A few years ago three Homeplus service users and a member of staff performed in theatre of witness play called ‘Sanctuary.’ Theatre of Witness is a form of performance, developed by founder and artistic director Teya Sepinuck that gives voice to those who have been marginalised, forgotten or are invisible in society. Their true, life stories, performed by the people themselves, are shared onstage so that audiences can collectively bear witness to issues of suffering, redemption and social justice. Theatre of Witness productions, performed in spoken word, music, movement and film projection, put a face and heart to societal issues of suffering, and celebrate the power of the human spirit to grow and transform. ‘Sanctuary’ was created and directed by Teya Sepunick, with music by Brian Irvine and it was filmed by Declan Keeney as it toured Northern Ireland in 2013. The play was put on by Playhouse.
‘Sanctuary’ illuminated the stories of those in exile, those seeking safe haven, and those who have created oases of peace and healing in Northern Ireland. The performers include refugee and asylum seekers and providers, as well as those who seek or offer refuge following violence, mental health issues, forced exile, poverty and/or sectarianism. ‘Sanctuary’ also highlighted moments of ordinary and humble peace building.