Introducing the creator of The Letter – Gea Gojak.

Exploring the universal theme of conflict and its impact on children this brand new piece of theatre for young people will carefully unpack and explore questions around belonging, survival and what it means to be a child during a period of conflict.

Working collaboratively with a group of young people from Sacred Heart School over an intensive period of four days Gea and her creative team (Luke Casserly, Gerry
Horan, Claudia Lamantea and Goran Zelic) have opened this sensitive topic. After the workshops they returned to rehearsal room, and in collaboration with actors and
puppeteers Cillian O’ Donnachadha and Seán T. Ó Meallaigh, they begin making this new piece of theatre , that will be presented as work in progress for Ready Steady
SHOW! as part of SCRATCH: A mini festival at The Civic this May.

 We asked Gea a few questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a theatre maker born in Pula, Croatia. I finished BA studies in Acting and Puppetry at the Academy of Arts in Osijek, Croatia, and Master’s studies in acting at the Arts Academy Novi Sad, Serbia. As an actress, I worked in theatres, on film, and on television. Several years ago, I transferred my focus of interest to theatre directing, mostly dealing with socio-political topics. In prominent theatres in Croatia and Serbia, I produced engaged international and domestic plays, devised theatre, and participative projects that raise questions and stimulate and encourage critical thinking, activation, and development of the audience. Since moving to Ireland (2019) I have proceeded with my professional development participating in various residencies: MAKE 2022, Next Stage (DTF and Forum Theatre), Abbey Theatre Resident Director Programme 2022, Activate Residency- Backstage Theatre 2022, 9th Pan Pan International Mentorship, and I received AIC Bursary Award 2021 for Collaborative Arts and Cultural Diversity. Currently, the biggest occupation in my work is a critical examination of the idea of national identity, nationalism, war consequences, and the nature of humankind. I wish to explore those topics through multidisciplinary theatre projects for adults but also in the theatre for young audiences and children.

What is your piece called?
The Letter (Working Title)

Who is this for?
Children aged 9+

What  themes are explored in the piece?
In the piece, we explore themes of friendship, enmity, conflict, fear, diversity, care, and hope.

What will the piece look like and how will the audience engage with it?
This will be a multidisciplinary piece, using elements of puppetry, stage design, and original composition to tell the story of a young boy who finds a best friend in his imagination. One day he receives a letter which gives him comfort and hope for the future.

Other Info:

  • We have collaborated with over 60 children as part of the creative process.
  • The piece was inspired by the personal story of Goran Zelic (one of the project’s collaborators) who grew up in Croatia in the 1990s while there was a war taking place.
  • The stage design was inspired by the artwork generated from the different groups of children we worked with over the past few months.