Through the Lens: Smashing Times Arts and Health Celebration Evening

For First Fortnight – Europe’s Mental Health Arts Festival 2019

Saturday 12 January 2019, 7pm, The Long Room Hub, Trinity College, Dublin 2

Compere for the Evening: Dil Wickremasinghe, journalist, broadcaster and co-founder of Insight Matters.

Awards: daa Arts Award (Allianz Business to Arts), Dublin Bus Community Spirit Award, GSK Ireland Impact Award, National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2018.

Smashing Times, in partnership with Trinity College Dublin, presents an evening of entertainment and discussion using the arts to promote Positive Mental Health and Well-Being. The evening features performances, music, a film screening, and a panel discussion on the arts and positive mental health and well-being.

The event takes place at The Long Room Hub, Trinity College, Dublin on Saturday 12 January 2019 at 7pm and features performances of A Day Out by Paul Kennedy performed by Killian Filan and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou performed by Mary Duffin, and music by singer Carla Ryan and Rónán Ó Snodaigh, musician, poet and lead vocalist with Kíla.

The evening features ‘Setting the Stage: A Panel Discussion on the Arts and Positive Mental Health and Well-Being’ followed by questions and answers with the audience. A fascinating panel of artists and mental health experts will explore what role the arts can play in promoting positive mental health and well-being. The panel will discuss the increase in mental health issues affecting society today and ask what role the arts can play in impacting our minds and bodies, and how can we develop a deeper appreciation of the value of creativity for promoting positive mental health and well-being into the future. Panel members are Joan Freeman, Independent Senator and founder of Pieta House; Professor Paul Fearon, Consultant Psychiatrist, St Patrick’s University Hospital; Ger Ryan, actor; Mary Moynihan, writer, theatre and filmmaker, Artistic Director, Smashing Times and Lecturer, DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama; and Rónán Ó Snodaigh, musician, poet and lead vocalist with Kíla.

The compere for the evening is Dil Wickremasinghe, journalist, broadcaster and co-founder of Insight Matters.

The event is presented as part of the award-winning Acting for the Future: Theatre for Positive Mental Health project, a model of best practice that uses participative drama workshops, professional performances and post-show panel discussions with counsellors and clinical psychologists to promote active healthy lifestyles and positive mental health and well-being. The project is implemented on an annual basis by Smashing Times in partnership with the Samaritans, with assistance from a panel of advisors, and is delivered to a range of youth and adult groups and the general public.

Supporters include the Samaritans, Erasmus+, HSE National Office for Social Inclusion, ESB Energy for Generations Fund, HSE National Lottery and Dublin City Council Arts Office. Smashing Times have been awarded the daa Arts Award (Alliance Business to Arts), Dublin Bus Community Spirit Award, GSK Ireland Impact Award and National Lottery Good Causes Award for Acting for the Future.

Tickets: €5


For further information please contact the Smashing Times office on or call us on +353 (0) 1 865 6613

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About our performers and panel members

Dil Wickremasinghe, journalist, broadcaster and co-founder of Insight Matters

Dil Wickremasinghe is a social justice and mental health broadcaster and journalist and co-founder of Insight Matters. As a broadcaster Dil presented her weekly award-winning programme Global Village every Saturday with Newstalk 106-108 until 2017. She is also a regular contributor on RTE,

TV3 and in print media. Dil is an activist and campaigns for equal rights and has served voluntarily on the boards of numerous NGO’s. She is a passionate Mental Health Ambassador for One in Four, Suicide or Survive and See Change and shares her story of recovery to break down stigma around mental health. In 2011 Dil co-founded the mental health support service Insight Matters with her partner Anne Marie Toole. Along with a team of 13 psychotherapists they provide low cost, inclusive and culturally sensitive personal development, psychotherapy and counselling in their city centre based centre. Together they hope to ‘inspire change in self and society.’

Rónán Ó Snodaigh, musician, poet and lead vocalist Kíla

Rónán Ó Snodaigh is a musician, poet and vocalist from Dublin, Ireland. He is the lead vocalist in the musical group Kíla. He has released four albums to date, Playdays, Tonnta Ró, Tip Toe and The Last Mile Home. He also worked with Mic Christopher on his album Skylarking and with Breton-based singer songwriter Dom Duff on the album Straed an Amann (Butter’ Street). Rónán has composed music for nature documentaries Wild Journeys and The Eagles Return. He plays the bodhrán, the djembe, the conga, the bongos and the guitar along with many other instruments.

Carla Ryan, singer

Killian Filan, actor

Killian Filan trained at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, graduating from the BA degree in Drama Performance, receiving first class honours. He played the part of Willmore in his graduating production of The Rover by Aphra Behn which took place in the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Dublin. Earlier in the year Killian played the part of German Music composer Robert Schumann in the The Schumann Letters, directed by Peter Mc Dermott and also performed in The Conservatory of Clown directed by Raymond Keane. In 2016 Killian was selected to train at Columbia College Chicago theatre department as part of a scholarship programme. While in the US, Killian performed in several productions including plays and short films as well as an Improv Comedy show at the world famous comedy Club, The Second City. Since graduating from drama school, Killian has worked on several projects including new Irish feature film Dub Daze and short film The Long Wet Grass.

Mary Duffin, actor

Mary Duffin is a writer, director and actor for stage, screen and street theatre. She is a stage and event manager, a choreographer and a T.O.T.O. (Theatre of the Oppressed) Boal Practitioner, trainer and facilitator.

Senator Joan Freeman, Independent Senator and founder of Pieta House

Joan Freeman was born in Dublin in the 1950s, a middle child in a family of eight children. She started her counselling experience with Accord, and after a personal tragedy, she noticed there was a huge lack of suicide prevention services in Ireland, and went about establishing the country’s only organisation providing a free, professional, face to face, therapeutic service for people in the acute stages of distress. In 2006, she set up Pieta House, the Centre for the Prevention of Self-harm or Suicide. Having brought the service to such great heights, and having helped thousands of people in suicidal distress, in 2015 Joan readjusted her focus and brought the wonderful work of Pieta House to the US, opening up Solace House in 2017.  And more recently, she has found a new and exciting purpose in her role as Senator in Seanad Éireann.

Her numerous achievements as Senator include holding a public consultation on mental health, inviting the parents of children using mental health services, and those who provided these services, to have their say. Joan was responsible for creating a joint Oireachtas committee on mental health,  the first of its kind in the history of the State, and one of her most recent achievements include an amendment to legislation that will make it illegal to place children in adult psychiatric wards. The stigma of mental ill-health is gradually being lifted, and there is no doubt that Joan’s work with Pieta House has contributed greatly to that. Joan regularly speaks to groups and organisations around the country, promoting tolerance and educating people around suicide and self-harm.

Prof Paul Fearon, Consultant Psychiatrist at St Patrick’s University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin

Prof Paul Fearon graduated in Medicine from University College Dublin, and after 5 years postgraduate training in general medicine, he specialised in psychiatry. He completed his training at the Maudsley Hospital, London and was a consultant general adult psychiatrist there for 7 years. As a senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, he headed the Section of Social Psychiatry and Epidemiology where his research interests included the epidemiology and role of social factors in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He returned to Dublin to take up his post in St Patricks University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin in 2008.

Mary Moynihan, writer, theatre and filmmaker, Artistic Director, Smashing Times and Lecturer, DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama

Mary Moynihan is a writer, theatre and film-maker, and Artistic Director of Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company and a Theatre Lecturer at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. As Artistic Director of Smashing Times, Mary specialises in developing innovative, cutting edge, state of the art projects that promote human rights, peace building, gender equality and positive mental health through high quality artistic processes. Award winning projects include Acting for the Future which uses theatre to promote positive mental health, run in partnership with the Samaritans and the highly successful Women War and Peace using theatre and film to promote equality and peace. As a playwright, Mary’s work includes the highly acclaimed The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII by Mary Moynihan, Deirdre Kinahan, Paul Kennedy and Fiona Bawn Thompson; In One Breath from the award-winning Testimonies (co-written with Paul Kennedy); Constance and Her Friends and Grace and Joe – selected by President Michael D. Higgins for performance at Áras an Uachtaráin for Culture Night 2016 – and May Our Faces Haunt You and Silent Screams.

As a theatre director, professional directing credits include The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII on Irish and international tour (co-director Bairbre Ni Chaoimh); scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Abbey Theatre, Dublin; Uprising scripted by Tara McKevitt, Project Arts Centre Dublin and national tour; Thou Shalt Not Kill by Paul Kennedy, Project Arts Centre Dublin and Lyric Theatre Belfast; Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett Theatre; Orphans by Dennis Kelly, Focus Theatre; and In One Breath (Testimonies) for Smashing Times at Project Arts Centre and Helix Theatre, Dublin. As a film director, work includes the hour-long television documentary Stories from the Shadows, the short film Tell Them Our Names (selected for the London Eye International Film Festival and Kerry Film Festival) and the creative documentary Women in an Equal Europe.

Mary’s theatre and film work is physical-based and focuses on primal, visceral and intuitive responses to vulnerability and conflict and an exploration of self and the other. She focuses on the interconnectedness of the body, voice and imagination and the use of creative physical and spiritual energies, revealing the inner life through physical and intuitive engagements.

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