Claire Muireann Murphy is a performance storyteller from Galway who has brought her art to audiences all over the world, including last month’s Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado.
This week, however, she has brought the stories of young people at Clare Youth Service to life and collaborated with them for a special performance at Cois na h-Abhna.
Having secured a grant from Poetry Ireland’s Writers Scheme to extend their services to teenagers and early school leavers, Clare County Library embarked on a storytelling project involving young people at the Clare Youth Service.
Over a series of eight workshops, Ms Murphy imparted the techniques of storytelling and provided examples from her own extensive repertoire.
The participants also worked with Jackie Dermody O’Brien, library staff officer, who filmed the workshop sessions; Patricia Fitzgerald, who co-ordinated the project on behalf of Clare County Library and CYS literacy tutor, Fionnuala Tuohy.
The film clips are posted to Clare County Library’s website with links to YouTube clips of their storytelling performances.
Teresa Larkin, education manager of Clare Youth Service, believes that the storytelling medium has been a great help to the young people,
“The benefits of oral expression and development through story have been obvious as the workshops have proceeded. The young peoples’ self-confidence has developed in learning how to create and tell their tale,” outlined Teresa.
The storyteller herself was very happy with the project. “I was delighted to be involved in such a dynamic centre as CYS. A project like this will have lasting results for the participants, who are already very talented and creative. The self-development that occurred on this course will help in personal confidence, getting a job, standing up for oneself, self-belief, public speaking and also, of course, entertaining friends and children,” Claire Muireann concluded.