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Course D: Comedy & Tragedy – Playing The Arc
Tutor: Declan Drohan

Course Outline

There is a balance (or tipping point) in plays between these two forces/impulses.

Acknowledging the interplay of both allows us to create drama that is human and inclusive, where we laugh (or cry) out of recognition. If we fall into the trap of only allowing one aspect to be dominant – the performance may seem heavy, leaden and introspective. If we play only for laughs, we trivialise the content and perhaps expand all our energy towards the audience, and not our acting partners.
Using scenes from Anton Chekhov’s ‘ The Seagull’, we will explore the Chekhov Technique tools of polarity, pace, tempo, and the question of the 4th wall.

Anton Chekhov said his plays were comedies, while Stanislavski insisted they were tragedies. Let’s find out!

This course is suitable for actors with some experience, and also of interest to those with an interest in directing.


About the tutor

Declan Drohan M.A. H.Dip.Ad.Ed teaches the B.A. in Performing Arts and the M.A. in Creative Practice at ATU 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 co-director of Chekhov Training and Performance Ireland and serves as a director of the Glens Centre Manorhamilton.

He is a regular tutor at the DLI Summer School at the University of Limerick and is a member of the Association of Drama Adjudicators (ADA).