17th – 21st August 2020

This five-day intensive acting training course is being facilitated by Inishowen actor and director, Seán Donegan with guest tutor Tonya Sheina.

Sean Donegan trained as an actor at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has performed and directed theatre in Germany, the UK and throughout Ireland. One of his most satisfying projects was An Grianán Actors Studio that ran from 2012 -2014. This project provided acting training for dozens of Letterkenny-based acting enthusiasts. Participants in the project appeared in many of the productions that Sean directed for An Grianán including The Good Doctor, On the Camel’s Hump, Twelfth Night, The Freedom of the City and Fiesta.

Tonya Sheina is a Russian actor and theatre director, currently based in Derry with Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company. She studied acting at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts. She then acted for many years as part of the repertory company of the Malaya Bronnaya Theatre, Moscow, as well as being involved in many independent projects. She has performed and taught at numerous international contact improvisation and theatre festivals, including in Moscow, Italy, Israel and Romania.

She is passionate about the place where theatre and movement/dance cross over in an organic way. She is less Interested in how to insert dancing and movement into a theatre show, but more into how movement is an integral part of the actor’s process. An actor’s movement in a scene adds layers of subtext and meaning to the audience’s experience. In this summer school she will show you that an actor’s movement is not just about the staging of a scene – but is a fundamental part of their connection to the text, to their character and to their scene partner.

During this summer school, Sean will be using techniques from his training to explore the writing of Brian Friel. The course will run full-time for five days, culminating in a showcase on An Grianán’s stage, to be performed to a small, invited audience.

Each participant will have one monologue and one duologue assigned to them from Friel’s writing. Through the week we will explore and rehearse these scenes, looking at techniques to create characters and to develop a deep connection with the text and for discovering the action of a scene. We will also work throughout the week as a theatre ensemble, developing a relaxed but energised presence on the stage and ways of connecting with and collaborating with your fellow actors.

The theme of the workshop is “Connection.” Connection with the text, connection with yourself as an actor, with your body and voice, connection with your scene partner and connection with the audience. We will be exploring techniques for the actor to develop and strengthen all these points of connection.

Although some previous acting experience is desirable, this course will work with you at whatever level of experience you have. It will be a supportive and encouraging environment for beginners to improve their acting but also a fun and satisfying creative project for more experienced performers.

Participants must be over 18.

There are a limited number of places on the course which will run from the 17th to the 21st of August 2020. Please note that all participants MUST be available full-time from 10am – 5 pm for all five days of the course (10am to “late” on the final day to allow for the sharing of the work).

Course cost is €120

To apply, please write 300 words describing in what ways you would make a positive contribution to an acting ensemble. Make reference any previous acting experiences that you have had and mention in what way you made a positive impact on those projects.

Please send your application by eMail only. Applications Deadline Thursday 30 July. Places announced on Saturday 1 August.

(To increase accessibility to the course, there will be two scholarships available for participants which are sponsored by Pramerica’s 20th anniversary fund donation to An Grianán Theatre. Please indicate if you would like your application to be considered for a scholarship place. Applications will be treated in strict confidence).

**PLEASE NOTE: All course activities will be designed with social distancing in mind and we will be following all the theatre’s protocols and latest public health advice. Participants will be required to exercise social distancing measures and to follow all instructions relating to their safety and to the reduction of risk in relation to the ongoing public health emergency. Please note that a worsening of the public health situation could lead to a cancellation of the course at short notice.

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