Peru and Iceland class have been working on an exciting drama project.

‘Shadow Shapers’ with Margaret Callan Bergin and Garbo Productions and Lucan East Educate Together,

      Project description


  Shadow Shapers is a cross art form ‘Arts in Education’ ‘Creative Ireland’ project conceived designed and delivered by Theatre Artist Margaret Callan Bergin from Garbo Productions in collaboration with 3rd class teachers of Lucan East ET. Sarah Sweeney and Tomas Collender. The project is using creativity as an inspirational pathway to broader learning for the students. Taking the theme of ‘light and Shadow’ as a starting point the students will explore our theme through the medium of visual art, storytelling and Theatre. The project gives the students and teachers unique access to engagement with a professional playwright and Theatre practitioner. They will learn the step by step mechanics of building a story and producing and performing their own play including shadow puppet theatre.. This will include voice recordings in a professional studio and a visit to Rua Red Arts Centre Gallery.


‘Shadow Shapers’ supported by Creative Ireland South Dublin

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‘Shadow Shapers’ Supported by pasted image 0 (1)

The story so far………we  started last Oct with Margaret coming in once a week we are mid way through our project now. We started by using drama and a  projector and props to create characters for our fairytale through playing with Shadows.

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We created a silhouette of the Dublin skyline to illustrate the setting of our story. We created an art  installation on our classroom window. At different times in the day, the city is reflected into our classroom and on to our whiteboard. We learned  about landmarks and sundials and we are now using the City Shadows to map time.              

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We explored the idea of fairytales and talked about what ingredients we need to write our own fairytale. We talked about the fairytales we knew and the famous writer ‘Hans Christian Andersen’ We then started to write our own fairytale stories.


          We added a silhouette of the boy and his magic bear flying over the City of Dublin

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Margaret took our character ideas and our writing and put them all together adding some some of her own ideas and characters and writing, to create our stories.

She then read the stories for us in our ‘Shadow Shapers’ workshop.


Guinness Brewery before we put in the coloured windows for our silhouette City


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Next in  Margaret took our story and adapted part of it into a script for recording in a studio. This we learned is called a voice over. She also wrote a full script for the whole play.

We planned for our visit to Rua Red by discussing what would happen in the studio, rehearsing our script and exploring our ideas about what we might see in the gallery and what that would be like. We also gave our classes it’s own theatre company names ‘Peru Productions’ and ‘Stunning silhouettes’ theatre company.


Margaret in Contact Studio Rua Red with engineer Gerry Horan

students from 3rd Class Lucan East ET


Margaret arranged and co-ordinated a visit to Rua Red. Lorna the Education Officer and Rua Red very kindly supported Garbo Productions for this visit by facilitating an exploration of the ‘Winter Open’ exhibition and an art session after for one class, while the other class were in Studio with Margaret. Margaret and Lorna collaborated to work out links to the work of  the artists and the pieces in the exhibition that would tie into our ‘Shadow Shapers’ project theme ‘exploring light and shadow’.

Margaret brought in art teacher Dora from Garbo to demonstrate how to make your own miniature Shadow puppet theatre and shadow puppets. We made puppets for our story and tried them out on a big shadow puppet screen that was created for use in a Garbo Productions show.  We got to bring our puppets and a miniature theatre back to class.

After that we went down to the theatre space in Rua Red and did a reading from our script on stage.

We created Shadow puppets for our play




We visited the ‘Winter Open’ and explored the art and did our own collage


The start of the day in Rua Red filled with excitement!



In the Theatre Space with Margaret for a reading from our script




The Mayor presented our school with the ‘Creative Ireland’ award to support our project with Theatre Artist Margaret Callan Bergin from Garbo Productions. 

Carambola also supported our project.


The sculpture takes its form from a Celtic spiral. LEETNS reflects ‘New Ireland’ in that it embraces and celebrates diversity. We have taken a form that is familiar and deeply rooted in Irish Culture but have given it a contemporary and unique look. The sculpture echoes and has reference to the water. Lucan lies at the confluence of the River Liffey and the River Griffeen, its tributary.
Each of the stainless steel elements is unique which reflects the Multi-Denominational aspect of the ethos of LEETNS. The 8 represent the number of years within the school.
Co-Educational is represented by the two-tone spirals.
Child Centred artists Maree Hensey and Mark Ryan worked with the children to make artworks based on the theme of the living heritage. The visual and literary information gathered from the above were used to make the surface texture of the sculpture. The artworks are placed in the base of the sculpture in a ‘time capsule’, which will act as a living record. Every child from junior infants to third class made an artwork/ which was placed in the ‘time capsule’.
Democratic The final colour of the sculpture was decided by the school community.
It was decided that the time capsules should be opened in the year 2036



Renowned artists Denis and Anne Cleary visited the school before christmas  to work with us on digital art. They brought the professional dancer Deirdre with them who showed the children how to move in front of the screen. Every child had an opportunity to have a go. A selction of pictures will be hung in the school during the month of February. Check back for photos soon.

Project Description

The Project: All of us here is a participatory art project, inviting children of Lucan East ETNS to play with and explore interactive video projections that we exhibited in the children’s gallery of the Pompidou Centre in Paris. The sessions will take place under the guidance of a highly qualified choreographer. The stunning images created by the children themselves through their movements will be captured and immortalised throughout the school as a series of high resolution digital prints. The project is inclusive of all children in the school, and the final result will integrate easily into the architecture, existing and future, through the use of multiple photographs distributed throughout the circulation and social spaces.

The Theme: We will ask the children to work on the theme of growth: perhaps starting as tiny rolled up balls and growing and stretching until they reach the sky; or leaping and reaching for the stars, all ideas to symbolise their own futures and aspirations. The most minimal of movements is transformed into waves and streams of colour.

The Video Technique:Interactive video is a technique used commonly in children’s museums to bring fun to learning experiences for children. The projections we will use were intially created by ourselves for an exhibition at Limerick City Gallery of Art. This exhibition was in such popular demand from schools that it was extended for 6 weeks and was then chosen to represent Ireland at the Pomidou Centre in Paris.

The Choreographer:A qualified choreographer will demonstrate the possibilities of intervening in the projections and encourage each child to take part. She will demonstrate simple movements to the children and encourage the children to reinvent their own movements.


Anne Cleary & Denis Connolly