2002-06-15 / Community

‘The Big Potato’ Comes to Rockaway

‘The Big Potato’ Comes to Rockaway

The Irish Arts Center will present a fun-packed free-of-charge, interactive, theatrical children’s workshop and performance called "The Big Potato" on Saturday, June 22nd at 1 p.m. in St. Thomas More’s auditorium, benefiting the Caffrey-Conway Learning Center

"The Big Potato" employs a magical mix of masks, drama, storytelling, music, song and audience participation. It’s an original Irish Arts Celtic play about the Irish Famine.

The story is about an old widow who, in the wake of the great hunger in Ireland, is evicted from her home and left destitute. The old widow, with the help of local children (the audience) overcomes these difficulties to grow a field of the biggest potatoes ever seen in Ireland. In the course of a performance as many as 300 children take part.

The problems caused by the Irish Famine (1847-1851) were poverty, exodus, depression, and mass emigration. Ireland lost about three million people through starvation and or emigration due to the famine. The social conditions that were present at that time were truly deplorable.

The major areas affected by the famine were in the west of Ireland. The specific counties hardest hit were Cork, Kerry, Clare, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, and Galway.

"The Big Potato," a play is by Macdara Mac Uiloh Aille, is an opportunity for all to learn a bit more about a vital part of Irish history. Those attending will also be helping support the Learning Center of Breezy Point.

The sponsor of the play, The Irish Arts Center is a tax-exempt organization now in its 30th year. This project represents an on-going commitment to preserve and promote all aspects of Irish culture: theatre, music, history, dance, language and fiction.

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