Volunteer as a
European Solidarity
Corps participant

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ESC 9: Acting for Inclusion - 01/09/2022 to 31/08/2023

Email: crookedhouse.applications@gmail.com

APPLICATIONS CLOSED

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What is Acting For Inclusion?

Acting for Inclusion is a solidarity project and volunteering programme based in Newbridge, Ireland for young actors aged between 21 and 30. It aims to train actors in the process of drama facilitation so that they can enhance their employability by gaining valuable new skills.

 

Acting for Inclusion provides training and supervised practice in using drama to work with young people (aged 11 to 19) in a youth theatre and in schools in order to include a wider range of young people in theatre activity. Acting for Inclusion also focuses on supporting volunteers from ethnic, migrant and under-represented backgrounds.

 

Volunteers will ‘shadow’ or support professionals in the areas of: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drama facilitation 

theatre directing

project administration

They will take part in a full training programme on drama facilitation. They will be able to facilitate their own workshops and direct plays on their own, having spent some time observing, and then working (under supervision and support) to run workshops in pairs.

 

They will practice such skills as:

film-making and editing

website maintenance

facilitating youth theatre

graphic design

creative collaboration

performing in English

directing young people

There are places for 12 young people on this solidarity project. The activity runs from September 2022 to August 2023.

Who is this project for?

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Acting for Inclusion promotes the European Solidarity Corps goal of inclusion and diversity by selecting and training volunteers from countries and cultures whose backgrounds are different to ours in Ireland. The project is for any young actor from the EU and from neighbouring countries. We would
especially like to have young actors from Eastern Europe (Poland, the Balkans, former Soviet countries, Slavic countries etc) but also from outside the EU (in particular, from Muslim countries, from North African countries, from Turkey, from the Baltic states, from Russia and Euro-Asia. We also also
aim to have young people who are openly LGBTQI+ as volunteers. Their presence here models and makes visible diversity for your young people with whom they work closely.

Young people who have trained as actors in several countries face barriers often validating their choice of career, and in some countries, employment is marginal at best for actors. Our project, Acting for Inclusion, aims to increase
their access to the job market by training them in youth drama facilitation, a skill that enhances their actor-training.

This year-long programme would also show them how to set up a youth theatre and youth drama project when they return home, as well as how to use drama as a tool for social change in their own countries. Thus, they would
be better equipped to promote inclusion, overcome economic barriers, and other barriers linked to education and training in their home countries.

The volunteers will return to their countries, hopefully inspired by the liberal values we espouse in our theatre work, and enriched by the knowledge of using theatre to effect social change, to make projects of their own that
promote these values and aspire to change society for the better in their communities.

Who does Crooked House work with?

While participating on this project, volunteers will engage with teenagers and young people aged 11 to 25. Crooked House works with young people who come to our centre for drama workshops and to make theatre projects. We also work with young people in the community, where we go to give workshops (e.g. to schools and youth clubs). Most of the young people with whom we work are in the 14 to 17 age range. We do not work with children.
 
In our centre we offer drama workshops, we devise plays, and we rehearse work for performance. The young people come to separate workshops, each one tailored to their age and interests. Workshops are in the evening time and at weekends. There are between 16 and 26 young people in each workshop. Therefore, a lot of the volunteering activity happens in evenings and at week-ends.

Crooked House also visits youth clubs, schools and youth projects where we deliver either once-off drama workshops, or more usually, 10-week drama programmes. In all of these cases the drama work focuses on helping the young people develop resilience, acquire performance skills, and re-learn the skills needed for active citizenship. We have published material online about how we think drama does this (and it can be accessed here
You can also read about it, and the type of drama activities that we do, on the Drama for Youth Work website

What will we learn?

Our volunteers will learn about and practice drama facilitation. They will take part in theatre-making, learning how to perform in English alongside their Irish peers. They will learn how to direct plays and performances with young people. They will also learn about theatre project administration and project support.

In each case volunteers will ‘shadow’ or support professionals in the areas of drama facilitation, theatre directing, and project administration. They will take part in a full training programme on drama facilitation. They will be able to facilitate their own workshops and direct plays on their own, having spent some time observing, and then working (under supervision and support) to run workshops in pairs. They will be able to design promotional material, documents, funding applications, website resources and other administration activities. They will be able to shoot and edit short films.

Project Activities

During the European Solidarity Corps placement, the volunteers will take part in the following activities:

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Activity One: Making a Performance with Young People
 
1: assist directors in youth theatre productions
2: learn about using drama with young people
3: practice administration and organisation skills such as keeping attendance records, composing                        information letters for parents, updating the social media and website
4: develop marketing skills by assisting in promoting the performances and youth theatre activities
5: practice stage management abilities
6: become aware of and gain knowledge in health and safety issues associated with rehearsal, workshop          and performance.

 

Activity Two: Facilitating Drama Workshops with Young People
 
        1: understand the theory and practice of facilitating drama  
        
2: learn appropriate drama games and activities for use with young people       
        
3: deepen knowledge about group dynamics and group development
       
4: understand how to structure and manage a workshop
       
5: find and support key learning moments in workshops for participants
       
6: understand and practice how to give enriched feedback to participants in a workshop
       
7: encourage participants with mixed-abilities to work together
       
8: plan and deliver their own short workshop programme
       
9: be supervised and receive feedback and support from experienced professional facilitators.
       
10: facilitate the young people in their developmental work (ie help them arrange their own projects and                 events). Here they will develop their organisational and logistical skills (such as planning, record                         keeping and accounting). They will also develop an understanding of peer-learning. They will learn                     about theories of youth work that focus on creating learning environments for young people that                       facilitate independent learning.
         
11: share their own skills with the young people – for example, if a volunteer practices yoga he/she could                  do a yoga workshop for the young people.

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Activity Three: Youth Theatre Administration and Logistical Support
 
        1: updating the website (being able to use wix.com); 
        
2: writing and uploading blogs about their experience in Newbridge and in Ireland;      
        
3: updating the social media sites for Kildare Youth Theatre and for Crooked House;
       
4: taking short films and uploading them to YouTube and to social media – these films promote the plays                and the workshops;
       
5: helping to write reports in English about the projects we do, especially about the Erasmus+ projects;
       
6: archiving the material we have gathered over the years about Crooked House (this means ‘digitizing’                  the old posters, files, documents and records of the company and keeping them safe).       
       
 7: understanding Erasmus+ and helping to design and apply for a project.
       
8: organise access to the building for groups when necessary. This task gives volunteers responsibility                    and helps them become aware of security, access, timetabling and administrative tasks associated with              running a youth theatre. Part of this work is to clean the space once a week and to keep it tidy
     
  9: network and liaise with other agencies and youth projects in the community along with Crooked                          House staff and volunteers. This will broaden the cultural knowledge of volunteers and also give them                an insight into Irish models of youth work and of youth theatre.
     

Activity Four: Graphic Design
We reserve one position on this programme for a person who will focus on graphic design. Their activities will be:
 

        1: graphic design for logos, posters and communication material
        
2: design layout and graphics for reports and documents   
        
3: design and produce image-material for the websites and social media.
     

Activity Five: Filmmaking
We reserve one position on this ESC programme for someone who will shoot and edit films.
 

        1: shoot and edit promotional material about our activities for the website
        
2: shoot and edit documentary records of projects we do 
        
3: make creative short films with other volunteers and young people
       
4: teach some film making and editing techniques to young people.
     

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Activity Seven: Performing

  1. perform along-side their Irish peers, and in their own volunteer group, in devised and other performances for the public. This develops a range of skills and aptitudes including confidence, presence, problem-solving and collaboration abilities. 

Activity Six: Training

 

  1. develop their knowledge here and learn how to apply theory to practice. All volunteers must also attend weekly Drama Facilitation Training in Crooked House (we train in Child protection issues, safety issues, and in Drama Facilitation).attend theatre training and youthwork development courses provided by Crooked House.
    They will also attend On Arrival Training and other trainings from Leárgas, the Irish national agency.      

  2. Opportunities will be provided to apply for and attend training courses run by County Kildare Leader Partnership (in Youth Studies), Maynooth University, Youth Theatre Ireland and others. They will all be free to volunteers who are selected for these courses.

What kind of person are we looking for?

This is a project for 10 young actors, 1 film-maker or videographer, and 1 graphic designer

The actors should have training or extensive experience in performing in theatre. The film-maker or videographer should have training or experience in making short promotional and creative films. The graphic designer should have training or experience in graphic design in page and text design.

Volunteers should be aged 21 to 30.
Volunteers should have initiative – i.e. they are able to start their own work
Volunteers should be prepared for cold, dark and wet winters
Volunteers should be able to work in flexible, changing, and organically structured environments.
Volunteers should be able to work alone and in groups.
Volunteers from outside the EU must obtain a visa to work here, and they must guarantee that they will adhere to the conditions of that visa.
Volunteers must be vetted by the Irish police force, An Garda Siochána, before they can volunteer with us.
We positively encourage young actors/videographers/graphic designers who have one or more of the following criteria to apply:

  • You are LGBTQI+

  • You are from a migrant background, or your family has migrated

  • You may be experiencing difficulties in your home society related to your beliefs, cultural identity, gender, religious background (including being atheist), or ethnicity

  • Your human rights are being denied or repressed

  • You are an actor from a neighbouring country to the EU.

  • You are black, Asian, or mixed-race.

Where will I live?

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Our project takes place in the town of Newbridge in County Kildare, Ireland. Because accommodation is very expensive in Ireland (and especially in Newbridge) we locate our volunteers with families that we know. It is usually not possible, financially, to rent houses for volunteers only, as the cost is well beyond the budget that we receive, and we also have to rent it for a full year.

Therefore, we find accommodation for our ESC volunteers and we have done so in family homes.
You will have a bedroom of your own. You will have the use of the kitchen to cook your own meals. It is important to take note that the family does not cook for you. We will give you a monthly budget of €450 to pay for food and other necessities. This budget includes the individual pocket money allowance. In some cases, there will be two volunteers in each house (each with their own
rooms). We pay the owner directly €350 for the rent (this includes all costs for heating and water etc). Most houses are within 1 kilometre of the town, but some are 2 kilometres from the town centre, and we give each volunteer a bicycle to come and go to these.

Because these are family houses in which the owner lives it is usually not possible to have guests, or boyfriends or girlfriends stay over in your room. In those cases where someone is visiting you and wishes to stay it is best for you both to rent an AirBnB for the time needed.

What is the application process?

Register with the European Solidarity Corps here:

After you have registered, search for opportunities from Crooked House Theatre Company (whose Organisation ID is E10012295). We have a Quality Label. Our latest volunteering opportunity will be this one called ESC9 Acting for Inclusion. Apply for this.

Fill in the application
form below.

Wait to hear if you have been selected to move to Round 2.

We receive over 1,000 applications every year. So your chances are better if you read everything first, including the Handbook, and only apply if you match most of the criteria

You will receive an email informing you about the next step in the process. If you are successful in this, then you will move to Round 3.

Round 3 will be an interview on zoom.

After this you will be informed if you have
secured a place on this project.