Here and now at Baboró Festival

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Every one of you has a story. Be sure to be telling – so said actress Julie Sharkey in her performance about hard-working ‘An ant called Amy’ by director Rymond Keane. Ant finally stopped rushing so much and found happiness. And we at the end of this play were sending our warm thoughts to people who are special to us. We were sending this in ballon we blow by our imagination. I totally slowed down when I was a volunteer at the Baboró International Art Festival for Children.

Those magic lights from theatre still shine inside me. Even my Instagram app stopped working in the days of festival. So, without any distractions, I could be focused on the here and now. Primarily in my role as a “Safety Officer” in the theater, but also, of course, in the performances I watched. I witnessed how children experienced theater. And how theater brightens them and transports them to various worlds that turn out to be our charming lives anyway.

In the paper world of Club Origami by Takeshi Matsumoto, an interactive dance show was taking place. I almost cried with happiness, when I discovered wonders of papers and saw children come on stage to spill a mountain of torn paper. They sensed it themselves, the actors didn’t have to tell them: “Come on’. They threw pieces of paper up, and down, at other children and at me. When the lights went out, I lay down on the paper pile and experienced incredible happiness.

But also theater become ‘The Shape of Quite Feelings’ by Maise Lee, when I was sitting with the audience in the darkroom of the Blue Tea Pot Theater with the monsters representing climate change. What shape and color is climate change for me? What a monster it is! Do you feel it in your body? Some children wrote that it comes from the Himalayas, is brown or purple, cold and hard as ice. Is there anything we can change?

Volunteers I met.
Photo by Sinéad McPhillips

While I looked out from the doors of the An Taibhdhearc Gaelic theater onto the street of Galway, I saw our colorful shared home, with Charlie Byrens’ bookstore just around the corner, and the feeling that I knew I had met so many different people in this city. I can tell them my story. And people I meet share their stories with me. Because we want to listen to ourselves here.

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