Fusion Theatre is a Cross Community Youth Theatre Group that engages, supports and develops young people through the medium of drama and musical theatre. Fusion aims to engage and develop the children, young people and their families through a positive and stimulating medium, helping them to develop new skills whilst promoting positive physical and mental health.
Our specific goal and ambition for the receipt of this funding is to develop our current premises so that our physical environment actively enhances the wellbeing and education of the cast. Specifically, we have three aims. Firstly, to improve the physical appearance of the building. Secondly, to improve the physical comfort and practical suitability of the building and finally to establish a learning zone.
Our first goal to create a more aesthetically appealing space. This could be achieved quite simply by painting the now bare walls in our rehearsal room.
In addition to making the premises more attractive we have a more significant goal of making the premises more comfortable and practical. Currently, the unit is heated with large electric blow heaters. Due to the size of the rehearsal space these heaters need to be switched on well in advance of rehearsals starting. A heating upgrade to wall mounted heating would make a very positive impact. We have been advised that this would be the most physically and financially effective means to heat the building.
Our third improvement goal is to create a distinctive learning zone, reflective of our commitment to promote and extend our inclusive ethos, community bonds and promote the mental and social wellbeing of the cast. To accommodate the individual needs of the cast we envisage the creation of a chill out zone. This area would be of benefit to all, particularly at school exam times when many of the cast report increased anxiety. The area would of course be of particular benefit to those members of the cast with ASD.
We envisage that this learning zone could also be used to develop life skills and promote peer learning. The chair of the committee is a qualified nurse who can provide CPR training for the cast. The facility could also be used to invite outside agencies in to deliver talks and workshops.
We would further like to be able to add some musical instruments to this zone. Currently Fusion has one piano that some children avail of to both learn and practice. Some cast members are currently instructing friends who are not in a position financially to engage in formal lessons. The addition of a guitar and for example, some percussion instruments could extend this opportunity for peer learning.
Music and drama are particularly beneficial in promoting good mental health. Drama offers a platform to explore feelings, develop self-confidence and promote positive self-esteem while music elevates the mood, lowers stress levels and enhances cognitive function.
Our latest production - Joesph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Sept 2018
As well as music and drama, our young people can participate in activities such as photography, social media marketing and filming. For example, they can help with the making of trailers for use on social media and the taking of publicity photos. The editing of which could be done if we had the equipment to do so, including a computer and camera with video function. Fusion is also committed to promoting the physical wellbeing of the cast. Our choreographer not only prepares the cast for performances but engages them in weekly dance sessions. Dance improves coordination and is an excellent aerobic activity, which helps build muscle and flexibility. Research indicates that when young people regularly participate in aerobic dance, they improve levels of fitness and lower their risk of obesity and heart disease.
The upgrade of our rehearsal space will allow our cast and volunteers to work effectively towards achieving excellence, enabling them to bring the benefits of live theatre to our community.
What do people think about Fusion and what difference do we make to people's lives?
I can proudly and happily say that Friday Evenings performance by the Fusion Theatre Group of The Beautiful Game was just simply magnificent. A moving,
powerful and thought-provoking play which captures the sad reality that our parents and grandparents had to face during the worst years in Northern Ireland's history.
The past is a lesson that we all have learnt most difficultly, yet it is in the most difficult of circumstances that we learn and gain the most. I am sure that in
1960-1970's that the men and women of that generation would have never have imagined the day that there would be peace on this island. Yet it has arrived
due to successive talks by both governments but more importantly its people. This production and cast captured this so well and I am grateful and blessed to have
been able to see such fine people and their acting and singing abilities on display!
Viva The Beautiful Game
Let Us Love In Peace
Fusion provides a platform for young talented people. They have never ceased to amaze me. I could name many who are
exceptionally talented but all have different gifts. Keep doing what u do best - continue to entertain and amaze us. Thank u.
Congratulations Fusion on yet another triumph! Starlight Express was simply wonderful. Such an energetic, lively feel good performance and the audience loved every minute of it. It was musically and visually stunning. Well done on getting 52 young people to the stage without breaking any bones....as far as I know! The leads were all excellent and looked as though they were enjoying every second. Special mention has to go to Poppy, what a voice, Pearl, a great all rounder and, top of the list for me....Rusty. His characterisation, his singing and beautifully effortless skating were just a joy to watch. Well done to all and have a blast for the rest of the run! Congrats Ian, you're nuts!!!!
May Marshall (Parent) – “After an outstanding performance of Les Miserables, I am so proud that my son is now part of Fusion Theatre and look forward to him developing further.”
Aine Ryan (Parent and Volunteer) – “Since my daughter Caoimhe joined Fusion two years go, I can see such a difference in her confidence. The team really work so hard with the young people. My son then joined last year and is also seeing many benefits of being part of this fantastic group. Due to the work that Fusion do for the community and most importantly the children involved, I decided to give something back and became a chaperone and committee member last year. My husband also now helps out with set building and back stage and my youngest son cannot wait until he is old enough to join, we have become a Fusion Family.”
Mark Wilkinson (Volunteer) – “I have been helping out at Fusion for over 10 years now as my step-sons have been involved since they were very young. I have helped with things like promotion, set, chaperoning, front of house and stage. The work that the team does with the cast is second to none and I haven’t seen community spirit and teamwork as strong any where else. My step-son Samuel has Asperger’s and cannot usually mix well in such a large group but the members of Fusion have been so welcoming and patient with him he has really grown in confidence and has built so many social skills. I lacked confidence when I was growing up and wish something like this had of been available to me. Over the years it has been great to see how much some of the cast have developed and built long term lasting friendships. Coming from such a divided community many of the young people have been in segregated schools and would not have been friends with people from ‘the other side’ but since coming to Fusion those barriers have been broken. To see them coming together as a team and give a spectacular performance to 1500 people is an amazing feeling.”
Chrissy Corry (Cast Member) – “I have only been with Fusion for 2 shows and after being involved in many other organisations and groups over the years I can honestly say Fusion is something different. The standards are so high it’s hard to believe that every single member plays a part and not just the ‘shining stars’. I think every person who comes through the door at Fusion feels valued and I feel lucky to have made friends for life during the last 9 months.”
Ian Simpson (Cast member and cast liaison to the committee) “I have just turned 18 and have been with Fusion for 8 years now. It is such a massive part of my life and I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been involved. I have made friends in Fusion that in my normal home life I would never have known due to being from completely different areas. At the start of this year I was so honoured to be voted as the new cast representative. Along with the other cast rep, I attend the start of committee meetings to discuss anything which has come from the cast and we also get information from the committee of any changes or things to know about and we take them back to the cast. It’s so important that the cast are involved in the decision making and our ideas are always taken on board. I will be sad when the day comes that I left Fusion, but it won’t be for a good few years yet!”