Lyric and queen’s collaborate on unique youth theatre project

A group of teenagers interested in a career in theatre have been given a unique opportunity as the Lyric Theatre and Queen’s University drama departments join forces to collaborate on a theatre project.

In a new venture with Queen’s, the Creative Learning department at the Lyric is staging a youth theatre production next week directed by celebrated Belfast actor and writer, Maggie Cronin.

A group of 17 young actors, aged 16-19, is currently in rehearsals for a thought-provoking play called The Miracle by Dublin writer, Lin Coghlan.

The play was originally commissioned – specifically for teenagers – by the National Theatre in London as part of theirConnections programme. It explores how self-confidence and belief in a person’s own ability can change lives.

Meanwhile, across Botanic Gardens at Queen’s University, eight aspiring Stage Managers and Technicians are working with Ross McDade, Production Manager of the Brian Friel Theatre.

They are getting hands-on experience of the technical aspects of staging a play by taking part in a series of skills workshops, facilitated by members of the Lyric staff and the designer for the production, Stuart Marshall.

The two groups will come together for two performances of the piece in the Naughton Studio at the Lyric.

Lyric Creative Learning Co-coordinator, Philip Crawford said: “This is a unique experience for young people to join forces with seasoned professionals from two major Drama institutions and work together on a production at the Lyric.”

One of the young actors, Stephanie Dale said she was enjoying the experience:

“I’ve been involved in the Lyric for about 2 years but this is the first time I’ve taken part in the summer student production,” she said. “Maggie is a fantastic director. We are doing two shows and I would recommend people come and support it – it’s a great story!”

Stephanie plays Ron who is suddenly endowed with healing powers after a statue of St Anthony arrives on her bedroom floor after a mysterious flood in her town.

With her best friend Zelda, Ron sets about helping a community that is sorely in need of a few miracles. But what if she’s fooling herself? What if she hasn’t got the power she thinks she has? Maybe convincing them will be the biggest miracle of all…

The Miracle runs in the Naughton Studio for two performances only on Saturday 24 August at 3pm & again at 8pm. All tickets £6.