18 August 2016


Welcome to my 2016 London Blog!  I have to tell you it is going to be a fantastic semester.  I want to give you a preview of what is in store.  We have 12 students participating in the program this year and I am looking forward to them arriving next week.  We are producing the play, The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey.  The original play was a one-woman show written and performed by Jessica.  We are doing the ensemble version and it is the London Premiere of this show!  We will be performing at the New Wimbledon Studio Theatre October 5 - 8.

In addition to rehearsing and performing the play and taking a full load of classes students will have the opportunity to attend many productions here in London.  Here are some of the shows we will attend for my two classes.

Macbeth at the Globe Theatre

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which was first performed at the National Theatre and is now on the West End (London's equivalent to Broadway)

The West End hit The Book of Mormon

The hilarious farce, The Play That Goes Wrong!

We are seeing a number of shows at the National Theatre.

I wanted to see what these students are made of so I booked the Young Chekhov Series where we will see all three plays in one day.  Will let you all know how that goes!!!

Our fringe show will be Paradise of the Assassins which is very topical.  This is being performed at Tara Arts' new refurbished theatre building.  It is gorgeous!  Tara is where we have performed a number of our plays in the past.  It is re-opening this semester.

The Royal Court Theatre is doing Susan-Lori Park's play, Father Comes Home from the Wars parts 1, 2, and 3.

One Night in Miami is a meeting between 22 yr old Cassius Clay soon to be Mohammad Ali, singer, Sam Cooke, activist, Malcom X  and American football star, Jim Brown the night Clay wins the world heavyweight championship.

Really excited to see Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land.  I had the pleasure of seeing them perform together in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.  They have great chemistry on stage!

Another treat is being able to see Anthony Sher perform King Lear in RSC's production of King Lear that is transferring to the Barbican Theatre in London from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Finally, during our last week in London we will see one of my favorite actors, Mark Rylance, in Nice Fish a play written by his wife.  He performed this while he was at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.  It is about ice fishing in Minnesota.  How appropriate!  Rylance won the Oscar last year for Best Supporting Actor in Bridges of Spies with Tom Hanks and was the giant in BFG that was in theatres this summer!

We will also be taking backstage tours of The Drury Lane Theatre which is London's oldest theatre and The National Theatre.

Rounding out the semester we will be going on four day trips: Cambridge, Canterbury, Blenheim Palace, and Bath.  Look forward to our adventures during our 5 day trip to Scotland after our play is finished!!!  Lots of fun!!!  Haunted City and Tunnel Tour, Haggis, and backpacking to the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness!!!   8 students will then take part in a two-week intensive program at The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland.  Ireland's premiere acting school.  They will study four Irish playwrights and perform scenes and monologues from their works at the end of the two weeks in a public showcase.  Last year it was live streamed.  Others not acting will be working in Irish Theatres.  If you want to follow our adventures subscribe to this blog and you will be notified everytime I post something!

That's All Folks!!!

09 December 2015


Well, the second week in Ireland was to say the least eventful.  In Galway some of the students bought rings for themselves or significant others!  I did NOT buy another sweater but somehow I lost my blue Irish knit sweater somewhere.  The main event week two was our showcase of the some of the scenes and monologues that students worked on for two weeks at the Gaiety School of Acting.  They could not possibly do all the scenes they worked on because we would have had a three hour showcase.  So on Friday they chose and rehearsed the scenes that they would perform.  In addition to the two acting classes with Patrick Sutton and Martin Maguire students had a seminar class with Gerry Dukes on Beckett and Friel and a voice class with Russell Smith that they truly enjoyed and in which they learned a lot.  This year the showcase was live-streamed from the Gaiety and 223 people worldwide watched it!!!!  Amazing!  Here are some photos of the scenes that were performed.


Riders to the Sea and Deirdre of the Sorrows by J.M. Synge


Playboy of the Western World by J.M. Synge

 Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Piece of Monologue from Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Translations by Brian Friel

photo from the live stream on TV

Philadelphia Here I Come by Brian Friel

Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel

Curtain call

Group photo taken by Tom who took all the photos above that can also be seen on the Gaiety's website.

More photos of Galway!!!

Museum that has the history of the Claddagh ring! It also has the smallest ring ever made.  Need to view it with a magnifying glass.

A Santa run!!!!

Costa Coffee in Mall in Galway

Full Irish Breakfast!  Blood pudding included.

Back in Dublin:

Street art on Project Theatre wall supports the "yes" vote for gay marriage which passed!  We saw another play at the Project, In the Glass Darkly.  Terrific acting!

Students also got to experience an Irish Panto!  Little Red Riding Hood at the Gaiety Theatre.

You Never Can Tell by George Bernard Shaw at the Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre.  Ironic that we ended our semester seeing a Shaw play.  Debates on Shaw were a big part of our show, Some Americans Abroad.

Students, as I mentioned in the last blog, went to St. Michan's Church where in the crypt they got to touch dead bodies for good luck.  There are some pics of those bodies!!!!

In addition to a trip to the Little Museum of Dublin, students went on a Viking Splash Tour of Dublin.  This "Duck" vehicle also went in the water.  As they rode around Dublin, they had to yell at people they passed in the streets!!!!  Real barbarians!!!!