Well for the past two weeks six students and myself have been in Ireland where the students are studying at The Gaiety School of Acting, Ireland's Premiere Acting School. This from is where Colin Farrell, Olivia Wilde, Aiden Turner (the Hobbit), Sarah Green, Moe Dunford (Patrick's Day and TV's The Vikings) all graduated.
Two Saint Mary's alums, Melissa Fye and Sarah Reinke, also graduated from the Gaiety. We arrived on Saturday the 22nd of November and after we checked into our hostel, The Abbey Court, we went to the Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre to see Sive, a play in which the young girl, Sive, kills herself at the end of the play so she will not have to marry an old man who the local matchmaker arranged for her to marry instead of the young boy she loved. Typical Irish drama!!! We had Sunday free to explore Dublin. On Monday morning we had a meet and greet session with Patrick Sutton, the Executive Director of the Gaiety School and Karen Lee, the Administrative Coordinator who set up our itinerary for the two weeks. Patrick some of you may remember directed the Saint Mary's production of Playboy of the Western World. After we had our coffee, tea, and donuts, Marie Fitzpatrick took the students on a walking tour of Dublin. When they returned they had their first acting class with Patrick.
Acting class with Patrick.
Meet and Greet.
Me with my lovely cup of coffee and the itinerary.
Karen looking lovely, as usual!!!
During the week the students continued to have acting class with Patrick, a seminar class on Beckett and Synge with Gerry Dukes, a personal friend of Samuel Beckett, and a visit to St. Michan's Church where the students got to go into the crypt and touch the mummified body of a soldier from the Crusades! For good luck! They also went to the National Library to a Yeats Exhibition. We saw a production of Turn of the Screw at The Smock Alley Theatre which is the theatre Patrick restored and Defender of the Faith, an intense play dealing with The Troubles in Northern Ireland at the Project Theatre. We also celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday evening. After acting class on Friday, their first one with Martin McGuire, an established actor and playwright, we got on a bus and went to Galway for the weekend.
Here are students practicing their Waiting for Godot scenes in Smock Alley Theatre, Ireland's oldest theatre and one of the oldest theatres in Western Europe.
I spent the day cooking Thanksgiving dinner in the hostel while the students were in classes all day. We invited Patrick and Martin to dinner and had a great time. I made homemade stuffing with ground pork and yes, Jimmy Lynch, raisins! Turkey, roast potatoes in goose fat, sweet potatoes with brown sugar, nutmeg, butter and Paddy whiskey, corn, and a green bean casserole or as they say in Minnesota - hot dish. We had rhubarb pie and apple pie. A good time was had by all.
Our Irish guests, Patrick and Martin! Patrick's 2nd Thanksgiving and Martin's first!
Katie cutting the apple pie.
I think Anna was full and content.
The hostel encouraging guests to wash their dishes!!!!
Anne and Gabe doing dishes after the meal.
Michael being Michael!
As mentioned above, we went to Galway after acting classes on Friday. We stayed at Barnacles hostel in the City Center.
That evening we had fish and chips at McDonagh's, Galway's famous fish and chips restaurant which was right next door to the hostel.
We later went to the Christmas Market and walked around.
Saturday morning we went to the farmer's market behind the hostel. Besides food, they sell all sorts of gifts and crafts. Here are some close up shots of some of the produce being sold! My artsy photos!
Friday night we went to my favorite pub in Galway. Not a tourist pub but one with a lot of locals. It is small, quaint, and relaxing. It has a great fireplace, and local musicians that come in around 10 pm and play. They had a photographer taking pictures for their website, and I posted a few of the pictures that appeared on their site.
The rest of Saturday the students explored Galway, especially the seacoast and beaches. I, meanwhile, bought another hand made Irish knit sweater that I ordered last year and which was made this spring by Christine, a knitter on the Aran Islands. Luckily she made it in the spring because now she is booked up until July with orders. I purchase my sweaters at O'Maille's. If fact, as we were walking to the hostel from the bus, the owner of O'Maille's was standing in her doorway and saw me and said "I have your sweater. I locked it up so no one would buy it!" I was wondering if she had had it made because I hadn't heard from her at all. By the way, it is RED! You can see it in the next set of pictures.
We arrived back in Dublin on Sunday evening and on Monday the students had class with Martin McGuire and Patrick.
Gabe studying lines in the hostel.
Katie's scripts. I bit overwhelming!
THE VIKINGS TOUR OF DUBLIN!
Why is Gabe wearing shorts in the cold you may be asking? His laundry was not ready so he had to do the Viking tour in shorts.
Boy were his legs white!!!
Our tour guide resembled Andrew Winecke.
Me wearing my new Irish knit sweater!
Michael, the meanest Viking! We had a great time roaring at the public as we drove by them.
Our tour was on a duck boat/bus....so we entered the water!
This is where U2 and other groups record their albums.
A modern sculpture representing trees, urban trees. The building is a performing arts space. Better view below.
We attended a production of Iscariot, a play written by Patrick Sutton that we get to see every year. This was performed in the black box theatre at Smock Alley. We also visited the Book of Kells and the Long Room library at Trinity College. The Long Room has over 250,000 first editions of books. Pretty impressive.
A highlight of the week was attending the panto, Peter Pan, at the Gaiety Theatre (no affiliation with the Gaiety School). It was not as good as panto's in the past!
Gabe holding bread in the shape of a heart. He managed to eat the center and left the crust!!!
On our way home we found this painted on the side of the street. Street art?
Tomorrow is the showcase of all of the scenes and monologues that the students have been working so hard on these past two weeks. I will post photos of the showcase this weekend. We fly back to London on Saturday. I would say it has been a terrific two weeks here in Ireland!
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!!!