Priming the Canon: Me, Mollser

Priming the Canon: Me, Mollser

The Abbey Theatre Community and Education department presents

Me, Mollser by Ali White
Directed by Sarah Fitzgibbon

As part of Ireland 2016

The Community and Education department of the Abbey Theatre, in association with the Department of Education and Skills, is proud to present Me, Mollser; a specially commissioned monologue play to introduce The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey to a younger audience, telling the story of the Easter Rising 1916 through the magical power of a performance and workshop in their own school or local community.

As part of the Ireland 2016 commemorations, we are producing a nationwide tour of this work for primary schools. The Abbey Theatre is now taking bookings for both schools and venues nationwide for the first phase of our tour, from January to March 2016.

Information on the production:

Me, Mollser by Ali White, is based on the character of Mollser, a fifteen year old consumptive who appears in The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey. Aimed at ages 10+ (5th and 6th class pupils and secondary students), the play introduces the children to a strong willed and passionate young woman coping with consumption against the backdrop of the 1913 Lock-Out and the Easter Rising. Mollser is a proud Dub struggling to thrive in the overcrowded tenements but having lost none of her curiosity and idealism. She sees the adults in her world with a sharp eye and even has a sense of the ghosts who continue to haunt the building. But how did Mollser get transported to this strange school hall and will the audience help her discover how she got there?

Me, Mollser is a compelling, funny and poignant monologue performed by an experienced actor/facilitator skilled in working with a range of school groups. The actor is supported by a facilitator/stage manager who prepares the children for the play and helps run the post-show workshop. The online resources cover topics and issues raised in the O’Casey play such as the 1916 Easter Rising and the rights of the child that link with History, English and SPHE curricula from 5th class to secondary school.

(consisting of a facilitator and performer)

· Performance piece in the school hall/venue – 30 minutes

· Facilitated post-show workshop – 15 minutes

· Total running time, including introduction: 55 minutes

NOTE: The teacher will have to be present for all elements of the programme

Information for venues:

We are looking to partner with regional venues around Ireland to bring Me, Mollser to children in primary schools all over the country. A partner venue can chose to host performances of the pieces for local schools, or act as local partner and booking agent for performances in the schools themselves. In 2014, we toured to eight regional venues, and to the Belfast Children’s Festival, performing at the MAC and also to Baboró, performing in the Town Hall Studio, Galway in 2013.


· A small performance space, where the performer is ideally on the same level as the audience, a rehearsal room or studio would be perfect.

· The company consists of one performer and one manager/facilitator.

· The set can be put together in 20 minutes and travels by car with the performer and facilitator. Very minimal lighting requirements – brief tech rider can be supplied.

· The venue would need to provide the connections and contact with the local community and local schools/teachers and process all bookings and payments.

· Ticket prices, performance fees and capacity varies according to the performance space/venue and the level of local support.

· The show can be performed up to three times in one day (ideal performance times TBC but usually 10am, 12noon and after school at 2.30/3pm), and runs at approximately 60 – 70 minutes in total. It can only be performed ten times in any given week, as per equity requirements.

Information for teachers:

The web resources include four drama schemes designed by Sarah Fitzgibbon, the Abbey Theatre’s educational drama practitioner with extensive experience of the Irish primary school system. All the schemes have been designed with the performance piece in mind but can be done independently so we hope that teachers can engage again and again with this programme year on year. You can access the resources here:

Topics covered include:

· Drama: the pupils will get to engage and respond to a piece of live theatre and avail of a session on theatre making inspired by the piece.

· English: resources are supplied with the online resources including reviewing; writing documents in a variety of styles; engaging with an historical texts and artefacts.

· History: resources include archival materials of the time and an opportunity to engage with these within the structure of a drama workshop. The topics covered include life at the beginning of the last century; the 1913 Dublin lockout and the 1916 rising.

· SPHE: resources include creating an exhibition reviewing child poverty and living conditions at the time of Molser’s life and comparing it to today and a drama workshop on the rights of the child.

This information can also be found on our website:

Me, Mollser is available to venues and schools nationwide from January to March 2016 (additional dates in 2016 to be announced). If you are interested in Me, Mollser visiting your school, please send your school details and the number of children you would like to see the show to

To make sure we can reach as many children as possible please mention if you regularly see theatre shows, if there is a local venue you visit and if you sometimes partner with nearby schools. It is possible we can come directly to your school.


Set and Sound Design : Sarah Fitzgibbon and Phil Kingston
Composer: Philip Cullen
Costume Designer: Vicky Miller