IT Sligo Remembers 1916

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Theatre, music, song and academic discourse will shape an extensive programme of 1916 commemoration events at Institute of Technology, Sligo this month.

As part of the Ireland 2016 commemorative programme, the Department of Education and Skills has provided time for schools, colleges and third level institutions to commemorate and reflect upon the events of 100 years ago

Members of the public are invited attend a series of free events at IT Sligo on Tuesday, March 15th, which will examine and interrogate the 1916 rising from a number of perspectives: the ceremonial, the musical, the theatrical, the visual and the academic.

The focus of the Institute’s commemorations will be on Tuesday, March 15th – Proclamation Day.

Proclamation Reading
The programme will start with the raising of the National Flag over the Institute at 12 noon.  A group of students will then read the Proclamation of the Republic in both Irish and English.  They will also read extracts from speeches by Countess Markievicz and a letter by Seán Mac Diarmada.  The Institute Choir and members of the Traditional Musical Society will add to the atmosphere of the occasion.

Film
From 1-2pm, the drama and film “Installation” will be shown in Room A1060 beside the Institute’s Yeats Library.  This will interpret the historical events of the period around 1916 by focusing on the diarist Joseph Holloway, an architect who had a passion for the theatre and whose papers in the National Library provide a valuable record of theatre in Dublin around the time of the Rising.  The installation will operate on the basis of letting small groups enter the space to see a short performance by an actor from the Institute’s Performing Arts Programme together with some film and video footage.

Music
Throughout the afternoon, there will be musical performances along the main concourse by the Institute Choir, Traditional Music Society and individual performers, including a number of nationalistic “parlour songs”.

Theatre
At 2.30pm, the drama “Kathleen Mavourneen” by P.J. Bourke will be presented in Institute’s Black Box Theatre.  This melodrama from the period shows the popular entertainments around the time of the Rising.  It will be followed by selections from The Plough and the Stars by Seán O’Casey providing a total performance of approximately an hour and a half.

Exhibitions
For those who go to the Yeats Library, there will be two exhibitions. A series of photographs of the Rising from the Westropp Collection at the RIA will be displayed in the Social Learning Zone on the Lower Ground Floor.

Also exhibited will be banners from the Sligo Through the Decades project. Library staff from the Institute have worked with 30 Sligo transition year students to examine local history in the one hundred years since the rising. Each group of students took a particular decade and highlighted a number of significant events or developments.  These were collated into presentations and then images and text were transferred to 10 pull up banners.

At 6pm, there will be a second opportunity to experience the Joseph Holloway installation as well as a second, slightly shortened version of the performance of selections from the plays Kathleen Mavourneen and The Plough and the Stars.  Tea and coffee will be served in the concourse just outside the library.

Talks & Lectures
As a follow up to the theatrical and other events of the day, two talks in the evening will provide some reflection on aspects of the Rising. These will be held in Lecture Theatre A0004 and will begin at 7pm with Dr. Miriam Haughton, Lecturer at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway speaking on “Mná na hÉireann 1916 – 2016: Gender Representations and Politics on Stage and Off”.  Dr. Haughton’s talk will consider the representation and role of gender politics in the narratives of 1916 that remain embedded in apparatuses and ideologies of the Irish Republic today, interrogating how such gender politics shaped the representation and role of women particularly throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, both in storytelling and society.

At 8pm, Dr. James Moran, of the School of English Studies at University of Nottingham will speak on The Rising and the Theatre. His talk will focus on Seán O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars which has become central to debates about the legacy of The Easter Rising.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information on the official programme of commemorative events nationwide, visit www.Ireland.ie.

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