Leading local dairy company Dale Farm has partnered with the Grand Opera House and Belfast theatre company Pintsized Productions to develop a live theatre tour that brings the importance of farm safety to life for primary schoolchildren.
Supported by Arts & Business Northern Ireland, Dale Farm’s ‘Seasons of Safety’ will tour 21 rural primary schools throughout County Antrim in May and is the first project of its kind that the Grand Opera House has taken on tour.
Whilst the three-cast production will be open for all ages of primary schoolchildren to experience, a workshop element will follow each performance aimed at P6 and P7 children, exploring themes and learnings emerging from the play. Schools will also be provided with farm safety resources for teachers to use with their classes in their own time.
Following its primary school tour, the play will be performed live on 18th May at Balmoral Show as part of Dale Farm’s presence at the annual farming event.
Seasons of Safety follows the story of Dessie, a child who travels from the town to the country to spend the school holidays with his family. Whilst there, Dessie befriends Becky, a young girl who lives on a local farm and, through a number of amusing exchanges and adventures, educates him about the importance of being ‘farm safe.’
“Dale Farm’s Seasons of Safety explores the various hazards at farm level throughout the changing seasons and how to avoid danger,” explains Caroline Martin, Head of Marketing, Dale Farm.
“Farm safety remains a pertinent issue and major concern amongst the agricultural sector and as Northern Ireland’s largest farmer-owned dairy cooperative, Dale Farm is keen to help educate the next generation of farmers.
“Working with the experts from the Grand Opera House and Pintsized Productions allows us to use the power of performing arts to tap into young minds and address the issue of farm safety in a way that is engaging, entertaining and, most importantly, educational in style.
“We liaised with the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland to ensure the production was suitably scripted and covered the most pertinent safety risks on farms for children. We look forward to seeing how the play resonates with the audience in schools and at Balmoral Show this Spring,” Caroline said.
Aine Dolan, Creative Learning Manager, Grand Opera House, added: “We are thrilled to be working with Dale Farm and Pintsized Productions to deliver our first touring school production, ‘Seasons of Safety,’ which addresses an extremely important theme in a delicate, age-appropriate way.
“It is commendable that Dale Farm has recognised how live theatre can channel an educational message and we are grateful for their support, and that of Arts and Business, in making this initiative happen,” Aine said.
Pintsized Productions, now in its tenth year, is a professional theatre company based in North Belfast which supports emerging artists.
“Pintsized is proud to be staging this production which brings theatre right into the hearts of schools in rural communities and, using our talented young artists, puts the importance farm safety firmly centre stage,” added Gerard McCabe, Artistic Director, Pintsized Productions.
Continuing its connection with the arts sector and commitment to supporting family life in Northern Ireland, Dale Farm will be lead sponsor of the Grand Opera House Pantomime for a fourth year.