A series of short-form digital pieces created by a panel of theatre makers, musicians and writers who engaged with residents in Nursing Homes and Care Homes across Ireland is now available to view online
Bringing It All Back Home -Through the Window is a series of short-form digital pieces created by a panel of theatre makers, musicians and writers who engaged with residents in Nursing Homes and Care Homes across Galway and in Longford and Dún Laoghaire last summer and then researched, wrote and presented digital vignettes inspired by those engagements.
At the beginning of summer 2020, Town Hall Theatre Galway, Backstage Theatre Longford and Pavilion Theatre Dún Laoghaire invited a number of Nursing Homes and Care Homes in their area to nominate a resident to interact with one of a panel of local artists.
The artists then connected (via phone or Zoom or, in some instances, via safe visits) with the resident and with the resident's family, listening to their stories and created a series of short-form vignettes for broadcast on social media and digital platforms. The digital stories feature a diverse range of subjects, from recent experiences to fond if distant memories of childhood and varied lifetimes.
This unique intergenerational initiative, created to shine a light on older citizens affected by the lockdown, was designed to show collective support for older citizens and the people who care for them, especially in times of crisis.
The outbreak of Covid-19 early in 2020 was a source of significant stress, worry and perhaps even fear for many older people and the restrictive measures put in place to deal with the crisis - particularly in Nursing Homes - increased the social isolation experienced by many. As the project progressed, it expanded to include people living outside of care home settings and others deeply affected by the lockdown.
Bringing It All Back Home -Through the Window was funded by Creative Ireland, Galway City Council and Longford County Council as part of the Irish Government’s campaign, Getting Through Covid-19 Together, which aims to support people through the restrictive measures that have been put in place to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.
The campaign emphasises the importance of collective support and staying connected to others, and while all of us are experiencing different concerns, it highlights: "no matter what you’re going through, let’s stay connected and make it through, together".
The lead artists working on the initial project were Rena Bryson, Hazel Doolan, Órla Mc Govern, Leo Moran, Zoe Ní Riordáin, Emma O'Grady; Oisín Robbins, Padraig Stevens; Ruth Smith, Maria Tivnan.
Musicians and singers were Niceol Blue, Paul Houlihan, Bríd Treasa Ní Ghaoithín, Jarlath Tivnan, The Screaming Orphans. Creative Co-Coordinators were Maisie Lee and Fionnuala Gygax. Videographers and Editors were Eavan Aiken, Evan Kelly, Fergal Scahill.
The Town Hall, Backstage and Pavilion Theatres are grateful to RTÈ, to the Arts Council, to the project’s funders Creative Ireland, Galway City Council and Longford County Council, to all of the participating artists and musicians, to the management and staff in each of the participating Nursing Homes and Care Homes and especially to the very, very special participating residents - Maisie Gallagher, Bridie Higgins; Sr. Madeleine Houlihan, Mrs. Maura Howard, George Morrison, Liam Rogers, Steven Simmons. Thank you all!
To view each of the videos in the series, visit www.tht.ie