmore Community College and St. Brendan’s in Killarney.

This programme has been funded by Kerry County Council and aims to provide young people with the skills to allow them to create their own drama based on issues that they are engaged with.

Important Arts Programme

“This is an important arts programme, identified by the Killarney Municipal District Arts Working Group as an area that needs support,” said Cllr. John Joe Culloty in his role as designated chairman of the Killarney Municipal District Arts Working Group.

“Our members represent the wider Killarney Municipal District area and agreed unanimously that supporting activity where young people have an opportunity to get involved in the performing arts is extremely important, and ties in with Kerry County Council’s Arts Strategy 2016-2021,” said Cllr. Culloty.

New Drama Activity

“Drama was agreed as an important way forward in the area to support the next generation of practitioners to link with the existing drama network and maybe develop new drama activity in the area,” said Kerry County Council Arts Officer, Kate Kennelly.

Ms. Kennelly thanked all the working group members who attended meetings for their time and expertise.

“It was important to ensure we all work to develop the arts sector in the area in a way that responds to its real needs,” she said.

A scene in 'Peer Pressure' with DJ Fealey, Cordal (left) and Reece Nelligan, Currow at Castleisland Community College. ©Photograph: John Reidy
A scene in ‘Peer Pressure’ with DJ Fealey, Cordal (left) and Reece Nelligan, Currow at Castleisland Community College. ©Photograph: John Reidy

A Student’s View

Drama class member and Castleisland Community College student, DJ Fealey said that the knowledge he and the class gained from the experience was in how to express themselves as much as possible.

“We also learned how to use our voices in different tones when were acting on stage. This was a big influence to us as some of the class was either giddy or was too shy to express themselves,” said D.J.

“We then had to do a five to six minute scene to show off the work we had done over the several weeks to the principal, teachers and the third year students.

Had to Improvise

“The topic we had was ‘peer pressure’ and it wasn’t scripted so we just had to improvise and make it up ourselves.

“The fact we had to do this meant we would have to think about it at home so this would make us more responsible to do the job and to do it right.

“Overall, I enjoyed the experience of the whole thing and would recommend it to anyone who is shy so they can gain confidence in themselves,” D.J. concluded.

About the Facilitator

Michael Hilliard Mulcahy is a writer, director, actor. His debut production Beyond the Brooklyn Sky produced by Red Kettle and directed by Peter Sheridan opened in Garter Lane Theatre in Waterford in September 2012 before it’s run at Dublin Theatre Festival.

It played to packed houses, standing ovations and brilliant reviews. Michael won the Eamon Keane Full Length Play Award at the Listowel Writers Week Festival for his play Waves in 2010.

As an actor Michael has performed in various roles at Siamsa Tire, Everyman Theatre, Garter Lane Theatre, The Abbey Theatre and The Gaiety Theatre.

He also appeared in several episodes of Fair City and a short movie Skint which was filmed in Dingle.

His second play, After Sarah Miles, was produced in 2013. He is currently working on many more.

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