Speaking Up festival happening in May

THE Speaking Up Laois Festival of Speech will take place on Saturday May 11 in the Dunamaise Arts Centre. The festival which is being held in aid of the Dunamaise Arts Centre is being organised by Orlagh McCrory and Frances Harney.

THE Speaking Up Laois Festival of Speech will take place on Saturday May 11 in the Dunamaise Arts Centre. The festival which is being held in aid of the Dunamaise Arts Centre is being organised by Orlagh McCrory and Frances Harney.

The aim of this festival is to provide a platform for children to communicate by encouraging clear, expressive speaking, developing creativity and enhancing communication skills. According to the organisers, research has shown that childrens’ language skills have greatly deteriorated and now, more than ever adults need to provide opportunities for children to learn to communicate well. They also need to build their confidence by providing opportunities for them to speak in public.

The benefits of taking part in the festival include increased confidence and self esteem, the opportunity to perform in public in the Dunamaise Arts Centre in a supportive and friendly environment, the opportunity to share imaginative and vocal skills, and to receive positive verbal and written feedback from a qualified adjudicator.

It is hoped to raise funds for the Dunamaise Arts Centre which has been home to many speech and drama performances over the past number of years. “Like every other theatre in the country, it is struggling financially. All proceeds from this festival will go to the Dunamaise Arts Centre so please support this fabulous local facility”, said the organisers.

The festival is open to all primary school children in Laois from junior infants to 6th class. Children are asked to perform in front of an audience. Medals will be awarded in each category. There are two categories and they are poetry speaking and poetry writing. Poetry speaking is open to everyone from junior infants to 6th class and students will have to speak a poem from memory. Sample age appropriate poems will be available in the schools.

The poetry writing competition is open to pupils from 3rd class to 6th class. Students can submit a poem on any topic which may be spoken or read. The emphasis in the festival will be on the childrens’ own interpretation and effort. For more visit www.dunamaise.ie or contact 057 86 63355.