Acting Project - A wonderful way to spend a few hours

April 23, 2012


Maggie's Blog

So what exactly happens during an acting workshop? Well, just about anything as I discovered over the past few months as part of Draíocht’s Theatre Project with Liam Halligan.

So far we have had a few sessions with the group as a whole and have just completed 5 sessions in smaller groups that took place over the months of March and April.

Never having acted before I had no idea what to expect; would we be reading from scripts or doing improv? Not quite, in a class with Liam you do things that are a little bit outside the box. The first thing is an icebreaker … a chance to learn one another’s names. We do this by standing in a circle and throwing balls at each other. It’s unusual but it works, you quickly learn who you are in class with when you have balls flying around the room. From there it’s a quick warm up, a few gentle exercises to get the blood flowing and some vocal exercises and then the real fun begins.

We spend the rest of the session going through a variety of different exercises. On one occasion Liam had us singing a newspaper ad for a mobile phone company, on another we worked with chairs, following each other around the room and placing our chairs in response to our partners; we've danced, we've talked … it can be a bit embarrassing at first but you soon get into the swing of things and forget all your inhibitions. Sometimes we just sit down and talk about our experiences of life, our fears for the future and the realities of living in Dublin 15 in 2012.

All in all it’s been a great experience so far and a wonderful way to spend a few hours. I can't wait to see what's in store over the coming months.

Maggie Walsh

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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre, Workshops, Liam Halligan,


February 28, 2012

We hoped to get 20 people involved. But we got 60! Draíocht is delighted with the wonderful response to this community theatre project. Our Artist in Residence, theatre director Liam Halligan, is very excited about the possibilities that are arising from working with such a large, varied and smashing group of people. We are currently working through the second stage of the process. Stage 3 will take place in July. The objective is to build a group dynamic, to build confidence, to have fun, to collaborate, to share stories, to inspire each other and to create something that matters. The themes and content of the final piece are emerging … themes of faith, belonging, mistrust of our political, financial and religious institutions … what does the future hold? The project will culminate in a number of public performances in Draíocht taking place at the end of November 2012. Stay tuned for more info or email 


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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre, Workshops, Liam Halligan,


September 28, 2011


Draíocht is offering a drama project which includes free acting classes for people resident in the Dublin 15 area.

How is this possible? 
Well, The Arts Council and Fingal County Council are funding a one year Theatre Artist in Residence programme in Draíocht for 2011/2012 and we are delighted that Liam Halligan will take up this position in November.

So who can participate? 
Anybody between the ages 16 and 116! In fact, we are looking for individuals who have no or very little acting experience. We need a good mix of age, background and gender so once you’re 16 or over, then we’d like to talk to you.

When does it start? 
Liam will meet with individuals and groups from November 2011 to February 2012 to explain the Project in detail. Various groups of 8/10 people each will be formed and the acting workshops will take place in Draíocht from March-May 2012. Times will be arranged to suit the participants.

Is there a next stage? 
Liam would like to create a piece of theatre based on issues that come up during the acting workshops. Approximately 15 people from the various groups will be invited to work with Liam for a further 6 workshops during the month of June. These will take place in the evening time. Liam will write a final script over the summer.   

What about performance? 
The final group of 15 will come back in September 2012 to rehearse and perform the play in Draíocht’s Studio Space in November 2012.

What will it cost?  
Nothing but time, commitment and a sense of adventure.

What do I do if I or my community group are interested in getting involved? 
Get in touch with Emer McGowan, Draíocht’s Director by phone 01 8098027 or by e-mail and let her know that you’d like to hear more.

We have an application form that we can send you.

Liam Halligan is an established actor, tutor, theatre director and theatre maker nominated as Best Director for two productions by the Irish Times Theatre Awards

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By Draíocht. Tags: Draiocht Info, Theatre, Workshops, Liam Halligan,

Classes & Courses this Season

September 15, 2011

Classes & Courses this Season

There are lots of classes and courses for you to choose from this Season, including a Directing Course with Jim Culleton (1 day, 2 Oct), Painting with Genevieve Harden (6 weeks, Thurs mornings), Autumn Drawing Course (8 weeks, Wednesday evenings), Acting (starting in Nov, and FREE) and a Print Workshop for Adults (2 Saturdays in November) ... Booking & Info on 8852622 ... or more info is here ...

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By Draíocht. Tags: Workshops,

Why arts are so important for young people?

June 30, 2011

Why arts are so important for young people?

Sarah Beirne, Children & Youth Arts Officer, Draíocht

This is the third year Draíocht has run this Art Explorers Summer Workshop Series with artist and facilitator Genevieve Harden, together with Sarah Beirne, Children & Youth Arts Officer with Draíocht.

Draíocht has a commitment to working with children and young people and opening up opportunities of high quality arts experiences such as these. This commitment is based on a belief that all people are entitled to experience high quality and varied arts experiences and so all children are entitled to creative and cultural opportunities.

Genevieve has years of experience working in community arts and has been involved in various workshops with young people with Draíocht for the last 10 years. She is a regular arts facilitator at our free Saturday Family Days that run throughout the school year. This summer the Art Explorer’s Workshops (4-8 July 2011) will concentrate on works of famous artists. We'll paint a bit like Van Gogh and sculpt a bit like Sir Henry Moore. We'll give the young participants a chance to explore a range of materials and be introduced to some of the great art works from different times and different places.

Arts experiences for young people and children are important as the arts can be a safe place to explore their imagination, to express themselves and to find new ways of communicating and socializing. Participating in high quality arts from a young age has the ability to strengthen problem solving skills and critical thinking skills, as well as giving young people the chance to meet and negotiate with new friends. During these workshops, for example, participates will work together on projects, so learning to collaborate and develop crucial skills in cooperation, decision-making, leadership, communication and problem solving while working with others. In such workshops the imagination can run where it wishes giving a chance for participants to develop cognitive and creative skills. For some participants they will discover a life long love of art and arts participation that can enrich life. For some it can even become their main motivation for going to school or later a career in the creative arts or simply a social and enjoyable outlet. The arts have the ability to teach young people to be more tolerant and open through multicultural and historical perspectives, for example by exploring artists from different times and places.

During visual arts workshops such as Art Explorers in Draíocht, children will create works through the materials at hand, things that are important and relevant to them. The arts give the opportunity to actually participate in the world - you don't just watch someone else doing - you are doing. 

Involving and engaging young people and children in the arts is an opportunity to ask them about what they think, rather then telling them what they should think. Mostly art has the ability to provide a fun experience. It gives the opportunity to celebrate work, have a chat - get a bit messy and to take pride in a job well done.

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.” (taken from Pablo Picasso Quotes, Spanish Artist & Painter 1881-1973).

More info on Art Explorers Summer Projects at Draiocht ...

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Workshops, Youth Arts,

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