Tinderbox liberate the imagination to play through specialist contemporary theatre training at the Crescent Arts Centre. We offer artists the opportunity to discover the art of playfulness, to nurture and ignite their creative potential. Since 2017, Tinderbox have provided creative training programmes to inspire and support 200 emerging artists and participants.

Play Machine

As artists we seek to create theatre that is playful, dynamic and truthful. We seek to share stories of who we are and the world we live in. We seek to play the game and (hopefully) break the rules. The Play Machine Intensive Course is an immersion of stories, movement and dynamics through the methodology of Play. The training aims towards the creation of a new dynamic theatre in which the performer plays with freedom and authenticity within a creative space. This intensive and liberating engagement with the dynamics of Play is appropriate for all actors, dancers, directors, writers and designers with all levels of theatrical experience.

Current Training:

Play Machine at the Crescent Arts Centre 2023

11 week programme, every Tuesday from 10 January – 28 March


Tinderbox Theatre Company in partnership with the Crescent Arts Centre are thrilled to announce Play Machine; Devising for Performance programme.

Play Machine will explore the fundamentals of Improvisation and Devising techniques to explore and refine the creative process for contemporary theatre making and performance. 

The 11 week programme will explore:

  • Devising Theatre 
  • Improvisation 
  • Movement technique 

The Devising for Performance Programme will be delivered by Tinderbox Artistic Director Patrick J O’Reilly and Associate Director Ciaran Haggerty. Patrick is an award winning writer and director,  a member of the Movement Directors Association and currently training in Integrated Creative Therapy.

In addition to the training, the Associate Director will also provide individual feedback on your creative process with a full Evaluation at the end of the programme.  

The Play School 1

The HAP School June 2023 Crescent Arts Centre

**Abbreviation for Holistic Arts Practice and a ‘Happening’

The HAP school is a four day programme June 6th-9th offering specialist artist training in play complimented by creative therapy techniques to invite participants to engage in creating a stronger and healthier foundation for balance, restoration and personal resilience. 20 artists/participants will be part of the programme.

Over the four days artists will be invited to explore: 

  • The Science of Play
  • Creative flow techniques
  • Stress and fight/flight/fawn/freeze response
  • Homeostasis/Relaxation and Meditation techniques
  • Authentic Body Movement
  • Creative Manifesto
  • Carl Jung Philosophy
  • Exploring Personal space and Boundaries

The HAP school will be divided into two specific sessions each day (Tuesday to Friday). Morning sessions will explore the fundamentals of play and creative flow. The afternoon sessions will focus on therapeutic solutions in dealing with stress management, creating homeostasis (relaxation) in the body and exploring creative impact on mind and body.

The HAP school will be facilitated by Patrick J O’Reilly. Patrick has been the Artistic Director for Tinderbox Theatre Company since 2016.  Patrick also recently graduated in Creative Therapy in the effort to create more healthier creative spaces for artists and participants in the future. Patrick received accreditation to deliver creative therapy programmes by IMTTA  (International Meditation Teacher and Therapists Association) and ICTT (International Institute for Complementary Therapists).

Fee: £120.00

The HAP school will run from 10am-4.30pm

Please get in touch with Patrick with an Expression of Interest to patrickj.oreilly@tinderbox.org.uk  The expression of interest should detail why you are interested in creative therapy modalities and what you hope to achieve by attending the programme.

Please note: The HAP school is an integration of artist play methodology and creative therapy modalities. We do not offer cognitive therapy or one to one feedback on personal issues and experiences. Whilst some of the creative exercises could trigger emotional responses, we will ensure that care, compassion and confidentiality is at the very core of the practice. The HAP school incorporates the code of Ethics standard from ICTT and IMTTA.

Play Machine Artists 2017 – 2021

Vicky Allen, Aoife Brown, Jonny Cameron, Conor Cupples, Rory Gillan, Conor Gillespie, Orla Graham, Kate Guelke, Tim Hughes, Fergus Kelly, Keeley Lane, Joe Loane, Mary Frances Loughran, Friederika Machala, Niall McAleer, Faith McCune, Calum McElwee, Joshua McGee, Oonagh O’Flaherty, Seon Simpson, James Watson, Curtis-Lee Ashqar, Alice McCullough, Richard Paine, Amanda Doherty, Lisa Duffy, Janine Walker, Sinead Ward, Simon Sweeney, Rob Crawford, Elliot Lloyd, Brian Diamond, Shannen Lofthouse, Lauren Wedgeworth, Tara Greene, Lucy Mackern, Nathan Corrigan, Mercedes Jane Sharma, Aimee McGoldrick, Sarah Louise Conaghan, Sarah Reid, Louise Parker, Rachel Galloway, Patrick Quinn, Noel Harron, Ciaran Haggerty, Anna Leckey, Michael Bingham, Fintan Woods, Aimee Montgomery, Joanne Conere, Muire McCallion, Sean Michael Mullan, Stephen Todd, Jane Talbot, Lucy Mackern, Katy Flanagan, Julie Lamberton, Roger Dane, Mary O’Loan, Aaron Hickland, Tommy Brunt, Marina Hampton, Shannen McNeice, Glenn McGivern, Christine Clark, Matthew Sharpe, Declan King, Theo McGeough, Annina Watton. Play Machine 2

Read our Artist testimonials here.