Throwing Shapes – The Kabin Playwriting Project

Throwing Shapes – The Kabin Playwriting Project

In early 2019, the Kabin Studio teenage and young adult group was awarded an “Arts in Context” grant from Cork City Council Arts Office. The purpose of receiving the grant was to:

  • Enable an existing group of local young musicians to write a musical play
  • Collaborate with musical director David Hayes
  • Work with the Cork Midsummer Festival in order to present a demonstration at the festival in June 2019
  • Begin a creative process whereby we could grow the project with future funding applications 
  • Empower the participants to take control of the project in order for the work to grow from the group members

This fund allowed The Kabin Studio to venture into a new area of expression. Using devices such as improvisation, creative writing workshops and collaboration (with David Hayes) we began to arrive upon new creative techniques. We used various locations which offered further dimension to the development of the work. The members of the group began to become closer, share their ideas more readily, try new things and take more ownership of the project. A profound sensation occurred during the process. The material shared and later sculpted into a first draft was personal, honest and original. We received feedback from David Hayes throughout the journey to help us stay loyal to our proposed desires. We eventually formed a demonstration of our play to be shared as part of Cork Midsummer Festival in Douglas Park in association with Cruinniú na nÓg. 

The Arts In Context award enabled The Kabin Studio to explore a new dramatic artistic direction with its regular participants. Ophelia McCabe and Garry McCarthy devised fresh and often improvised methods to achieve the desired results. This lead to fostering a deeper connection within an already existing group of young local artists. Both of the  facilitators enjoyed the challenge of creating an atmosphere that could lend itself to the dramatisation the participants work. The support offered by the award made it possible for us to create a completely new work, present it as part of respected festival and support a youth group to achieve their goals. 

Additional ways in which the Arts In Context award impacted upon the The Kabin Studio:-

  • Created a new link with Graffiti Theatre
  • Deepened the connection with Cork Midsummer Festival
  • Generated new interest for the participants in – acting, playwriting, theatre and music production
  • 3 of the young people went for auditions for The Young Offenders and were placed on a shortlist. 1 of the members was an extra on the show
  • Deepened the bond within the group and enabled new friendships
  • 3 members of the group became volunteers for the Kabin Studio as a result of the project
  • A new Kabin Youth Council has been formed by the participants 
  • The group is very excited to grow the project and take greater ownership and development of their story. 

The demonstration of excerpts from the play was presented at one public performance. Cork Midsummer Festival in association with Cruinniú na nÓg and Douglas Park Cork offered us a twenty minute slot at the festival. We shortened our piece to ten mins and presented it as a blocked reading. The purpose of the presentation was to share where the idea was at that point in time and to provide a deadline for the group to pull the narrative together. An audio recording of the play will be released in the coming weeks.