cork CC theatrixWest Cork Education Centre has in the past engaged in a number of collaborative projects with Cork County Council Arts Office. On this occasion, the Arts office has partnered with Cork Circus to bring an arts in education programme to primary schools. This programme has been piloted in a number of County Cork schools.

West Cork Education Centre in collaboration with the County Council Arts Office and Cork Circus were delighted to bring THEATRIX to primary schools in the Dunmanway area. THEATRIX is a creative programme which is both entertaining and educational for children offering curriculum linked performances which will showcase the mediums of puppetry, storytelling, circus skills and street theatre. The programme is designed to integrate live performances into the primary school curriculum while also providing teachers with tools for supporting drama and other curricular activities for the classroom.

Six school places were available for Spring 2015 on this subsidised programme.

Participating schools were required to facilitate two school visits which included two workshops and two performances. Places were awarded on a ‘first come first served basis’.


‘Theatrix’ is a programme of live performances and workshops devised for national schools, it is designed to be accessible to even the smallest of schools as a hall is not required. The aim is for the performances to integrate into, enrich and enliven the school experience and delivery of the curriculum.

What is ‘Theatrix’ offering?
A variety of innovative, proven and curriculum linked performances, which showcase the mediums of; puppetry, storytelling, clown, circus skills and street theatre.

Cork County Council Arts Office is subsidising these performances through its ‘Arts in Education’ programme. It is intended that costs for participating schools should amount to less than €1 per participating child.

All featured shows are highly entertaining but contain specific educational and/or cultural themes and have been devised for first level school audiences.
All shows are around 45mins in duration and require minimal space and set up.

Cross curricula themes are explored within the performances and in follow up activities.

Recent feedback for shows in the ‘Theatrix’ programme;
“This was a fantastic performance which drew on all strands of the English, Drama, SPHE and SESE curriculum. The audience was completely absorbed and engrossed in the story. Its interactive quality was of huge benefit to students with low confidence.”

(Class teacher, Liscarroll NS)

“I attended ‘Old Father Story’ with my three daughters who range in age from 3 to 11 years. ‘Old Father Story’ is a lovely combination of storytelling, participation and performance which works well for a range of ages, encouraging children to interact and learn from the stories told.”
(Kath Gorman, Associate Producer, Cork Midsummer Festival)

What does ‘Theatrix’ require from a participating school?
Theatrix is designed to integrate live performance into the primary school curriculum and to be a resource enabling teachers to utilise the performances as tools for further classroom based work. Theatrix will supply suggested pre and post visit curriculum based classroom activities.

A participating school will facilitate two visits to the school and to commit to integrating the workshop/performance material into further classroom activity. In this way it is intended that the theatrical experience can complement other aspects of pupil educational development and fulfilment of the curriculum.

Participating schools will be offered two performances, firstly the show; ‘Tallest Smallest Circus’ and then a second visit, where the participating school chooses the performance, either Indian puppetry in the ‘Trunk of Tricks’ or clown storytelling in ‘Old Father Story’.

What are the costs to the school?:
Thanks to support from the Arts Office of Cork County Council, the cost is just €25 per performance/workshop. So the cost of each visit to a school is €50 (one performance + one workshop). Total cost to a school is €100 (two visits = 2 different shows and two connected workshops)

Details of the shows in the ‘Theatrix’ programme

The Tallest Smallest Circus in the World!’

A clueless Ringmaster with no acts.

He is going to require a lot of help if a show complete with; jugglers, magicians, acrobats, daredevil clowns and a performing elephant is to reach its finale. Who will end up the star?

Links with strands of: Drama, English, Geography, PE; co-operation, co-ordination, non-competitive physical activity.

‘Old Father Story’; (performance storytelling)

**Specifically devised for children’s libraries, with the aim of encouraging the use of library storybooks.**

The father of all stories involves everyone in what he loves best: telling tall tales, getting dressed up, face-painting and going on treasure hunts!

Links with strands of; Drama, Literacy, SPHE, SESE, oral participation and creative thinking.

Lungi the Travelling Puppeteer presents: ‘A Trunk of Tricks’;

A feast of Indian traditional string puppetry, magic, storytelling and juggling.

Crafted entertainment from the exotic subcontinent, using authentic costume and music.

Links with strands of: Drama, Art, Geography, Language, SPHE, SESE, world cultures and religions.