Fèisean nan Gàidheal regulary support Gaelic medium primary schools in the development of Gaelic plays and the facilitation of Gaelic drama festivals to showcase their work. Angus Macleod, our drama officer based in Inverness, co-ordinates and delivers this service. For more information contact Angus Macleod on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01463 225 559
Pictures from the 2015 Argyll and Lochaber Gaelic Drama Festival
Example: Fèis Dhràma Earra-Ghàidheal is Loch Abar – The Argyll and Lochaber Drama Festival
Fèis Dhràma Earra-Ghàidheal is Loch Abar was established in 2006 to give Gaelic-speaking primary pupils in Argyll and Lochaber the opportunity to prepare and perform plays with support from drama workers.
Since then, the format of the project has not changed significantly; drama workers visit schools up to eight times during the spring term and assist teachers in preparing children for performances, which have taken place variously in Oban High School, Acharacle Primary School and the Corran Halls in Oban, and which have always attracted large audiences.
While the focus is, obviously, on the finished product, i.e. the public performances, the drama workers involved have always used their contact time with the children to furnish them with a wide range of drama disciplines and skills, from general acting techniques to prop-making skills. In the early years of the project, teachers would usually choose their materials from existing plays; several schools now write their own plays, working on them during over the Christmas term. Over the past few years, Fèisean nan Gàidheal drama workers have offered schools the opportunity to devise their own plays, and have developed techniques to allow children to take part in the creative process while working within easy-to-understand guidelines.
The project has had real benefits for the children who have taken part. Many of the participants who are involved in the project have taken part over, say, three or four years, and it is very evident that they do not forget the skills that they learn year on year. While the most obvious application for these skills is drama, it is widely recognised that theatre skills have a much wider application, building on confidence, problem solving and social skills.
Similar projects have been run in other areas, including, Uist, Lewis and Harris, Skye, Inverness-shire, Ross-shire and Sutherland.