09 December 2013


On Saturday, November 23rd students who were going to study at the Gaiety School of Acting, Ireland's Premiere Acting School and myself went to Dublin.  We were all put on an earlier flight so we got to Dublin together.  Carlos, Sydney, and Molly got their early.  We met Molly at the airport and Carlos and Sydney at the hostel.  Also in Dublin not doing the program were Hannah Lawson and her sister and Jimmy Lynch who stayed for a week.  During the second week Keara Hannan and Kylie McElrath visited us in Dublin.  We stayed at the Abbey Court Hostel  This was the first year we stayed there.  Unlike Barnacles in the past, this hostel was warm, had plenty of room, and a pretty decent breakfast!  They also had free Wifi, a Computer Room, Hammock Room (2 Hammocks), and Cinema Room that students could use for rehearsing.  Students were able to use the kitchen facilites to cook their meals...lots of pasta; however, in the case below fried or roast chicken!  Also lots of Ice Cream!

The hostel was located along the Liffey River on Bachelor's Walk right around the corner from O'Connell Street!

The Gaiety School was a 10 minute walk and is located in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. The following are some of the images in Temple Bar.

On Monday of the first week we had a meet and greet at 9:30 and then a walking tour of Dublin lead by Marie Fitzpatrick.  We saw two shows at The Smock Alley Theatre on Saturday(the day we got there) and on Monday evening. Guaranteed! and The Circus of Perseverance.  Students also began Acting Class with Patrick Sutton who worked on scenes and monologues from Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel. Students also had a Irish Drama Seminar with Gerry Dukes, who knew Beckett personally! On Wednesday they visited St. Michan's Church and Vaults and got to touch the finger of a mummified body hundreds of years old.  That night we went to see Silent, a one-man show at the Peacock Theatre, below the Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre. On Thursday, in addition to class, they went to the Guinness Storehouse for a tour and had a voice class with Helena. After their acting class Friday morning we went to Galway for the weekend.  Those photos will be in the next blog.  While 9 of the students took acting class Hannah Schwartze was able to take private lessons for the two weeks from two of the people from Riverdance!  She learned two of the solos that will be in their new show!!  She was fantastic in the showcase...Photos below.  On Thursday, Thanksgiving, while students were in class Jimmy Lynch and I cooked Thanksgiving Dinner in the hostel.  We invited Patrick Sutton!  It was his first Thanksgiving.  This is also the first time we have celebrated Thanksgiving in Ireland.  We are usually still in London!  We had Turkey breasts and legs, home made stuffing that Jimmy made, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, broccoli, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Apple pie and  whipped cream for dessert. We took the left overs to Galway. Enjoy the photos from that dinner!

Cheers Patrick!

Colleen stole my camera and took pictures of herself....many, many pictures of herself....here are two.

We had a great time in Galway.  Again, see the next blog.  The second week Gerry Dukes did a seminar on O'Casey: After Nationalism. Martin McGuire took over acting classes and worked on scenes and monologues from Sean O'Casey and John Millington Synge.  Cultural visits were A Yeats Exhibition at The National Library and a visit to The Book of Kells and Trinity Library.  The resst of the week were classes with Patrick and Martin to put the showcase together.  One of the theatre trips that week was to the Panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  This was the first panto that the students have seen. We learned about panto in the Theatre in London class and they actually had the opportunity to see one.  Kylie and Keara joined us that evening.  Pantos are usually fairy tales but unlike anything you have seen.  Lots of singing and dancing with popular pop songs and songs from various musicals thrown in.  Lots of audience participation.  Kids love it as do adults!  Lot of humor the kids do not get!  Our students LOVED it!!!  Still drives me nuts!

Kids get free make up outside on the street before going into the theatre.

As I said...Kids get made up outside the theatre before going in.....

Curtain Call!

The other show we saw at the black box theatre at Gaiety was Iscariot starring Charlie Hughes, below, and written and directed by Patrick Sutton.  This was about my 7th or 8th time seeing it.  It sill holds up!  Charlie was great!

On Friday at 5:30 the students presented their showcase.  The main audience was the first year students at the Gaiety School of Acting.  Billy Murphy's father arrived that day and was able to see the showcase!  They did an excellent job.  Both Patrick and Martin were pleased...as was I.  Impressive!

Hannah performed her two solos.  The costume is an actual Riverdance costume that will be used in the new show!!!  They let her borrow one!  She actually danced to new music that we had to erase after the performance!!!!

Patrick and Martin, directors and teachers extraodinaire !!!

Two of my friends, past graduates of the Gaiety School of Acting were performing in Dublin so after the showcase I went to the Boys School at Smock Alley to see David Fennelly who wrote and acts in Fishes.  It was a two person show and both actors and script were fantastic.  Then I ran off to The Project Theatre to see my good friend Moe Dunford in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. He played John Hinckley who tried to kill President Reagan  to prove his love to Jodie Foster.  Some of you may know Moe from the History Channel's Vikings; he plays Prince of Wessex! 

John Doran and David Fennelly

Assassins at the Project Theatre.  Great show!  Billy and his dad also went to see this with me.

Moe Dunford and I catching up!  We spend a few hours after the show talking!

 While we were in Dublin. Chris, Phil, and Rachel went to Vienna, Prague, and Budapest.  Kylie also did some travelling. Keara and some SMU friends went to Scotland and went hiking this time.  Then Phil and Chris ON THEIR OWN went to go see The Book of Mormon. Wonders never cease...hahaha.  They met up with Gavin Creel whom they met in class.  The also got to meet his dog!!!