Desert Fish Productions is an issue-based theatre company addressing bullying among young people, using a drama based model for confronting social issues.
Drama has the capacity to empower young people to take an active role in creating change in their own lives and communities.
Orla graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2000 with an MA degree in Drama and Spanish. After graduating she worked as an actor and outreach worker with Wicklow based theatre company Artslab Ireland, before becoming a freelance drama facilitator.
Freelance work included issue-based projects with organisations such as St. Columb’s Park House, the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Navan Travellers Training Centre; Trinity Access Programme and Balor Developmental Community Arts Group. Many of these projects involved socially marginalised young people and adults, including those with addictions, lone parents, victims of violence, and all were based on the concept of change.
Jenny Macdonald (pictured) graduated from McMaster University, Ontario with an honours degree in Drama and Human Rights. She worked as Company Liaison Director for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before returning to Canada to work as Educational Coordinator with the Tarragon theatre in Toronto. In 2000 she gained a Rotary scholarship to do a masters in Creative Writing in Trinity College Dublin. After graduating she worked as Arts Coordinator with the Trinity Access Programme, before going into freelance drama facilitation and education. After many collaborations Jenny teamed up with Orla Hanson, and became Co-Director of Desert Fish.
Desert Fish Productions teamed up with Children in Crossfire to take part in the 8 Good Reasons Project, a Department for International Development (DFID) sponsored 3 year project that aimed to promote active citizenship by providing training for teachers and using Creative Arts as a tool for social change. Desert Fish Productions created a piece of theatre, ‘Not My Problem’, as part of the project. The play was informed by the voices of young people from schools in Northern Ireland and the local and global issues that are important to them. The play toured around schools in Northern Ireland to raise awareness about a range of important global issues, inspiring young people in the schools to take action.