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DLI Newsletter May 4th 2022

So, we are all set for our 56th annual Summer School in University of Limerick 23-30 July! We hope that you have all had a chance to study the six courses on offer for this year either on or our facebook page? In case you haven’t, see below, and get in touch with Summer School Director Ollie Kenny asap to discuss the course of your choice!     This month will see the publication of the DLI Magazine. Editor Edward Hayden promises a jam-packed edition, with lots of news, interviews and photos!! Arriving in your letter-box later in May! Please note that the DLI Office in Dundrum will be closed for annual leave from Thursday 5 May, reopening Thursday 12th.



Congratulations to John Travers, Ailis McIntyre and the Bostik Confined Finals Committee hosting the finals in the Abbey Centre, Ballyshannon last week, and, of course to the winners, Kilmuckridge DG (see jubilant team above!) with their production of Playboy of the Western World by JM Synge. Glenamaddy Players came second with The Cripple of Inishmaan (they are opening the RTE Finals in Athlone with this play out of competition tonight)!, while Newtownstewart TC took third place with Family Plot by Daragh Carville. BOSTIK ALL IRELAND CONFINED DRAMA AWARDS 2022 Premier Award (The Claregalway Perpetual Trophy) – Kilmuckridge Drama Group – The Playboy of the Western World Best Director (The Broderick Perpetual Cup) – Anthony O’Connor, Kilmuckridge Drama Group Best Presentation (The Ray Leonard Memorial Trophy) – Kilmuckridge Drama Group – The Playboy of the Western World Best Lighting (The Playlight Perpetual Cup) – Declan Walsh and David Burke, Glenamaddy Players Best Stage Management (The Carrickmore Perpetual Trophy) – The Communication Cord, Phoenix Players Best Actor – Francis Brennan as Tim Gallagher in The Communication Cord, Phoenix Players Best Actress – Carmel O’Driscoll as Lily Thompson in Brighton, Skibbereen Theatre Society

Best Supporting Actor – Richard Devereux as Old Mahon in The Playboy of the Western World Kilmuckridge Drama Group Best Supporting Actress – Mary Scahill-Flynn as Mammy in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Glenamaddy Players Scholarship to Drama League of Ireland Summer School – Cian Boyle as Billy in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Glenamaddy Players Now, all thoughts turn to Dean Crowe Theatre for the RTE All Ireland Open Finals, where Palace Players are first up on Thursday night with Chapatti by Christian O’Reilly. All details on and Best wishes to the Athlone Committee and the nine competing groups.





As a fringe event on the concluding day of the RTE All Ireland Finals in Athlone, 14th May, DLI cordially invites you to join us in TU Shannon for a forum and discussion on playwriting, with a reading of one of the 2020 winners of the annual DLI/ADCI Playwriting competition, The Centipede, by Frank Houlihan.   The event is free, but you must book on Eventbrite, link below: 





Our new DLI website is ready for launching, but, until it is fully up and running, please send all enquiries regarding Summer School bookings and payments for the moment to

Course A


About the tutor

Originally from Longford, Lorna Quinn studied Drama and Theatre Studies at University College Cork and trained full-time for two years at the Gaiety School of Acting. Lorna is also a qualified Speech and Drama teacher with the Leinster School of Music and Drama. For the last fifteen years, Lorna has worked professionally on both stage and screen, playing leading roles at Dublin’s Gate Theatre and many theatre venues nationwide. Most recently, Lorna concluded an exciting storyline on Fair City playing the role of Lucy Mallon. When not acting, Lorna teaches drama in Longford and Dublin and also works as a voice-over artist. Lorna is thrilled to be a tutor on this year’s DLI Summer School programme, and is really looking forward to meeting everyone for a very special week of fun, play and creativity!

Course Outline

This action packed week will involve creative play, group-work, scene-work, improvisation, text-based performance work, directing, voice-work, practical methods of relaxation and class discussions about acting, technique and our own responses to work shared throughout the week.
Each day will involve creative drama games and group activities to promote a strong, supportive working atmosphere from which creativity will naturally and comfortably arise. Improvisation and scene work will form a large part of each day with students working in smaller groups and pairs. Specific texts chosen for the course will also be shared in advance of attending, so that students can immerse themselves in the presentation, direction and critical reflection of each piece during the week of performance work and artistic study.
The focus for this course will be to provide an excellent toolkit for performance in a creative, safe and enjoyable environment.


Course B


About the tutor

Ciarán is from Sligo and has been a core member of Blue Raincoat Theatre Company since 1991. Working in this ensemble, Ciarán has gained a wealth of “hands on” experience in all aspects of theatre life primarily as an actor but, also directing, designing lighting, sets and costumes, set construction and touring and production management. Outside of theatre, Ciaran has also worked in film and radio. Professional theatre training includes L’Ecole de Mime Corporeal Dramatique, London with Corrine Soum and Steve Wasson, at the Saratoga International Theatre Institute, New York with Anne Bogart and at the Roy Hart Theatre of Voice in Malargues, France. He holds an MA in Drama and Performance from UCD. Ciarán lectures in Sligo’s Atlantic Technological University delivering modules on Physical Theatre, Voice and Movement, Professional Practice, Facilitation and Drama and Modernism in Drama and Literature for the BA Hons in Performing Arts and Creative Writing BA. He is the Hon. Treasurer of the Association of Drama Adjudicators, and he also consults as a Performance and Vocal trainer for the International Institute of Celebrants.

Course Outline

“Theatre is the art by which human beings make human action worth watching in a measured time and space” P. Woodruff
Action is the essential grammar of the theatre, an action worth watching is the result of the collaboration between the actor and the audience in a shared attentiveness to the action as it is happening. In this workshop we will focus and bring attention to the unconscious, unintentional movements that clutter the actors performance.

The course will have physical demands but in the spirit of inclusivity a good general fitness level will be sufficient.
In this course, participants will be introduced to Actor training techniques from Anne Bogart, Tadashi Suzuki and Etienne Decroux. The class will also concentrate on Vocal work and solo and group composition work. The emphasis is on training for performance, building new skills and confronting old habits that no longer serve the performer.

Course C


About the tutor

Declan Drohan M.A. H.Dip.Ad.Ed teaches on the B.A. in Performing Arts and the M.A. in Creative Practice at IT Sligo.
He was been a theatre practitioner for 30 years. His practice encompasses acting ,directing, lecturing and consultancy.
He trained at the Gaiety School of Acting , and with Michael Chekhov Europe.
He is a faculty member of Chekhov Training and Performance Ireland, and serves as a director of the Glens Centre Manorhamilton.

Course Outline

The play is a world, and we must learn to live in it…..
Apart from speaking the dialogue, what tools or techniques can we employ to make strong connections with the story as it unfolds, the other characters and the shifting landscape of the play. What will hold us inside this frame for the duration of the tale? What will feed our imagination and inspire our acting choices? Can we experience what Michael Chekhov calls ‘the feeling of entirety’. How will the character emerge, or be coaxed forth?
Using Georg Buchner’s ‘Woyzeck’, we will explore ensemble connection, archetypes, psychological gesture and atmosphere. As the play is short, by weeks end, we will have made a durational piece from our explorations which will cover the entire arc of the play, through monologue, duologue and ensemble playing.
Topics:-character- ensemble- connection-archetypes- psychological gesture- atmosphere- clowning and the grotesque- entirety/the whole.
‘…It followed me right to the edge of town.
Something we can’t grasp, something we can’t understand, Something that drives us mad…..’

Course D


About the tutor

Thomas Conway teaches contemporary theatre at the Lir Academy, Dublin. As a dramaturg Thomas has worked with Druid, Painted Bird, Moonfish, Pan Pan, Fabulous Beast, among others. His directing credits include the world première of Enda Walsh’s one-act play, Gentrification. He served as Theatre Talking Host at Dublin Theatre Festival for the years 2017 and 2018, and is the editor of The Oberon Anthology of Contemporary Irish Plays.

Course Outline

‘Acting is about sharing, learning to play together.’ (Dymphna Callery)
The course will have participants on their feet from the start, exploring such elements as rhythm in movement and speech, ensemble work, improvisation, physicalising dialogue and collaborating with fellow actors in finding stage actions. It makes of theatre games the cornerstone of the exploration of text and selects the most helpful, accessible and fun games for unlocking the actor and finding the inner actions of plays.
The course selects one-act plays as the raw material with which to engage techniques from physical theatre that especially serve the exploration of text. It addresses such tasks along the way as breaking down a play into units of action and events, achieving spontaneity within the given circumstances of the play, and developing character studies grounded in actions. It also offers directors and actors techniques for evaluating their own work.
The course gives practical insights into the linked processes of directing and acting in plays and enables participants to bring their personal strengths and experiences to bear on the tasks involved. The techniques translate to each participant’s particular circumstances and assist all participants to gain confidence in directing and/or performing sustained dramatic actions, albeit in the one-act form.

Course E


About the tutor

Sue has been a Theatre Practitioner for over 30 years. Trained as an actress under Jean Norman Benedetti, she has worked extensively in Theatre, TV and Radio. As a director her work has encompassed A wide range of material from Shakespeare to Contemporary Opera. She spent/misspent her youth in various variety theatres of the UK and as a result has a passion for Popular Forms.

Other passions include Ensemble Theatre, New Writing, Complicite, Caryl Churchill, Stephen Sondheim, and encouraging, facilitating and inspiring artists of all ages to find their voices and express themselves through Drama and Theatre.

For the last 12 years she has premiered and revived shows for the Edinburgh Fringe including Piaf, The Overcoat, The Shoot Horses Don’t They ? and The Laramie Project.
Other professional directing work includes English Speaking Theatre of Vienna, Oxford Stage Company, Cheltenham Everyman, Old Red Lion . Current projects “ Groomed to Perfection” 15 part podcast exploring coercive control and “Alladin” for The Kenneth More Theatre.

Sue was part of the pioneering teaching team on the Community Theatre Arts Course at Rose Bruford College working with the likes of Paulette Randall and Bernadine Evaristo. She went on to lead, as Head of The School of Theatre the colleges degrees in Acting, Directing, Writing and to create the innovative Actor Musician Course with long time collaborator Colin Sell. Notable Alumni include Roy Williams, Kerry Godliman and Stephen Graham.

She continues to work at many of the UK’s leading Drama Schools as both Acting Coach and Director. International work includes dissemination for The Project in European Theatre Arts, working with young professional actors from Romania, Belgium, France, Portugal , Germany and the UK culminating in a multi lingual project written by Mathew Dunster.. Six seasons directing graduating actors for the Conference of Drama Schools in New York. Drama Teacher Development for Lamda in India.

Course Outline

The week is entirely practical and involving. Acting is doing, revealing not concealing. We will work to create a supportive ensemble that is challenging and non judgemental. Within that, individuals will be encouraged and supported to take risks and deepen their intellectual, emotional and playful choices as actors and directors

The workshop will look at the variety of ingredients that the artist needs to gather to make the creative cake be it directing a piece or performing in it.
Sessions will explore the craft of acting- objectives, character building from inside and out, emotional connection/memory, finding inspiration and fuelling the imagination. We will work with an eclectic mix of theatre games, excercises and improvisations to encourage spontaneity as well as a variety of texts to fine tune action playing, develop self sufficient rehearsal techniques and explore the artistscreative response to the material

Text work will concentrate on 20th/21st century writers- tutor will provide.
Participants will be sharing their work throughout the project, feedback and further development will be discussed openly within the group without the pressure of a final performance. We will be looking for detail and transformation whilst making it look easy! Come prepared to be courageous, enjoy the struggle, sweat a little and laugh a lot.
Requirements: Music, sound, props, garments play an important role in the creative process so please can all participants bring simple “ jumble sale” garments (e.g. hats, gloves ,scarves, shoes etc) the more the better. A significant object e.g. a ring, a letter, a toy, anything that carries meaning for the individual and finally consider and bring a piece of music that inspires and excites them- this can be from any epoch but must be on a grand scale musically, orchestra, big band is ideal from Beethoven to Springstein via Hendrix the choice is yours. Please wear clothing you can roll around in and shoes that you can move in.

Course F


About the tutor

Karin McCully is Literary Manager with Rough Magic Theatre Company and has twenty years’ experience as a professional Dramaturg, and over ten years as a theatre assessor for the Arts Council. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from The Yale School of Drama, and has taught as lecturer in Theatre History and Dramaturgy at Yale, UCLA, IADT, UCD and Trinity College, where she will be teaching Advanced Playwriting again next year. She was the first full-time resident Dramaturg at the Abbey Theatre where she subsequently became Literary Manager. Karin is currently teaching Dramaturgy at The Lir Academy.

Course details

Summer School Director: Ollie Kenny Committee:Elaine McLoughlin, Christine O’Brien & Willie O’Brien For further information email or for bookings go to website In the course of our six days together I hope we can dig deep into a couple of plays that have proven themselves in production and dig even deeper into our own understanding of how plays work, what makes a piece dramatically effective and how to find your own voice and the how and why of using it. I’ll send out a short reading list a few weeks before July 23rd. It’s not a list that requires pre-reading unless you wish to do so. I’ll design it so that you can read it as we go. I think it’s good to start at the beginning with a quick overview of Aristotle and Greek tragedy. There are some great contemporary readings and responses to Aristotle’s Poetics and our reading for class will begin with one of those. Otherwise, this is about having an in-depth conversation together about plays and what they mean. It requires everyone to read closely, reflect and pitch into the joint debate. With that as background and impetus, the aim is that you can take that conversation, those ideas, critiques, debates and commentaries back to your desk and write ideas and scenes that will ideally be heading towards a play – one act or full length. I will give you some specific prompts during the week for you to respond to. I’ll assign parts of the week to writing in a way that is not too pressured, hopefully, and allows you time to read, think, debate and write. Tall order for six days but it’s an invigorating challenge. A mini- journey and mini speed run through theatre history while we’re at it.






The Death of me



Still growing old disgracefully



FR. Barry & the workhouse



The Country Boy