Tag Archives: Kilkenny Youth theatre

Are you our next Participation and Education Officer?

Barnstorm Theatre Company is looking for a dynamic facilitator who is passionate about theatre and has strong administration skills to join its team as Participation and Education Officer. This position is responsible for supporting the artistic activities of Barnstorm, the Kilkenny Youth Theatre programming, development and connections with the theatre, young audiences, and education communities. 

To be successful in this role, candidates should be deeply curious about theatre practice and familiar with a range of creation processes. They should be knowledgeable of theatre practice in Ireland and have established relationships with the theatre and education sector. A candidate who is highly organised, has strong written and verbal communication skills, and works well with varying levels of supervision will thrive in this position.

Additional requirements for success:

  • A number of years’ experience in a professional theatre discipline.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to stay motivated and organised under pressure.

Helpful skills and experience:

  • Knowledge of Youth & Education Sector
  • Post-secondary education in theatre practice or equivalent training/experience.

This is a permanent position for 35 hrs a week with an annual salary of €30,000. Hours can be adapted to suit the right person. There is a 6-month probation period.

We are anticipating a start date for the successful candidate in late August/early September 2022.

If you are interested in joining the BARNSTORM THEATRE team and feel you have the experience, qualities and skills to work for one of Kilkenny’s key arts organisations, please forward a cover letter that further speaks to why you would make an excellent fit for this opportunity, along with your CV and three references, by Friday 22nd July, 2022 to:

Anja Terpstra, General Manager – anja@barnstorm.ie

All offers of employment with Barnstorm Theatre Company require Garda Vetting.



oedipus2_I have no natural craving for the name of king

If a person commits a crime but does not know it is a crime, are they guilty?

Barnstorm’s Kilkenny Youth Theatre presented an epic tale of Greek tragedy, ‘The House of Oedipus’, a story of one man’s family doomed from the beginning.  Following on from the success of the ultimate tale of star-crossed lovers, William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and Alice’s absurd journey into Wonderland, Kilkenny Youth Theatre took on the world of gods and men.

‘The House of Oedipus’ had a cast of 18 young Kilkenny people who presented this tale of Oedipus,  a man who kills his father and marries his mother with dire consequences.  It was adapted by Anna Galligan from four Greek tragedies, ‘Oedipus Rex’, ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ and ‘Antigone’ by Sophocles and ‘Seven at Thebes’ by Euripides.   Following a workshop programme designed to introduce theatrical elements of Greek chorus work, it was a challenge that the group were ready for.

Brian O’Hanrahan, who played Oedipus, said, “Playing the role of Oedipus was both a new and familiar experience for me.  Having played a leading role previously, I had some idea of what to expect, though Oedipus’s interesting character progression was a fresh and enjoyable challenge.”

David Collison playing Eteocles, Oedipus’ son. He said “being part of the Greek Chorus was a new experience for me and the prospect of my fellow actors and I working as one was both challenging and entertaining.”

Anna Galligan, Barnstorm’s Outreach Officer and Director of the play said “Last year we looked at a play of a small world, where everything took play inside one character’s head.  This year it’s the exact opposite, three generations of family, two countries, murders, war, and one of the great law questions – if you do not know you were committing a crime when you committed it, are you guilty? The Greeks didn’t do ‘small’!’

‘The House of Oedipus’ ran from Thursday 7th – Saturday 9th April, with a matinee on 9th April, at The Barn, Church Lane, Kilkenny.

photos by Ken McGuire

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Barnstorm_AliceInWonderland_ForWeb-1104‘I am not a child, I am nearly thirteen!’ – Alice

Barnstorm’s Kilkenny Youth Theatre presents Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  Over the years there has been the love and death of Romeo and Juliet, the twisted Gormenghast and a theatrical take on film noir, KoHL,  Kilkenny Youth Theatre now look forward to taking one of the most loved childhood stories and adapting it for the stage.

Adapted for stage by Anna Galligan, KYT’s Alice is 12 and ½ years of age and it bothers her to still be thought of as a child.  Why do all these other people get to make the decisions, confuse her and boss her? After all, she is nearly thirteen.

Alice In Wonderland has a cast of 21 young people from all around Kilkenny county. The production’s costume and set design takes its influence from the steampunk genre, a suggestion from KYT members, where the design and look incorporates technology with 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery, which lended itself perfectly to the madness of Wonderland.

James Kennedy, who plays the Cheshire Cat, says that he enjoys working on Alice in Wonderland and that “it is a unique magical world that takes you away from reality”. James loves being part of Kilkenny Youth Theatre and “feels that the connection has grown so strong that it now feels like a family.”

Orla McGovern plays the Gryphon. She says that bringing something so well-known to life is very challenging and it is great as an actor to find new ways to present such familiar characters. She said the youth theatre “lets you learn lots of new skills in a fun and interesting way” and that things are taught so that it feels like “the skills and knowledge simply sweep in”.

Anna Galligan, Barnstorm’s Outreach Officer and director of the play, says “Alice in Wonderland has seen many adaptations, from Disney to Burton. We remained true to Lewis Carroll’s original books, especially Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  The main change is that Alice is now 12 and ½ years of age; as Humpty says ‘a most uncomfortable age’.  It is a time when we begin to leave childhood and enter our teenage years. Most of our group have recent experience of this, so we thought it would be interesting to do. There are also great opportunities to work as an ensemble, especially in the larger scenes of the Queen’s Garden and the Knave’s Trial. It is an insane story so it presented us with challenges as to how we could see what is theatrically possible.’

Update: Alice In Wonderland ran to full houses from Thursday 16th – Saturday 18th April at 7.30pm, with a matinée on 18th April at 3pm, at The Barn, Church Lane, Kilkenny (behind St. Canice’s Cathedral).  It saw some of our youngest audience members yet!


Photos: ross@rosscostiganphotography.ie

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Phone: 353 86 7733391 Email: ross@rosscostiganphotography.ie

Barnstorm_AliceInWonderland_ForWeb-1007 Alice poster final



Love, hate, death, youth, kissing, fighting – Shakespeare, now he knew how to write a play!

For their seventh production Barnstorm’s Kilkenny Youth Theatre presented the ultimate tale of star-crossed lovers, William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Following on from the success of the twisted Gormenghast and the noir KoHL, Kilkenny Youth Theatre look forward to taking on The Bard.

‘Romeo & Juliet’ had a cast of 14 young Kilkenny people who presented this tale of woe, of joy, of love and hate, youth and age, life and death. In true Kilkenny Youth Theatre fashion, the production took the twist of taking influences from Japanese Manga to inspire costume and props whilst maintaining the richness of Shakespeare’s language.

Alannah Canton, 17, played Lady Capulet. She said she was excited about acting in Romeo & Juliet and says ‘It is good to see how it translates onto the stage’, and that performing in the play ‘makes it easier to see the relationships between the characters’.

Emily McGee, 14, who played Benvolio, hadn’t started to study Shakespeare in school and was nervous the language would be hard to understand but says ‘Shakespeare is much easier to understand by acting it out’ and thinks that ‘playing it first and watching it will make it easier for anyone who hasn’t studied it yet.’

The reason Kilkenny Youth Theatre chose ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was most people loved the play and some where about to study it.  When most young people first encounter Shakespeare, it is usually in the context of language and study, rather than live performance.  It was hoped that this experience would change that for the group and the young people who came to see it.

‘Romeo & Juliet’ is ran to full houses for four performances – Thursday 1st-Saturday 3rd May at 8pm, with a matinee on 3rd May at 3pm –  at The Barn, Church Lane, Kilkenny.

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'Clean livin' don't happen in a dirty town'

In their sixth production since restarting in 2007, KYT took on the genre of Film Noir in the guise of ‘KoHL’ – originally devised by Droichead Youth Theatre with Sharon Cromwell in 2008.

The Youth Theatre travelled back in time to New York during The Prohibition: gangsters, molls, illegal booze, a private eye with integrity and a newshound thirsty for a story.

Mia Swan, who has been looking desperately for her beloved sister, turns to Max Cole, a private investigator. She admits ‘I can’t say I’ve had the world’s greatest family background’ and fears for her sister’s life. The Prohibition has been in situ, to Leon Antonelli’s greatest advantage, for seven years.  He runs a ‘regular theatre’ with dancers and a show for his customers but Julia Stone, a fearless News Reporter, knows the real game. All she needs is evidence. As she goes undercover and Max seeks out Mia’s sister the story of this underworld unfolds.  Who knew what could happen in a dirty town?

The confines of the genre and the presence of stereotypes pushed the young actors in a new direction and also provided much laughter in rehearsals as the cast and director teetered between depth and superficiality.

With a cast of sixteen young people, KoHL performed to packed houses at The Barn on the 11th-13th of April and was directed by Anna Galligan.

KoHL was performed with the permission of the NAYD as part of their New Stage programme.  Kilkenny Youth Theatre is a proud member of NAYD. More info at www.nayd.ie.

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Photos: Ross Costigan Photography



Youth Theatre Week @ Barnstorm will run from 9th-13th July. It is a theatre camp for young people who are interested in drama and theatre. It will be facilitated by professional youth drama facilitators.

Each group will work towards a short theatrical piece. During the week they will look at the skills needed in creating and performing a piece of theatre including acting, voice, devising and improvisation.

The workshops will also encourage the development of confidence and social skills. All the sessions will be delivered knowing it’s the summer holidays so enjoyment and fun will also be high on the agenda.

If you are interested please read the information below and fill in a registration form or contact Anna at anna@barnstorm.ie or 056 7751266.

Where? The Barn, Church Lane, Kilkenny (behind St Canice’s Cathedral)

When? 9th – 13th July

10am -1pm             11-13 yrs.

2pm – 5pm              14 + yrs.

  • The cost is €75, with a 10% discount for members of the same family
  • Contact Anna for a registration form – anna@barnstorm.ie
  • Places are reserved on a first come first served basis and cannot be guaranteed until a deposit is received
  • Parental consent, a registration form and a non-refundable deposit of €30 is required to secure a place
  • Please make cheques payable to: Barnstorm Theatre Company




By Richard Conlon 

Paving Paradise

Cast - The Tree, Students and Protestors

Chris has a headache, a migraine, he’s off form and now he has to work with the ’geeks’ of the school on an Environmental Project, you just know it’s not going to be his week…or is it? He becomes the centre of attention not only of his peers but of local and international media, and all he wanted to do was pick up some litter at the park…Life is never goes the way you think, especially when you have a headache!

Following on from the incredible success of Burying Your Brother in the Pavement by Jack Thorne and Moira Buffini’s A Vampire Story, Kilkenny Youth Theatre chose a vibrant and thought-provoking play that asks us what is our responsibility in taking care of our world.

The play jumped between the real world of school and the unreal stories of the students’ imaginations.  They battle with working together as a team and getting a job done. Chris, always on the outside of the group, struggles more than others. He says he’s ill but is he just a layabout?

In the end Chris’s difference provides the solution to the others problem of getting the job done.

Directed by Anna Galligan, Paving Paradise ran at The Barn from the 15th – 17th April 2011 with a cast of sixteen young people.



By Moira Buffini

A Vampire Story

A Vampire Story

Following on from the incredible success of Burying Your Brother in the Pavement by Jack Thorne, Kilkenny Youth Theatre chose a tale of the gothic and the everyday: A Vampire Story.

Two young women arrive in a nameless British small town. Their names are not their own. They don’t declare their ages. Are they sisters as their assumed identities declare? Or are they mother and daughter? Are Ella and Claire vampires? Or are they troubled young women on the run?

Ella tells Frank she has qualms about killing people and frequently goes hungry. But her so-called sister has no conscience. Frank, also an outsider, thinks she’s delusional but fascinating. And while he tries to get to the bottom of her delusion, things start to fall apart, people start to disappear and her class mates begin to believe it could be true.

Written by multi-award winning playwright Moira Buffini (born in England to Irish parents), in 2011 A Vampire Story was in the process of being adapted for the big screen under the title Byzantium, with irish actress, Saoirse Ronan in the role of Ella.  In a recent interview with CultureNorthernIreland.org about A Vampire Story Moira says she writes plays for young people and wants them to be able to stage them with absolutely minimal resources. ‘All you need is a potato peeler,’ the playwright smirks. ‘A potato peeler and a pint of blood.’

And there was plenty of both when Kilkenny Youth Theatre performed Moira Buffini’s A Vampire Story to full houses from April 15th to Saturday 17th at The Barn, directed by Anna Galligan with a cast of eleven.

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By Andy Hamilton

The Exam

The Exam

Kilkenny Youth Theatre (KYT) was re-launched in September 2007, providing a vibrant programme of theatre workshops and activities to 13—18 year olds on a weekly basis.

The Exam was KYT’s first annual performance of its return.  The production was specifically chosen for both its great comic writing and relevant themes that reflect young people’s lives. This was in keeping with KYT’s policy of “theatre for young people and by young people”.

The Exam followed three sixteen year olds battling through the ordeal of a high-pressure exam: Bea, nicknamed “Two-Brains”,  imprisoned by other people’s expectations of her cleverness; Chas, a popular and chaotic underachiever, who invents his own slang; Andrew, a frenetic worrier, who is starts to think and talk like a middle-aged man and has an ulcer to prove it! They must come to terms with themselves, their peers and parents. They were joined onstage by worryingly well written examples of disastrous parenthood, some seriously self-obsessed teaching staff and “Ex”, the disembodied voice of the exam!

The Exam was written by the award winning author Andy Hamiliton – the genius behind British TV comedies “Not the Nine O’ Clock News” and “Drop the Dead Donkey”.

Directed by Ronan MacRaois with a cast of 12 (and one cat!), The Exam ran for four performances from 22nd – 24th May at The Barn.