Voice Experiment.

Four Monday afternoons at the Everyman Palace, starting Monday 12th, 2-5pm.

Hi Folks, if you are interested in attending this workshop, here’s the deal with it. It is a free workshop for a start under the banner of Theatre Makers Ltd. As many of you who know me will know, I love to vocalise (loving as I do, the sound of my own voice!!) but also love to listen to others vocalising and especially love the sound of collective vocalisations. So I just want to experiment with human sound as a fabric that is full of all kinds of potential. I was in Vienna on my hols and was taken by the grandeur of the place and all the extraordinary buildings and public sculptures etc. You could not but be aware that they had to do with an old and undoubtedly dubious imperialism but could not but help be intoxicated by them none the less. So it got me thinking about the idea of building things out of voice sound and so here I am suggesting this. Any way, if you are interested in attending please let me know and I will put your name down. It runs for four Monday afternoons starting next Monday (12th), 2 to 5 each day. We will break for coffee and stuff and have chats.

086 0662705


Playwriting Workshop.


Wed. Oct. 5th – Dec. 7th. (Ten two-hour sessions)

Cost €300.00

Every Wednesday night, 8pm-10pm. (location yet to be decided, somewhere Cork City Centre)

Workshop limited to four places.

The workshop will end with an informal public reading (optional) which will take place after the last night. You do not need any prior experience to participate in the workshop.

Why Write A Play?

The interesting thing about writing a play, is that you don’t necessarily have to “write” it at all. Traditionally , the word “playwright” is written just as you see it here; play-wright, just like wheelwright, one who makes a wheel. A playwright makes a play.

Why is a “play” called a play? Why is “play” called play? When we think of that word “play” we may think of children at play. A useful sense of that word involves the idea of “flexibility within something”. In respect of some solid object, we may ask; is there any play in it? Especially if we are trying to fit it in a space where it is reluctant to go.

We may say that when children are at play, they are exploring play within the experience of the self. We may talk about a “play on words”. A play, in this sense is some kind of a play on reality but also, when you write for the theatre to a large extent you write for actors and again, the essence of the actors art involves the exploration of play within the experience of the self.

You may not know what you want from a workshop of this kind other than an exciting hunch that you have something to find (primarily for yourself) through writing for performers. This hunch is worth pursuing.

Jack Healy

Jack Healy has worked in theatre for over thirty years and has a very broad experience. Mostly he has worked on new plays. He has written scripts for The Everyman Palace, RTE Radio, Macra Na Feirme and Cork County Council. He has developed a number of scripts in educational contexts.  As well as developing work for the conventional theatre he has worked with visual artists, dancers and musicians to develop narrative work for the stage. As an actor, though the bulk of his work has been for the stage, he has also worked as a street performer and puppeteer.

He has written extensively for children. His play; The Man in the Moon (with Enda Walsh, based on a story of Jack’s) was premiered at the Deptford Studios London in 2009. With his own company, Theatre Makers he wrote Aesop’s Fabulous Foibles and Fables (with George Hanover) which has toured extensively throughout Ireland.

In 2013, he performed his one-man play, ‘Shostakovich’ (based on the life of the Soviet composer) as part of “The Rest is Noise” festival at the Southbank Centre, London.

Enquiries; 086-0662705  jackohealy@gmail.com


Voice. March 20th/2014


Its not absolutely true to say that we all have one, but we can say that essential to consciousness is a sense of clamor. To be conscious is to be inclined to be noisy as anyone who has ever tried to meditate will know. To be alive is to have a compulsion to utterance.

We do utter on a daily basis as part of the business of living. And yet some of us have a compulsion to engage the voice on a level above this. What more can it be?

What more can it be? That it can be more than a tool by which we communicate with one another in the simplest of terms is extraordinary. And we know that it can.

But what more can it be? If you consider the extent to which we chose to listen to people singing, by way of the radio and other electronic devices, as part of our day to day lives, it would seem obvious that the phenomenon of the human voice has come to assume a huge significance in the unfolding of the human story as we have it now. For the most part, if someone is famous, the way in which he/she chooses to use his/her voice is part of that fame.

Perhaps the best way to explore the questions implied in all of this is to take a minute to listen to your own voice and to consider what it can be for you. Remember, there was no such thing as noise before there were ears and when you hear yourself vocalise, what you are hearing is a little bit of the noise made by the big bang, which is at your disposal. A little bite size piece of cosmic noise for you to do with as you will.

Details of Stage Writing Workshop

The Stage Writing Workshop will run from Feb1st every Wednesday for ten weeks….. a series of ten two hour workshops. (Venue yet to be decided). The cost for the workshop is €200.00.

No prior experience of writing for the stage is necessary and by the end of the workshop you will have written a short play or the equivalent in some other format for the stage.

In the environment of the workshop you will learn……

To begin; to identify and dialogue with your instinct to write; to identify hunches and small offerings as invitations to write and to find a way of remembering and acting on them; to generally learn to clarify what it is you want to write about.

To look at the feelings you have around the idea of writing, to examine how they impact on you and learn to operate effectively within them.

To sit and wait with the creative consciousness and to take literary action based on the encounter; to read and negotiate frustration and inertia as progressive meditations towards creative action.

To write in spite of all; to cut through the illusions of inability and inaction to taste the freedom of commitment to one’s own mark making.

To look at writing for the stage as opposed to any other kind of writing and considering it in the context of general theatre making.

To engage your first efforts and to make a plan accordingly. To look at characters, situations and possible dramatic developments and to have a sense of where they are going and how you can bring them there.

To identify style and form; to look at different styles and formats as ways of enriching dramatic and narrative lines (does it need songs? does it need puppets? does it want to be an abstract painting?) To look at theatre in the context of art in general.

To share your work within the forum of the workshop and to examine and operate within the feelings and issues that arise for you around the idea of putting your work before the public.

To make decision based on the sharing. To listen to criticism nad general reaction to your work. Learning to edit, discard and rewrite on the basis of this and as a general part of your process…

To establish a discipline and progress accordingly.

To conclude. To bring your piece to a conclusion and to prepare to bring it to a public sharing.


Most of Jack’s thirty years of working in theatre as actor, playwright and director has been on new material. For his own company Theatre Makers he has written and produced two new scripts, the one man show; Shostakovich and the childrens’ play; Aesop’s Fabulous Foibles and Fables (with George Hanover) . In the context of Theatre Makers he has facilitated three new playwrights to first time production; George Hanover, Jody O’Neill (They Never Froze Walt Disney) and Ronan Fitzgibbon (Madame Chavalle). He has written scripts for RTE Radio, The Everyman Palace and in a number of different educational contexts. His play for children (with Enda Walshe, based on Jack’s story) The Man in the Moon, was premiered in London in 2010.

Madame Chavelle Presents…

Madame Chavelle Presents an Evening Of Answered Questions, Intrigue, Revelation and Mystery

A TheatreMakers Production of a play by Ronan Fitzgibbon

Madame Chavelle Presents

Showing over two weekends:
October Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24th
October Friday 29th & Saturday 30th

Tickets €55 includes performance and 3 course dinner in the dining room at Ballyvolanne House, Castlelyons, Cork.

To book call 025 36349 or email info@ballyvolanehouse.ie
Book online at www.ballyvolanehouse.ie here.

It is Autumn 1919. Amidst the country’s turmoil three lost souls arrive at Ballyvolane House. They seek an audience with the mysterious Madame Chavelle. Each one has a tale to tell and an answer to find, but can she really do all she claims? Can she really speak with the dead?

Theatre Makers are proud to invite you to join us for the first showing of this original and unique play. Enjoy a delicious three-course dinner in Ballyvolane House’s grand dining room and an evening that promises intrigue and revelation.

It is, after all, your destiny…


The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Jack Healy and George Hanover (after Aesop)

Being an extract from Aesop’s Fabulous Foibles and Fables (A play for children based on Aesop’s Fables)

This piece is about ten minutes long and might be suitable for performance by an older group of children for their younger cohorts.

It is performed by three sheep for The Hare who is taking a break in his race with the Tortoise.


SHEEP A. We are three sheep.
Therefore we must warn you.
Not to count us, you might fall asleep.

ALL. No do not count us
You’ll fall asleep.

SHEEP B. Aesop, now he wrote stories
Tales with funny animals
Tales with Morals, in ancient Greece.

ALL. Oh tales with morals.
Many with sheep.

SHEEP C. Tortoise hare fox and crow.
The Mouse and best friend lion
There all great stories,
Even without sheep.

ALL. They would be better,
If they had sheep.

SHEEP A. Also, There’s a woo….
We do not like to name him.
Because he eats us. Boy
He likes his sheep.

ALL. Can’t get enough
Of us tasty sheep. (Repeat to fade)

Other sheep are inclined to sneak off.

Hey, where’s every body gone.

Enter Hare Yawning…..The sheep run in panic when they hear the Hare’s yawns.

HARE. (To Audience)Ah there ye are. Anything happen while I was snoozing? No, Good. Tortoise is probably still miles off any way.

Enter sheep again….. tentatively.

SHEEP. Baah!

HARE. “Baaah” they say, all innocence, as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. Come here boys and girls, it must be a laugh being a sheep though, I mean especially if you are an outdoor type, except of course until someone starts thinking about dinner, like a human or a wolf.

SHEEP. Booh hooh hooh. He said wolf.

HARE. Ha? Wolf!

SHEEP. Booh hooh hooh. He said wolf again.

HARE. Wolf.

SHEEP. Booh hooh hooh.

HARE. Wolf.

SHEEP. Booh hooh hooh.

HARE. Rabbit.!  Hmm!? Why do ye cry when someone mentions……

The sheep look at him in anticipation and are about to cry…

HARE…. the ‘you know what’?

The sheep look at him in a bemused manner.

HARE. You know….

Hare does wolf imitation

SHEEP A. It’s all because of the boy who cried…..

SHEEP B. You say it

SHEEP C. No you say it.

SHEEP A. I said it the last time. Still haven’t gotten over it….

HARE. The boy who….. the boy who what?  What are they talking about boys and girls… the boy who cried what?


SHEEP. Boooh hooh hooh.

HARE. What are ye like… maybe ye are thick after all. Ye can’t be going “booh hooh hooh” every time someone says…… you know what. Other wise ye won’t be able to tell us ye’re story.  So let’s give it a try.  I’ll say, you know what and ye try not to cry. Give us a hand here boys and girls.

HARE. One, two three…..


The sheep stoically try to hold out, but then…..

SHEEP.  Booh hooh hooh.

HARE. Not bad… one more go now…alright boys and girls; One two three…..


Two of the sheep hold out, but then the third one cracks… and all three go….

HARE. Now this time we are going to get it….One two three….wolf….

They hold….. and hold….  they start to laugh..

SHEEP A.  (Joking now) Wolf….

The other two pretend to cry and so on. Now they make a game of it.

HARE. Now that we have that out of the way, what’s this story about the boy who cried wolf?

SHEEP. Boooh hooh hooh….

HARE. Oh for God’s sake.

SHEEP. Just kidding.

SHEEP A. Well there was this boy minding us once.

OTHER TWO SHEEP.  Bags being the boy! Bags being the boy!

SHEEP B. You were boy the last time.

SHEEP C. No fair, the boy’s the best part. I’m tired a being the villager. (To A) Why don’t you be the villager.

SHEEP A. Well someone’s gota be sheep, besides, I am the narrator. (To C ) Now go on, get over there and pretend to be asleep.

SHEEP C. (Going reluctantly) Oh alright…..

HARE. Can ye please get on with it?

SHEEP A. This boy was sent to mind us. There used to be ten of us then. I don’t think the boy was cut out for the job.

SHEEP B. So any way, I’ll be the boy and ye be the sheep.

SHEEP A. I am a sheep.

SHEEP B. Yeah except now in the game ye’re sheep pretending to be sheep.

HARE. I’m not a sheep.

SHEEP A. Yeah, what are you.

HARE. I’m a hare.

SHEEP A. Well then you’re a hare pretending to be a sheep.

HARE. Excellent this is best fun. Its almost as much fun as racing. So what happened any way?

SHEEP A. Any way, this boy was minding us and he wasn’t really up to the job.

SHEEP B. Oh Boys and Girls, the boring snore of it. Cant take much more of it.. Much prefer to be at home playing with my Nintendo wii. Or having a cup of tea. Watching the TV.

But sheep! Who invented them? Whose idea were they. Even if I was minding dogs or fish or hippopotamuses or something, well that ud be some fun, But sheep!

I could make a computer game about sheep. It would be called Baah. It would be the most boring computer game ever….

Unless of course …. Now there’s an idea….. unless of course there was a wolf in it. Wolf…. Wolf! (He begins to shout.)

SHEEP B. Wolf Wolf!


SHEEP B. Woolf Wolf


SHEEP B. Woolf


SHEEP B. Wolf Wolf


SHEEP C. What where, what what, Where where,

A AND HARE. Ba ba.

SHEEP B. He was here, he was there, He was every where. He really was, I swear

A AND HARE. Ba ba.

SHEEP B. Big as a tree,
Wild as the sea.
Made me say a prayer.


SHEEP C. I see no wolf no where


SHEEP B. But he was.


SHEEP B. He was there


SHEEP B. Just there.


SHEEP B. I swear


SHEEP C. Just now, Just there, He was you say.

SHEEP B. He really was, I swear


SHEEP B. Made me kneel and pray


SHEEP C. Made you kneel and pray you say.

SHEEP B. Realy was a scare…..

A AND HARE.Baaaaaaaahhhhhh!

SHEEP B. Oh man, that was the best fun ever. ‘Wolf’ say’s I ‘Where where’ says the villager, ‘Baah’ Says the sheep. ‘I see no wolf’ says the villager. ‘But he was here, there, prayer scare me hair’ says I. ‘Goodbye’ says the villager. ‘Baah’ says the sheep. Excellent. There must be at least two hours gone. (Looks at his watch) oh no, only ten minutes. Ten minutes.

Back to boring old snoresville. (Remembering) Here, there, prayer, scare me hair….(he laughs)….What time… only ten seconds gone…. Hey sheep. Let’s play a game. ….. We could play I spy. I spy with my little eye, something beginning with W.

SHEEP. Baah.

SHEEP B. No. Not Baah. Baah begins with a b, not w and besides there is no such thing as a baah. . So, something beginning with w.

SHEEP. Looking at him…..

SHEEP B. Give up…. Ok, its Wool Wool?. Wolf ! Wolf.

SHEEP B. Wolf  Wolf


SHEEP B. Woolf Wolf

A AND HARE. Ba ba.

SHEEP B. Woolf


SHEEP B. Wolf Wolf


SHEEP C. Again with the wolf , Where where,

A AND HARE. Ba ba.

SHEEP B. I swear he was here,  he was there.

A AND HARE. Ba ba.

SHEEP C. Where exactly where.

SHEEP B. As big as the Night
An ocean of right
I knelt and said a prayer.


SHEEP C. I see no wolf no where


SHEEP B. But he was.


SHEEP B. He was there


SHEEP B. Just there.


SHEEP B. I swear


SHEEP C. He really was just there you say.

SHEEP B. He really was, I swear


SHEEP B. Made me kneel and pray


SHEEP C. Made you kneel and pray you say.

SHEEP B. Realy was a scare…..

A AND HARE.Baaaaaaaahhhhhh!

SHEEP B. Oh ho ho Brilliant. Brilliant. Wolf says I. Wolf Says I. pie in the sky says himself, me eye. Here he was, there he was, scare in the air he was. Saying a prayer I was.

Except you know what. It came out by accident that time. Didn’t mean it. Stupid I spy and stupid W. Of all the letter to pick, I don’t know what I was thinking. The one that starts Wolf? Yikes… I nearly did it again.

SHEEP. Baah.

SHEEP B. Oh don’t ye be going saying baah when it’s too late.

WOOLF. ( Off)  Howl.

SHEEP B. What was that.

WOOLF. Howl Howl…

SHEEP B. Oh no….

WOOLF. Howl.

SHEEP B. Holy Joe.

WOOLF. Howl Howl

SHEEP. Tis well ye might say Baah.

WOOLF. Howl.

SHEEP B. Wolf! (Quietly)

WOOLF. Howl.

SHEEP. Bah Bah.

SHEEP B. Wolf!

WOOLF. Howl.

SHEEP. Bah Bah Bah.

Song. “Third Time Unlucky”, sung by two sheep and hare. All except Sheep C.

Third time unlucky
The Villager is sleeping.
Heard it all before.
Third time unlucky
Your time has come for weeping.
He’ll help you no more.

SHEEP B. Fool, Fool. I feel like such a fool.
Fool Fool, I feel like such a fool.

Third time unlucky
You’ve wasted all your chances, now you have no friends.
Third Time unlucky
The hungry wolf advances,
Some sheep’s life will end.

SHEEP B. Fool, Fool, I feel like such a fool.
ALL THREE. Fool Fool. You really are a fool.

Story Making. An introduction to creative story making.

.Lives immersed in story:

The Cultural World of the Pupils as a Resource.

This is the first in a series of lessons in story making designed by playwright Jack Healy based on his general experience of developing scripts and especially on his experience of working in the classroom.

Central to this first lesson is a bid to get the pupils and the teacher to identify, quantify and acknowledge what the pupils already know and to empower the pupil through a recognition and acknowledgement of this expertise.

The objectives of this lesson are:

To get the pupils to identify the extent to which ‘story’ plays a part in daily life.
To detail the different ways in which they ‘get’ story every day.
In connection with this to identify and list favourite stories and story sources.
For the teacher: to familiarise him/herself with the cultural world of the child.
The pupil as expert: To empower the pupil by pointing out the extent to which he/she is an expert with respect to his/her own cultural world.

Discussion: Every body needs a little bit of ‘story’ every day!!!

QUESTION: Who do we think of as needing a story every day?
ANSWER; Small children

QUESTION: Where do small children get their stories from?
ANSWER: Big people, (parents or brothers and sister etc) will tell them, or read them,  stories.

Promote the idea that everyone, from the smallest child, to the oldest person needs a bit of story every day.

DISCUSSION: Where do you get your daily supply of story from?

ASK THE QUESTION: On a day to day basis where do you get your daily supply of “story” from?  You get your food from the field, or the canteen or the supermarket, or the fridge or from your mum or dad or other adults in your life, so where do you get your “story” from?

“From your mind” or “from your experience” are also common answers. It may be necessary to clarify the question. When we ask; where do you get your stories from, what we mean is; through what medium do you get your ‘story’. A story is not a story until it is mediated in some way. What are the different ‘media’?
You can have an experience, it doesn’t become a story unless you mediate or ‘tell’  it in some way.
“From Books” is an obvious answer. Films and TV etc may not readily come to mind.

If the pupils are still somewhat vague as to where they get their daily supply of ‘story’ from, the following questions are useful for clarification.

“Hands up who watches the Simpsons? Malcolm in the Middle? Etc. Ask the pupils what other programmes they watch on TV. Make a list.
“Hands up who has seen Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Pirates of the Caribbean. Toy Story. Toy Story 2. Monsters Inc. Home Alone etc.
Check favourite films and films that they have seen recently and again make a list.

Discussion: Do the adults that you know need story, and if so, where do they get their ‘story’ from?

QUESTION: Where do the older people that you know, (mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers sisters etc ) get their ‘story’ from every day?
ANSWER: The news, news papers, gossip, talk. Also books Films TV etc. Sport.

A full list of story sources could include:

Talk, gossip etc.
Books, magazines, newspapers etc.
TV, DVD etc.
Theatre – plays, pantomimes, puppet shows etc.
Computer Games, playstation etc.
Sport as a source of story (See Below)
Dreams (See Below)
The Internet, the phone, etc. (Beebo etc)
Animated films
Tapestries and old cave drawings

DISCUSSION; Use any of these categories as a basis for discussion.

The connection between story and sport.

A huge number of stories, especially films for children have a competitive element in them. Many will actually be about a sport or game of some kind.

QUESTION: Can you name any films that involve a sport or game?
ANSWER: The Mighty Ducks. The Waterboy.  Any Given Sunday. Man About Dog. Babe The Sheep Pig.  Cool Runnings. Rocky (1, 2, 3) Rocky Balboa. Blades of Glory. Bend it like Beckham. Sea Biscuit. Happy Gilmore. Etc.

Even stories that on the face of it are not about a sport often have a competitive element in them. Look at Cuchulainn, Cinderella, Harry Potter. Shrek, High School Musical.

QUESTION: Would you ever watch a romantic film?
ANSWER; This usually meets with a ‘no’.
Mention Shrek as a romantic film that most of the pupils will have seen. Point out that many romantic films have a competitive element in them. The story of the film is often about one person ‘winning’ another persons love, often against an opponent.

Short Harry Potter Quiz. (Pertaining to the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)

QUESTION. The first Harry Potter Film has at least three different types of game, competition or sport in it. Can you name any of them.
ANSWER. Quiditch. Wizard Chess (especially Ron’s game at the end.) The House Cup.

QUESTION. Who wins The House Cup?
ANSWER. Gryffindor.

QUESTION. By how much do they win?
ANSWER. Ten Points.

QUESTION. Who gets them the ten points and why?
ANSWER. Neville Longbottom, for standing up to his friends.


DISCUSS: Recent sporting events. Also, ‘the computer game’ as a kind of story. Talk about stories that are also available as a computer game. Eg. Harry Potter.

The Dream as a Kind of Story:

This is a beginning point for the next lesson but-
Do a quick check as to any of the pupils who can remember a dream of any kind.

DISCUSSION: Is the dream a story?

Some children may be anxious to tell dreams. Perhaps hear one or two, but keep the bulk of them for the next session. (Note 4, on the telling of dreams)


Write a short account of a film, book or other story that you like, giving as much detail as possible.

Note 1: Children as experts!

Check how many times children in your class have seen the first Shrek film or the first Home Alone film.

A useful consequence of this kind of exploration is a realisation that the children are experts in all forms of popular culture that are appropriate to them (and quite a bit that is not!) It can be beneficial to explore and detail this. It can often bring out an enthusiasm in a pupil who may be ambivalent in other areas of classroom pursuit. (For short quizzes on Home Alone and The Simpsons go to www.theatremakers.net/Categories/Education.

Note 2.  Give all media equal validity.

With regard to film and TV etc promote the idea that these also are valid sources of story.
Try to avoid privileging one source of story over another. It is not uncommon for children to believe that a story must by necessity come from a book and that, in this regard, books are better than films etc.

Note 3. Spelling and Punctuation:

When doing story work, it is important not to place too much emphasis on spelling, punctuation etc.  Also, encourage pupils to consider other ways of detailing a story such as drawing or literally ‘telling’.

Note 4. A note about dream sharing:

When someone shares a dream, they are putting a private experience into the public arena. If you are facilitating this process, it is important to let those who are offering dreams know that the choice is entirely theirs. Also, with pupils in a class, they will often have dreams about one another. It is important to be vigilant about the offering of dream content that might be a source of discomfort to another class member. With regard to dreams the pupils have had about one another, encourage them to be sensitive to the other class members in the telling of these dreams.

Useful websites for film and other information.


They Never Froze Walt Disney: Irish Times Review

As a title, They Never Froze Walt Disney, is a corrective, and an indication also of the dysfunctional nature of the two characters in this slight but endearing play. As a corrective the title states a fact; as an indication it carries much of the plot, for the young-old man dealing with the young-old woman has a pedantic streak which, as a boy, he displays with a helpless charm but which, as a man, he uses with ruthless if bewildered righteousness.

In a necessary contrast, the girl/woman he once almost loved confuses words such as eulogy with elegy as readily as she confuses facts.

Her rebellious streak makes him initially protective and the way in which these conflicting but pot~ntially complementary characteristics harden and distort drives what there is of the action.

Writer Jody O’Neill doesn’t overstate the case, but arranges possibilities w:ith too little regard for likelihood (for example, if the social stigma she indicates is as powerful as it has to be here, how does the much-mentioned subsequent marriage come about?). There are also one or two moments reminiscent of other plays on the theme of young, unspoken and unfulfilled love, including even what might be called a balcony scene. But it is this insouciance which defmes the work, especially as it is carried through by the convincing performances and assured timing ofJohn McCarthy and Jody O’Neill herself.

The poignant innocence of their youthful encounters is given comic counterpoint by the. freezer lowing like a tanker in the kitchen, where home-made cryogenic procedures are attempted. If this suggests a black comedy, the suggestion in inaccurate.

Directed with a light hand by Jack Healy, with sound design by Carl Kennedy, the comedy is assured, beautifully pointed and anything but dark.

Mary Leland, The Irish Times, 10/01/2008

Theatre art to the highest standard.