Did you grow up in a one-parent family in Ireland?

If so, One Family & The Ark Cultural Centre for Children invite you to share your experience to help develop a new work for the stage.

One Family is delighted to partner for the first time with The Ark to develop an exciting new work for the stage which aims to reflect real life experiences of children in one-parent families in Ireland over the years.

The Ark commissions, presents and produces work for, by and about children for young audiences ages 2-12 throughout the year and from time to time also creates and presents work for grow ups which reflects and celebrates children’s experiences. To mark 50 years of One Family and our work supporting one-parent families in Ireland since our foundation in 1972 as Cherish, we will collaborate with The Ark to develop a new piece of documentary theatre. 1 in 5 people in Ireland live in a one-parent family and 1 in 4 families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family.

Created by playwright Kate Heffernan, the piece will reflect stories and memories shared by grown-ups about their experiences as children growing up in one-parent families in Ireland. The aim is that through these shared memories, they can shine a light on the real experiences of one-parent families over the years in Ireland. All names provided will be changed and measures will be taken to anonymise stories to ensure that no one is identifiable.

Today a call out was announced inviting those over 18 to share their own experience to help in the development of this piece of documentary theatre.

“We’re really excited to be working with The Ark and Kate Heffernan, to develop this piece of theatre reflecting the diversity of family life in Ireland. One in five people in Ireland live in a one-parent family yet their stories are seldom told this will be an opportunity to show the rich tapestry of family life in Ireland. If you grew-up in a one-parent family in Ireland, including a separated and divorced family, we want to hear your story.”

Karen Kiernan, CEO of One Family

“The Ark makes art for by and about children, putting their experiences and their voices at the heart of everything we do. We are delighted to work, for the first time, with One Family on a new documentary piece by Kate Heffernan reflecting seldom told stories of growing up in Ireland.”

Aideen Howard, Director of The Ark

Kate Heffernan is an Irish playwright whose first play, In Dog Years I’m Dead was a winner of the Stewart Parker Trust Emerging Playwright Award 2013 and audiences at The Ark had a chance to experience her work when the wonderful Peat premiered there in 2019. She has been commissioned by The Ark and One Family to create this new work.

If you would like to share your experience you are invited to consider the following areas:
  • Did you grow up in a one-parent family – with your Mam, Dad, or a grandparent? Did you live part of the time with each of your parents? Did you grow up with a step-parent? Where did you live and who with?
  • What were some of the things about your family that you may want to share and celebrate? Do you have any particularly vivid or favourite memories from your childhood?
  • How do you think your childhood shaped the person you are or the life you lead today?
  • Was your childhood different to those around you because you lived in a one-parent family?
  • Would you be interested in talking directly to playwright Kate Heffernan, in person or by video call, as part of her research?
You can share your story in a number of ways:
  • You can share your story by filling out this form.
  • Submit a video or voice note, by emailing Kate Heffernan at participation@ark.ie.
  • Or post your response to Kate Heffernan, The Ark, 11A Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

For Editors:

One Family:

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s national organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating. One Family provides support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of our work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. For further information visit: www.onefamily.ie

The Ark:

Established in 1995, The Ark is a dedicated cultural centre for children. We create opportunities for children, along with their families and friends or with their school, to discover and love art. We commission, produce and present work for, by and about children, from the ages of two to twelve years old. We do so in our architecturally award-winning home in the heart of Dublin’s Temple Bar, leased through a long-term cultural use agreement with Temple Bar Cultural Trust. We also work through our online channels, off-site and on tour in Ireland and abroad. Through our work with leading Irish and international artists children can enjoy performances in our unique child-sized theatre, view engaging exhibitions or participate in creative workshops. We also curate specific professional development opportunities for teachers and artists.

We work in partnership with others as artistic collaborators and regularly share our resources and knowledge with artists, educators and all those interested in child-centred arts practice. We also work with other likeminded organisations to advance children’s rights to art and culture as part of their learning and development. The Ark is dedicated to creating brilliant art experiences for children, schools and families.

The Ark gratefully acknowledges the continued support of its principal funder, The Arts Council, and its other annual supporters: the Department of Education, Temple Bar Cultural Trust and Dublin City Council.

Available for Interview:
Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 086 850 9191
Further Information/Scheduling:
Noel Sweeney, Communications and Events Manager | t: 085 7241294