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Photo by Paul Blakemore.

Truth or Dare

Written by Jennifer Farmer. Directed by Orla O’Connor.

When learning to accept the truth, a group of young people and those around them discover that the right choice is not always the easiest one. Do they dare find the answers they might not want to hear? A series of interconnecting stories explores what happens when saving yourself could mean hurting the ones you love.

This production was part of the Creative Gymnasium project, which the Belgrade Theatre Community & Education Company championed to stimulate engagement with the arts as a way to promote health and well-being – both through participating in arts activity and as a way of exploring key issues.

Orla O’Connor, Education Officer (Young at Risk) said:

Truth or Dare focuses on mental wellbeing and has been devised by the group working closely with the writer Jennifer Farmer. The process of making the show has been an exciting journey creatively but has also challenged the group’s perceptions of mental health. Throughout the group has spoken openly about mental wellbeing and we hope that this production prompts others to talk candidly about their own mental health.

“Acting Out participants have not only worked creatively on this show but have also taken on production roles which has given them an insight into the different jobs involved in putting on a production in a professional theatre.”

Acting Out participant and cast member, Carla Jade Martin commented at the time:

“All the group have improved in their improvisation skills and have had the opportunity to develop new skills in how to rehearse their lines. I find the work stressful because we have to put our effort in throughout our own time. Also we are contributing more hours than we normally contribute. I find this hard and on-going, but the reason why I think it is worth the stress is because I want to achieve a distinction.

“At the start of the process, I didn’t really have any interest in or opinion about the play but throughout all the work that has been contributed, I am starting to enjoy it more and get involved. I also take the show seriously and contribute to the best of my ability.

“I think that the show is relevant because we are teenagers and the show is about mental health, sexual health and drink and drugs. I think that because teenagers are growing up and learning to know right from wrong and wrong from right, this show is perfectly relevant. It gives an idea of what teenagers get up to in their free time and what the outside world is really like.”

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