workshops

Workshop for theatre practitioners and educators

Workshop with Cliodna Noonan for theatre practitioners, drama facilitators and educators

UPDATE 26/1/18: THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULLY BOOKED.

A special workshop for theatre practitioners and drama facilitators.

When: Monday 12 February 10 AM – 1 PM

Where: An Grianan Theatre.

Who is it for? Theatre practitioners, drama facilitators and educators who work with early years and younger children.

How much does it cost? It’s free but places are very limited so book quickly!

We are delighted to offer a free workshop with Cliodhna Noonan. Cliodhna has been funded through the Arts Council YPCE scheme to develop a new work for young children based on the theme of the book Swedish Fairy Tales illustrated by John Bauer.

To date she has worked with a mentor in Lithuania. Vitalijus Mazuras, a puppet maker of grotesque trolls to create a puppet experience for young babies and their families on the theme of John Bauer’s Swedish Fairy Tales.

In her workshop she aims to share these skills with educators and theatre practitioners and draw feedback for the development of the new work which will be produced later in the year.

Below is the outline of the workshop:

· Introduction of the YPCE bursary and the ideas I came up with. (10 mins)

· Presentation storytelling activity with the Troll landscape and the story (15 mins)

· Challenging artistic practice: learning to do something new like the children are asked to do daily

· Storyboard activity – Make a grotesque scene and present the story in groups of three with sounds. (30 mins)

· Video and explanation about my research – intergenerational expertise; perspectives on a different way of doing things in the past; (20 mins)

· The grotesque style and its place in Mazuras’ life history. (10 mins)

· Playing with the 3 puppets of Mazuras. Give a voice to something you want to say in 3 groups. (30 mins)

· “We all have the grotesque inside” Make your own troll and present it. Build the troll kingdom and take a photo. Use the lights provided. (45 mins)

· Feedback forms – Siolta reference : points to consider especially regarding artists and the bridge between education and culture/the arts. (30 mins)

The workshop is free but places are very limited. Please call the box office on 0749120777 to register.

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Change to drama class location Sat 2 December

Sat 2 December
Due to An Grianán’s packed schedule this weekend we have had to temporarily relocate this Saturday’s drama classes to Pinehill Studios on the Mountaintop. Class times remain the same.

Sat 9 December
We are back in the theatre for the final class of the year. This will be our end of course showcase.
Can all students please be at the theatre for 10.30am.
Showcase: 12.30pm in the auditorium.

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Reminder: no youth theatre or drama classes classes over Halloween.

We’re taking a break for Halloween so there will no drama classes on Sat 28 Oct, Wed 1 Nov and Sat 4 Nov.

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News for teachers: Shakespeare Sessions 2018

The Shakespeare Sessions by Cyclone Rep

Don’t miss out on the Early Bird offer: pay in full by 20 October 2017 and pay €13 per pupil (normal price €15).

Presented by Cork based theatre company Cyclone Rep, the Shakespeare Sessions are an invaluable study aid for Junior and Leaving Cert students.

The Shakespeare Sessions are entertaining and engaging student-centred performances of Shakespeare texts. Each performance includes a scholarly review clarifying the main themes as well as discussions with the students and the opportunity to participate. Cyclone Rep’s Shakespeare Sessions will guide Junior Cert and Leaving Cert learners in their understanding of The Bard’s masterpieces.

This spring the sessions will cover King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice.

Cyclone will be with us in February 19 and 20 2018 – find out more here.

 

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News for teachers: Christmas show and free workshops

An Grianán Theatre Productions in association with Zona Dance present The NutcrackerUPDATE: ALL AVAILABLE WORKSHOP SLOTS HAVE NOW BEEN FILLED.

Join us this December for a sparkling new version of Christmas favourite The Nutcracker, and our version is for boys every bit as much as it’s for girls!

Adapted by Guy Le Jeune from the folk tales of ETA Hoffman and Alexandre Dumas and directed by choreographer Jessica Peoples of ZoNa dance, our Nutcracker is set in Donegal and brings exciting drama and dialogue to the show while retaining some of the ballet version’s more famous dance pieces, and we think your students will love it.

Like last year’s production of Peter Pan, this will be a youth led cast ages 8 to 21 and with 30 acting roles and 26 dancers it’s going to be huge!

In school workshops

In addition, we are supporting the show with in-school movement workshops which are available free of charge and will be taught by our show’s director Jessica Peoples. The workshops will take place in October or November and will include movement theatre and dance suitable for boys and girls and will explore one of the scenes of the Nutcracker where the Nutcracker soldier meets his nemesis… The Mouse King!

We expect these workshops to be filled pretty quickly so to schedule one for your class please contact Jessica directly on 086 8222189 or by eMail.

Performances Schedule:
Tues 12 to Friday 15 December at 11am. Sat 16 at 2pm and 7pm.

Special rate for schools: €8, teachers/SNAs are free. Book now on 0749120777.

The Nutcracker is produced by An Grianán Theatre in association with ZoNa Dance Co.

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Bingo Wings!

We were delighted to welcome some of our favourite people – Jym and Chantal from Fidget Feet and Little John Nee to An Grianán for a week’s residency in April as they worked on their brand new show Bingo Wings which is due to make its debut in 2018.

They spend the week visiting day centres, swapping stories and playing bingo – not a bad way to spend a week! They also introduced members of our youth theatre to the joys of the bingo!

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Amybeth, Eoin, Ryan, Jasper and Laramie with Chantal McCormick from Fidget Feet at a workshop in April 2017. The workshop is part of the research work for a brand new show called Bingo Wings which Fidget Feet are making with Little John Nee. Watch out for it in 2018.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Amybeth, Eoin, Ryan, Jasper and Laramie with Chantal McCormick from Fidget Feet at a workshop in April 2017. The workshop is part of the research work for a brand new show called Bingo Wings which Fidget Feet are making with Little John Nee. Watch out for it in 2018.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Amybeth, Eoin, Evin, Darragh, Oscar, Emory, Ryan, Jasper and Laramie with Chantal McCormick from Fidget Feet at a workshop in April 2017.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Amybeth, Eoin, Evin, Darragh, Oscar, Emory, Ryan, Jasper and Laramie with Chantal McCormick from Fidget Feet at a workshop in April 2017.

Little John Nee and Chantal McCormick playing bingo - it's work! Honest!

Little John Nee and Chantal McCormick playing bingo – it’s work! Honest!

Little John performing at one of the day centres they visiting as part of the research week for Bingo Wings. April 2017.

Little John performing at one of the day centres they visited as part of the research week for Bingo Wings.

This research was supported by the Arts Council and 5 regional venues: Lime Tree Theatre Limerick,  Town Hall Theatre Galway, Hawk’s Well Theatre Sligo, An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny and Backstage Theatre Longford.

 

 

 

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Summer Schools at An Grianán Theatre

Love the performing arts? Want to learn more about acting, musical theatre, choreography and dance? And have lots of fun and make new friends at the same time? Then you should sign up for one of our summer schools.

McCool: A summer school of heroic proportions!

For an all round theatre experience join our pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Suitable for ages 9 to 21, this week long programme covers many aspects of what goes into bringing a theatre show to life. You will work alongside seasoned industry professionals and learn about choreography, acting, movement, vocals and stage craft.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Children taking part in a workshop at An Grianán Theatre. August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Children taking part in a workshop at An Grianán Theatre. August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

At the end of the week you will perform in Paul Boyd’s rock musical McCool.

Commissioned in 2002 and first produced by Northern Ireland’s longest-running independent theatre producer Big Telly Theatre Company in association with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, McCool celebrates Ireland’s superstar warrior, Finn McCool!

Staged as an exciting multi-media rock concert McCool charts the life of Finn McCool from his lowly beginning as an abandoned baby to his eventual position as Ireland’s first superstar. The show features an eclectic, non-stop mix of dance and pop music, culminating in a spectacular mega-mix finale. Songs include “Mythology”, “Gotta Grow Up”, “I Will Think of You” and “War”.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

McCool toured Ireland extensively in 2002 and soon developed a cult following across the country.

The original 2002 cast included Rachel Tucker who went on to star as Wicked‘s Elphaba in both the West End and Broadway productions. Will we have any future West End stars in this year’s show? Only time will tell!

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Former pbm participant and An Grianán Youth Theatre member Patrick Quinn performing in Enda Walsh's Mistermen at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, February 2016.

Former pbm participant and An Grianán Youth Theatre member Patrick Quinn performing in Enda Walsh’s Mistermen at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, February 2016.

“PBM is where, many years ago, I found my love for Theatre. As a nine year old boy, I came to the camp unconfident, doubtful and shy. The PBM leaders installed a belief system in myself that I still rely on to this day.I will never forget the day when Christina told me that all that mattered was that I followed my heart and it’s the best advice I’ve ever received. I was part of PBM for 7 years, and I made friends that I cherish and consider some of my closest friends to this day. I cannot recommend PBM enough – the experience and the people I have met through this camp has had a huge influence on the person, and the actor, that I am today.”
Patrick Quinn, Drama Student at Queens University Belfast, Winner of Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Student Theatre Awards 2016.[/box]

pbm Performing Arts Summer School – Mon 1 to Sat 6 August – more info here.

Ballet Ireland Summer School

Our annual Ballet Ireland summer school gives you the opportunity to learn ballet alongside professional ballerinas from Ireland’s National Ballet.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Each day begins with class on stage with the dancers. Students become part of the creative process, helping to devise the choreography, create sets and costumes. This week will give aspiring performers a taste for all that goes into making a ballet and a peak into the life of a professional dancer.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The Ballet Ireland Summer School is suitable for ages 6 and older. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Together with the dancers, the young performers play an important role in the creation of their own full length ballet which is performed on stage at the end of the week for family and friends to come and enjoy.

Ballet Ireland Summer School 2015

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Novice and experienced dancers alike will learn loads about classical ballet and best of all you get to perform in a beautiful ballet at the end of the week in front of your family and friends. Suitable for ages 6+. Find out more here.

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Musically On Cue Production Week notes

A reminder to our drama students of this week’s Production Week Timetable for Musically On Cue:

Wednesday 15th June
4pm @ An Grianan Theatre
Technical Rehearsal:  This final rehearsal is one of the most important for best Sound & Lighting, Props, Costume, and the first time the cast will see their set.    We aim to let mini stars away by 6.30pm all other groups will remain till 7.30pm.
Thursday 16th June
5pm @ An Grianan Theatre.
Doors open at 7.15pm. Show starts at 7.30pm

Please send children with a healthy snack as they will be quite a long time in their dressing rooms.

NB: On Cue Academy will also be holding an After Party on the following dates.
Letterkenny Pinehill Studios 24th June at 4pm – 6.30pm
OR
The Workhouse Dunfanaghy 28th June at 4pm – 6.30pm

An Grianan Students are welcome to attend either After Party but please bring €8 as the party has already been included in the On Cue students course fees.

For details contact: oncueperformingarts @ gmail .com.

Enjoy the show!

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Auditions for Unified the Musical

This summer we will be co-producing a new show with the Earagail Arts Festival called Unified the Musical. Inspired by stories from the factory floor, Unified will be a colourful show with live music, singing and a large cast.

AUDITIONS

Date: Sat 21 May
Venue: Regional Cultural Centre
Times: 11am to 1pm OR 2 to 4pm

Unified the Musical – Performance dates: Thur 21 to Sat 23 July (with an option to extend to Sunday 24)

Rehearsal Schedule: to be finalised but we would envision Saturdays and possibly one weekday evening with a more intensive rehearsal period in the run up to the show.

We are looking for adults, across a range of ages, male and female (must be 16+).

We will be holding workshop style auditions with the show’s director David Grant, music director Fionn Robinson and choreographer Aoife Toner.

Please prepare a song to give us an idea of your voice. Don’t worry if you are not a confident singer as we need chorus singers too.

IMPORTANT: If you would like to audition please call our box office on 074 912 0777 in advance to reserve a place as space is limited.

About Unified the Musical

Before Pramerica, Boston Scientific and Zeus came to Donegal there was Courtaulds-Lirelle which became UNIFI Textured Yarns, Europe Ltd. UNIFI was part of a textile industry that stretched across the North-West. Fruit of the Loom in Buncrana and Derry, Adria and O’Neills in Strabane, the shirt factories and the nylon spinners.

A million, million miles of yarn and thousands of people passed through the doors of these plants. For over thirty years, UNIFI in Letterkenny was the town’s major employer, in a time of rapid social change. Every department was a tribe and every shift had its own personality. Lives were changed, skills learned, friendships formed, partners met, and families reared on the wages.

We are going to take all those personal stories and wrap them up in one big rip-roaring, all-singing extravaganza.

UNIFIED the Musical is written by the creator of Fiesta, Guy Le Jeune; with original music written by Fionn Robinson and choreography devised by Aoife Toner. The production will be directed by An Grianán’s long-term collaborator, David Grant.

David Grant’s previous work with An Grianán includes a touring production of Frank Pig Says Hello, play readings of The Gentle Island and most recently Beneath an Irish Sky, and community theatre productions A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The O’Neill).

 

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How to Sell Out every single show: Daithí Ramsay

I was working in our box office one evening when the visiting show’s stage manager approached.
How are tickets for tonight? he said.
Pretty good, about 270 now. I said.
Really? We’d a full house in Monaghan last night, he said.
What do they hold though? 200?
Yes about that, but we sold out.
Well we’ve sold more seats than that.
We sold out in Leitrim the night before as well.
What have they, about 120?
Yes, but we sold out.

We work in a sector where people are often very emotionally attached to how their work is received. Many of us are like that too: we work in the Arts because we love the Arts, we are passionate about the Arts. We must be, we’re clearly not here to get rich.

The Sold Out Show, along with the Standing Ovation, is the measure by which many judge how well their show is doing. The people have spoken and they think you’re great: there has been so much demand that we couldn’t accommodate them all. It’s a tough stand in the Arts these days and we have to take our victories where we get them. Companies are happy, programmers, administrators and marketeers can relax, it’s a job done well. We can’t do any more than fill every available seat.

There’s a problem with that that’s been nagging me for a while now though. The Sold out show is an emotional measure not a financial or numerical, it takes no account of varying capacities or competing realities and there is a clear presumption in it that there was a huge throng clamouring for tickets who have now had to go home disappointed that they didn’t get in to see the show. This is rarely the case, very rarely.

A photo of A Sold Out Show for the DMEP at An Grianán Theatre

A Sold Out Show for the DMEP at An Grianán Theatre, photo courtesy of the DMEP

Rather than celebrating what we are achieving we are too often snatching defeats from the jaws of victory. If it doesn’t sell out and the audience don’t leap to their feet then we haven’t done our job right: we aren’t a success. That’s clearly nonsense. A show should be judged on its own merits be it artistic or entertainment levels, is it a good show should be a judgement of just that: is it a good show?

The programming and marketing of it should be judged on whether or not the maximum number of people attended who could reasonably be expected based on realistic targets taking in many factors including previous sales of this type of show, day of the week, month of the year, competing attractions etc. We all have the data now, the only targets we should project or accept are those based on a clear analysis of the data. My greatest marketing triumph in a year may be getting 30% into a show that was only realistically expected to get 15% but who is going to recognise that apart from me? I could tell you but I doubt you’d be that impressed, but you know, a Sold Out Show …

I’m here to tell you though that it’s okay I’ve come up with a fool proof plan for everyone working in the Arts to be happy all the time: it’s clear what we need to do is take out seats so that we’ve less to sell. Less seats equals more sold out shows, and sold out shows is what makes everyone happy. Until that is they look at the bottom line of the financial spreadsheets, but sure how many do that?

I’m reminded of the theatre that told me that they had done away with postering as they felt it was no longer of benefit, except for one poster that they’d put up in the pub the actors drink. It’s lovely for actors to get full houses and standing ovations but it’s important to remember it’s an emotional measure and should have no place in judging how well we professionals have done our job. We have data for that.

The Henry girls playing to a Sold Out House at An Grianán Theatre. Photo by Living Witness Photography.

The Henry girls playing to a Sold Out House at An Grianán Theatre. Photo by Living Witness Photography.

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