14 December 2016


Tonight is December 12th Courtney and Gigi were the last two students to pick up luggage from my flat.  Gigi picked up Darren's luggage; he will be travelling Europe through mid-January.  Gigi leaves next week and Courtney leaves tomorrow.  I leave next Monday for Rhode Island.  Tonight Courtney and I went to go see Dreamgirls starring Amber Riley who appeared on Glee.  Next to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child it was the best show I saw in London this semester.  Amber and the entire cast were incredibly AWESOME!!!!  We lucked out for a show that is sold out because we got tickets in Row C center (must be house seats)  for 59 pounds.  Regular price was 145 pounds!!!!  Score!  Amber killed it as did all the others.   I also saw the farce, Bank Robbery done by the same group that did The Play That Goes Wrong.  Andrew got Victoria and Diana 40 pound tickets Row D stalls for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  They saw both parts in two days. Last night I went back to Tara Arts to see their Panto, Bollywood Jack.  A Bollywood version of Jack and the Beanstalk done by six actors. It was a fun night with Jonathan, Alise, and Joyce.  Great friends. After I pack up my flat and put things back in storage I want to see a few more shows before I head back to the States.

As I mentioned in the last blog I am posting photos from the final showcase in Dublin where the student did scenes and monologues from Irish plays.  They studied four playwrights, Beckett, Synge, Friel, and O'Casey.  Here is the link with the password if you are interested in watching the showcase. 

 You can find the video here: https://vimeo.com/194889512 . It's password protected and the password is intensiveshowcase so make sure to pass that on if you're sharing it with anyone else. 

Martin McGuire and Courtney after the show.

Patrick Sutton, Martin McGuire and myself after the showcase which was awesome! See my new Irish knit sweater hand made by Katherine Dean from the Aran Islands.

By the way this is Oscar Wilde's house.  Thought I would throw that in,

While back in London some students did some sightseeing.  Taylor, Victoria, and Diana went to the London Eye.  Takes about a half hour to go around and see some great views of London.

The Saturday we returned from London students came by my flat to get their luggage and I then quickly ran off to see Walker Robeson who graduated two years ago and this semester started an MFA program in Acting at East 15.  His class had their showcase at the Globe, and I was invited to see it.  The females did Midsummer Night's Dream and Walker did Cymbline.

As a walked into the theatre this man was waving at me.  I couldn't make out who he was and he then pointed to this lady next to him.  So I moved closer to him and realized that it was Lane and Val Robeson, Walker's parents who flew over for the showcase.  A Great Surprise!!!  After the play we walked around the Christmas Market near the Tate Modern Museum.  A fun night!  This Thursday Walker and I are going to Borough Market for a cheese and wine event!  Should be a nice, relaxing evening.

One on the first people to go back to the States after Dublin was Jake.  Before he left he had to stop at Lush for one last purchase of supplies to bring home.  I think he shed a tear or two when we were leaving!

Well, this is the last blog for this semester and I wanted to wish all of you a Happy Holiday.  Have fun with your family and friends and I will see everyone again at the end of January! Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Good bye London!


01 December 2016


The picture above was hanging in a pub in Soho.  The students could not remember which pub they took the picture at but Nikki Christensen searched on the web and found it.  It is The Duke of Argyll pub on Brewer Street.   Well, 
we ended the London portion of the semester on November 19th.  The last week the students dealt with exams, papers, and projects.  After their acting final on Tuesday they registered for classes for next semester.  See first photo below.

For acting class they did scenes from Caryl Churchill's Love and Informtion.  They performed it in St. Paul's Church in the round!  Excellent job done by all!  After class Tony , the students, and I went to William Morris Whetherspoons in Hammersmith for lunch.

Jake and Andrew joined us after the performance.  Ian and Diana went home to go work on papers.

On Saturday we took off for Dublin to start the two program at the the Gaiety School of Acting, Ireland's premiere acting school. 10 of us left from Heathrow airport!

Look who someone was waiting for at the Dublin airport.  Wonder if he showed up?

We checked into the Abbey Court Hostel which is on the Leffey River and that night attended a production of Donegal , a musical play with a country western type theme, at the Abbey Theatre.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge.  It is in the shape of an Irish Harp.

Andrew was fascinated with how tiny Irish pre-packaged pancakes are.  Can't compare to USA pancakes!!!!

This here is the BEST Hot Chocolate it Dublin.  It is a Guinness Hot Chocolate, and I sweet-talked the barista on teaching me how to make it.  Really, really delicious.  Best Hot Chocolate I ever had!  Can't believe I got their secret recipe.


The Gaiety School is on the right.  More on the school in the next blog.
     Courtney is obsessed with Colin Donoghue from Once Upon a Time. He along with Aiden Turner from Podark and The Hobbit, Colin Farrell, Olivia Wilde, and Moe Dunford from Vikings and Partick's Day are all from the Gaiety School.

A Leprechaun on a smoke break!

Victoria found her pub!

Throughout the two weeks we attended many shows.  Mainstream at the Project Arts Centre and at Smock Alley Theatre we saw two great one-person shows.  A Fit Fife for a Revolution which was excellent and Patrick Sutton's play, Iscariot starring Charlie Hughes.  Here is Patrick and I and the students studying at Gaiety in front of the set or Iscariot.

Courtney organizing the scenes and monologues she is working on for the showcase.

The day after we arrived and the day before classes started some of the students went on the Guinness Tour.

Again the Guinness in Ireland is wonderful.  Does not taste like Guinness in other countries because there are no preservatives in it.  Here the students are learning how to properly pour a pint of Guinness.  They are now all expert pourers!!!!

I think this Irishman is really pleased with himself!

For the past several years we have celebrated  Thanksgiving at the Abbey Hostel in Ireland.  So I commandeered the kitchen again this year and made turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (with brown sugar, honey, and Irish whiskey, pecans and marshmallows) carrots with honey, cranberry sauce(which we forgot to eat),  corn on the cob, green bean casserole or hot dish as they say in Minnedota, and pumpkin pies the students made.  Claudette from Paris, Heather from DC, and Nora from Brussels also joined us.  Martin and Patrick could not attend the dinner this year much to their dismay so they sent Rory from the Gaiety School to join us!

Claudette, Zach, Rory, and Nora.  Claudette and Nora are in the acting classes with our students and Rory does PR for Gaiety.

 Methinks they are stuffed!

I left a care package of Thanksgiving dinner for Patrick, Martin, and Karen.  Patrick seems to be enjoying it.


I took the students to Galway for the weekend.  We arrived to find out that Barnacles Hostel did not have our room reservations!!!!  They were booked by mistake for Dublin, and they had no rooms left.  We ended up staying the first night at Snoozles and the second night in Kinsay Hostel, both very, very nice places.  We went to the Xmas fair and then my favorite Galway Pub with a nice fireplace and music!  

THE place for fish and chips in Galway!  Had cod on Saturday night!  My back went out so students brought fish and chips back to the hostel for me....yummy!

Dillon's, the best place to buy an Irish ring and it has a small museum in the back with the smallest ring ever made.

MacDonald's in Galway.  Can't believe they did it! I did too...


Jake, Andrew, and Diana went to the Cliffs of Moher on Sunday and took a later bus back to Dublin.  Here are their photos.

Proof he was pushed!


Throughout the two weeks students were taken on various cultural trips including a walking tour of Dublin with Marie, St. Michan's Church where they went into the crypt and saw dead bodies from the medieval period, the National Library's Yeats Exhibition, Little Museum of Dublin, and EPIC, a museum of Emigration.  Here are photo's from that museum which included a light show.

In addition to the other plays we got to see a panto, Robin Hood and His Seven Merry Men at the Gaiety Theatre (not related to the school).  Panto is strictly a UK artform.

Our last show in Ireland was  The Heiress at The Gate Theatre.  Here we are having tea served in real cups and saucers during the interval.

"Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!"  - Jake the Irish Elf

Next blog will be about our showcase in Dublin that the students will be performing tomorrow at 5 pm Ireland time!  Until then....