My name is Gerry McBride, I live in Belfast, and as a disabled actor and writer, I have been a participant in Open Arts’ drama and writing groups for almost ten years.
The Whole Moon Theatre Company’s Lockdown Drama” is not an Open Arts project, though it was very much inspired by Open Arts, it began in an Open Arts writing group facilitated by Ruth Carr, and received a lot of help from the CEO of Open Arts, Eileen Branagh, who has a small acting role in it, but it is independent of Open Arts. I received a Career Development Award, for scriptwriting, from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, via the University of Atypical.
“The Whole Moon Theatre Company” is a fictional drama group – though in a sense it could almost also refer to the group of eight actors (including myself) who performed it, all born in and/or living in Northern Ireland, a mixture of professional, semi-professional and amateur actors (including three who have been involved in Open Arts, myself, Eileen Branagh, and Beth Rodgers, and also the video editor, Michael McNulty, works with Open Arts at times). I created a YouTube channel, “The Whole Moon Theatre Company” especially for it, and that’s where it is, and will remain indefinitely.
Supported by the d/Deaf and Disabled Artists Support Fund 2020-21, managed by University of Atypical on behalf of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Department of Communities.