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Summer School – Course D: Games Are the Work: Unlocking One-Act Plays
Tutor: Thomas Conway

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About the Course:

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, and 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 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 the 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.