Voyage of discovery for Wexford teens

By Amy Lewis

THIS PICTURE AND BELOW: Students of Discovering Drama on stage at the Jerome Hynes Theatre during the production of 'Turning Point'.
THIS PICTURE AND BELOW: Students of Discovering Drama on stage at the Jerome Hynes Theatre during the production of 'Turning Point'.
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THIS PICTURE AND BELOW: Students of Discovering Drama on stage at the Jerome Hynes Theatre during the production of 'Turning Point'.

Several Wexford teenagers shone the spotlight on body image, bullying and other social issues when they treaded the boards in Wexford Opera House with Discovering Drama's 'Turning Point'.

Eighty of Olga Conway's talented young performers captivated a large audience when they staged two four-act shows based around these topical issues.

Olga said that the unique performance received a very positive reaction.

'It was absolutely brilliant,' she said. 'Many of the parents in the audience have been there since I opened [Discovering Drama] 13 years ago so they are seeing their four-year-olds suddenly being 17-year-olds. The students were very passionate and energised by the plays and the parents equally so.'

Olga searched for the scripts for each of the shows following a conversation with her students last year. When she asked them what kind of stories they would like to perform next, they said that they would be interested in highlighting some social issues through drama.

'One of the play looks at bullying at the turn of the century so it is a bit different. I find if they can remove themselves from their own situation, they can look into the topic properly,' she said. 'Another one was made up of small little scenes about different issues but it was very much a comedy.'

Olga's younger students will be next to take to the stage when they perform 'The Wizard of Oz' in the Dun Mhuire in June. All of the students are also looking forward to an upcoming acting for camera workshop, while others will participate in a stage combat class.

'Certain students attend the Discovering Drama classes for different reasons. Some love performing while others do it for self-confidence,' said Olga. 'We make sure there's something for everyone.'

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