All characters make decisions. From something as simple as what to eat for dinner or something as big as “to be, or not to be,” characters are always making decisions in pursuit of specific objectives. Actors who understand these principles can be clear on how these decisions affect their performances; they are empowered to make choices whose underlying emotions audiences access and are moved by.
This course will explore approaches to character objectives through elements of performance such as improvisation, scene work, monologue dissection, and games. Additionally, the course will explore scenes from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard—in recent adaptations by celebrated Irish, British and US playwrights—to try to understand what it means to act a character with a clear objective.
The course is open to actors of all ages, abilities, levels of experience and identities. It gives practical insights into the acting process and enables participants to bring their personal strengths and experiences to bear on the tasks involved. The techniques and exercises are adapted to meet each participant’s particular circumstances in their drama groups. The course assists participants gain confidence in their taking on central roles.
About Joy Nesbitt
Joy Nesbitt is a theatrical director, writer, and neo-soul artist originally from Dallas, Texas. She is a current member of the SEEDS Program Directing Strand for Rough Magic Theatre Company and a writer in development in the Baptiste Programme at Smock Alley Theatre.
Joy is a recent graduate of the Theatre Directing MFA at The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts. Joy’s productions have included: Feet Pics Aren’t Free by Grainne Blumenthal (2023), endings. by Fionntán Larney (2023), Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (2022), Reflections by Joy Nesbitt and Pedro Pacheco (2022), Canonical by Scout Black (2022), Reasons to be Pretty by Neil LaBute (2021); R+J: An Ultramodern Fantasia by William Shakespeare (2020); God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (2020); and Dreamgirls by Henry Krieger and Tom Eyen (2020). She has also directed musical productions such as Mamma Mia (2019) and A Very Potter Musical (2018).
About Thomas Conway
Thomas Conway is a dramaturg, director and tutor. He has taught acting students from many third-level institutions, including the Tisch School at New York University, Trinity College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Galway and The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art. He has been teaching Contemporary Theatre Practices in the Lir Academy’s MFA programme since its commencement in 2011.
During his time as literary manager and dramaturg with Druid, he gave dramaturgical support to world premières by Tom Murphy, Enda Walsh, Stuart Carolan, Lucy Caldwell, and Meadhbh McHugh and to revivals of plays by Eugene O’Neill, Martin McDonagh, Sean O’Casey, Tom Murphy, William Shakespeare (adapted by Mark O’Rowe) and Samuel Beckett, among others. He has also adapted Shakespeare’s Richard III for Druid. 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. His most recent project, The Lost Tenement Plays of O’Casey’s Dublin was presented at 14 Henrietta Street, the Tenement Museum, in November 2022.