Call Us: 01 296 9343

Email Us:

Course G: ‘Keeping it Simple, Keeping it Real’: storytelling through actions

Course details

This course is open to actors and directors of all levels of experience. It is especially tailored to meet the needs of those who are new to directing and of those looking to gain foundational techniques in acting. It explores what it means to place the accent on storytelling through actions and on bringing a physical dimension to the exploration of text. It works with external metrics—rhythm, text games, ensemble work, improvisation and physical etudes—to create performances that convey the emotional stakes at the heart of the play.

It makes a deep dive into plays from the Irish repertoire that are waiting to be rediscovered. It offers a technique for exploring the forgotten worlds of Sean O’Casey’s later plays and Maura Laverty’s ground-breaking plays for the Gate Theatre. These plays offer rich material for character studies based on physical actions, with influences from popular theatre, such as knockabout comedy and high-flown domestic melodrama, combining with contemporary developments in absurdism and expressionism. These plays are tragicomedies to compare with the best in the Irish repertoire.

Participants can expect to learn something about themselves and their co-participants, their chosen craft and the hidden gems of the Irish repertoire.


About Thomas Conway

Thomas Conway is New Work Manager at the Gate Theatre. He is a dramaturg and drama tutor who regularly leads workshops for the DLI. He has taught drama at many third-level institutions, including Trinity College Dublin, University of Galway and The Lir: National Academy of Dramatic Art. During his time as literary manager with Druid he gave dramaturgical support to world premières by Tom Murphy, Enda Walsh, Stuart Carolan, Lucy Caldwell, Meadhbh McHugh and Nancy Harris and to revivals of plays by Eugene O’Neill, Martin McDonagh, Sean O’Casey, Tom Murphy, Shakespeare (adapted by Mark O’Rowe) and Samuel Beckett, among others. He also adapted Shakespeare’s Richard III. He has edited The Oberon Anthology of Contemporary Irish Plays (2012), bringing into print for the first time the work of Amy Conroy, Mark O’Halloran, Philip McMahon, Lynda Radley, Una McKevitt and Grace Dyas. He has edited two volumes of plays by Tom Murphy: DruidMurphy: Plays by Tom Murphy (2012) and The Mommo Plays (2014). Dramaturgy for independent theatre makers and choreographers includes work with Michael Keegan Dolan, Pan Pan Theatre Company, Una McKevitt, Dick Walsh, and Painted Bird—the latter an ongoing collaboration with director, Fiona McGeown, to investigate women’s experiences throughout 20th century Ireland.