We are delighted to welcome to Crooked House four volunteers who come from Europe. They are supported by a variety of programmes to spend from six months to a year volunteering with Kildare Youth Theatre and other projects run by Crooked House.
The first to arrive is Magdalena Gerlich from Austria. Magdalena, or Leni, is part of Austria's largest youth theatre, BiondekBühne (http://www.biondekbuehne.at) in Baden. We've had several collaborations with BiondekBühne over the years, including an exchange of young theatre makers last summer in Lower Austria for two weeks, and a Training Course for drama facilitators in Valencia last February. Leni has already built strong friendships with Irish young theatre makers through her involvement with some of the projects our two organisations carried out. She is 19 and is here helping with running the drama workshops. Leni will be with us until August 2017 as part of a European Volunteer Scheme (EVS), a learning and integration project run by the European Commission's Erasmus+ Programme.
Filip Karda arrived last week from the Czech Republic. He is a graduate of Janacek Academy of Performing Arts, specifically from the department of Drama and Education (http://english.jamu.cz/). He brings lots of skills with him, where he will be part of our team leading workshops and classes. He has experience in improv, work with puppets, theatre of the oppressed, playback theatre, and working with voice. Filip met some of our leaders and young people at the theatre exchange in Austria last year. He is 24 and his participation here is supported by his university as an internship funded by the Erasmus+ Mobility of Students programme.
Sylvester Sunke will arrive in a few weeks from Denmark. He started out with a community circus organisation called Cirkus Stjerneskud (www.cirkusstjerneskud.dk) in Allinge on his native island of Bornholm. Since then he has moved to Copenhagen to study acting. Sylvester brings a lot of physical skills with him to help develop our young people's movement and performance. He is also really interested in developing his own acting ability (especially in English and with classical texts) so he will be taking part in some of our productions. Sylvester met some of our young people (and also Leni) during our training course in Valencia in Spain last February.
Beatrice Montorfano is from Italy. She is a student of theatre, and is a dancer and teacher. She got work as an assistant of Italian Language in a school in Athy, Kildare, for 8 months, starting in October. It's part-time so she will supplement her time in Athy with volunteering in Newbridge with Kildare Youth Theatre. Her studies concern Shakespeare in "non conventional" theatre so she will take part in our classical work. We first met Beatrice when she was working in Athens with the Greek TEN-et organisation, an association of drama teachers in Greece.
Welcome to all of you!