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Students unite for classic play

Some of the cast from the newly formed Strule Players ahead of their debut production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Pictured from left, Megan McAleer (Sacred Heart College), Orlagh Duncan (Drumragh
Integrated College), Rebecca Barton (Loreto Grammar School), Ronan McManus (Omagh CBS), Hugh McEnhill (Omagh CBS) and Orla Keaveney (Loreto Grammar School).

Get ready to be transported to the balmy backstreets of New Orleans as Omagh drama students unite to present the Tennessee Williams classic ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ in the Strule Arts Centre later this week.

Ahead of the opening of the new Strule Campus in 2021, staff and pupils of the local schools have been invited to create new collaborative initiatives which will unite students from all six schools in a shared vision.

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One such exciting new collaborative initiative is the creation of ‘Strule Players’.

Established by Sinead O’Neill, head of performing arts at CBS Omagh, Strule Players is a new young people’s theatre troupe. They have merged with a unified vision; to produce fresh, innovative, creative and dynamic theatre.

Sinead said, “Strule Players comprises of many extremely talented and energetic young people from local Secondary schools in Omagh. The ultimate ambition is to provide the young people of Omagh and surrounding areas with a platform to integrate, collaborate and most importantly enjoy the process of bringing some of the most wonderful theatrical moments to life on the stage.

“Strule Players are delighted that so many pupils from a variety of schools have volunteered in both a performance and production capacity.
“They have set themselves a huge challenge in this debut play, but are rising to that challenge and the audiences are in for a treat.”

Rebecca Barton, a Year 14 Loreto student currently studying Performing Arts at CBS through the Omagh Learning Community (OLC), performs in the tragic role of the withering former society belle, Blanche Dubois. Ronan McManus, a Year 14 pupil from Omagh CBS, assumes the role of the rough, beastly and cruel Stanley Kawolski.

The role of the submissive and meek Stella Kawolski is played by Orlagh Duncan, a Year 12 student from Drumragh Integrated College who is currently studying GCSE Drama at the CBS.

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James McElhill takes on the role of Blanche’s love interest Harold Mitchell.

Numerous other Year 11 and 12 pupils who study drama through the OLC have been drafted into additional performance and production roles.
Geraldine Fretigny, head of music at CBS Omagh, has been busy bringing this musical vision to life with talented CBS musicians including Joel Sheridan, Matthew McManus and Kaeliph Dillon.

Co-producer Emma Pearson has sourced authentic costumes, props and family heirlooms in order to make the set and characters appear as authentic as possible to the 1940s era in which the play is set.

• Opening night is Wednesday, November 15 at 7.30pm while a matinee show is available at 10am on Thursday, November 16 with a final performance at 7.30pm that evening. Tickets are available through The Strule Arts Centre.

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