This article is part of our Newsletter 2020 series. Make sure to check out the other articles to keep up to date with Irish Stammering Association news and events.
The ISAYiT! drama workshops are run by ISA and Gaiety School of Acting for young people who stammer (ages 7 - 17). As ISAYiT! celebrates it's 10 year anniversary, we speak to Bevin Murphy and Veronica Lynch for their perspectives on ISAYiT!'s past, present and future.
Bevin Murphy - Workshop Mentor and Facilitator
My name is Bevin and I have been involved with ISAYiT! pretty much from the word go and in November of last year we had a gala night to celebrate 10 years of ISAYiT!
This gala celebrated not only the young people who are involved now but every young person who has been involved with ISAYiT!
As a child who stammers, I knew what it was like to feel alone and to feel like the world doesn’t want to wait for me to share my voice, but at ISAYiT! my voice was heard; I wasn’t lonely, and my confidence grew immensely. This is why I, at 21, am still involved. My role has obviously changed a bit, I am now a mentor and a facilitator for ISAYiT!
There are countless amazing memories that I can recall from ISAYiT! and I know I will carry them with me for the rest of my life. One of my favourite experiences are when a new kid comes into the group. They are so shy and so nervous and then less than an hour into the workshop they are the loudest voice in the room. This is why the gala night was so special, because I can remember when every young person on that stage that night couldn’t even lift their head. That night though, every single one of them spoke up! That’s when I know that ISAYiT! is making a difference. ISAYiT! helped me find the power of my voice and I want to help others find their voices too.
Thank you to everyone who has been involved with ISAYiT! over the past 10 years, we wouldn’t be where we are without you! Bring on the next 10 years
Veronica Lynch - ISAYiT! Founder
I was privileged to attend the ISAYiT! 10 year anniversary gala performance in the Black Box theatre in the Gaiety School of Acting last November. I was also immensely proud of each and every young person who took part in the gala. They represented everything that Jonathon ( Linklater, Development Manager, ISA) and I set out to do just over 10 years ago when we founded ISAYiT!
Our aim for ISAYiT! was to provide a safe place for young people who stammer to meet other youngsters like themselves, have some fun and to speak in their own voice without judgement. Seeing the ISAYiT! cast members perform on gala night being proudly and unashamedly themselves reflects their determination, daring, creativity and sense of fun.
What was also remarkable was the support and friendship they had for each other, they showed how powerful being part of your tribe can be. Much of the performance was created by the young people themselves with great direction from drama coach Charlie Hughes and assistance from Jonathon and Bevin ( Murphy). The applause they received from the appreciative audience was well deserved, they did ISA proud, they did their families proud but most importantly they did themselves proud.
ISA wants to thank everyone involved in organising the gala, Jonathon, Charlie, Bevin, Gaiety School of Acting and the stars of the show, cast members of ISAYiT!
People who stammer are individuals. We all have our own thoughts about stammering, and we have all had our own unique experiences of being a person who stammers.