Saturday, March 17, 2012

Out of My Hands?

For me, The Rest is Silence is coming to an end. In terms of how much I can personally do with it, I mean. I hope to get it into the hands of people who can use it to continue the work we began with the first show.

We've raised a few hundred euro for charity, but that's not the important thing. The money isn't substantial enough to be important, yet. What matters with this play is that it's gotten people's attention. That's what I wanted from the offset: people need to pay attention to the issues it deals with. Mental health, depression, suicide: they affect so many people in the world today we can't afford to turn a blind eye on them anymore. It's not everyone who ignores the issue, of course, but when so many people had to be told who 1Life were, there was certainly a problem.

If you don't know, I'll fill you in briefly: 1Life are Ireland's only 24-7 suicide helpline. Its phones are staffed by trained counsellors and therapists. It's unique, but not everyone knows about them.

We chose to fundraise for them in the college, alongside the play, to help raise awareness of the issues at hand, and to help them keep the phones working. Yes, they receive plenty of support already, but when lives are at risk, is "plenty" enough? Not for me.

So, we put on a play, sold some bracelets and keyrings, wore bright yellow t-shirts and generally did a good job of telling the people of the college who 1Life were. Incidentally, for the first time since I started in the college we sold out the play. There was a great response to it, and a second college has agreed to host a show of it next week. This is before it goes to the competition on Thursday.

But I wonder if I have to let the script out into the wider world. It's something I'll need to talk to the people behind the phones about: do they want to attempt to distribute the script to theatre groups, schools and colleges themselves, or do they want me to try get it put on somewhere else? The cast aren't free this summer, not all of them, anyway.

I want to keep it going, yes, but I don't know if it would be a case of me driving the project. I mean, I would love to, but it's up to them. What do you think, Reader? Is this something I should push myself, or something I need their help with?

Either way, I had loads of fun with the play (you know, aside from the really sad parts of it), and it received a lot of positive feedback from the first audience to see it. Someone's even coming to see it again!

Let me know what you think. And if you want to know when the next shows are, visit this page:

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