DLI Summer School 2019

Saturday July 27 - Saturday 3 August 2019

University of Limerick

This is the 54th DLI Summer School and we return again to the beautiful and peaceful campus of the University of Limerick, situated five miles from Limerick City in a spectacular park on the banks of the River Shannon. The campus is ideally situated for bus and rail travel connections within Ireland and Shannon Airport is only a short distance away.

Living accommodation is provided in attractive village-style 5/6 bedroom apartments, each with ensuite facilities. All apartments have a comfortable living-room/fully fitted kitchen. There will be a full social programme for the week centred in The Stables where everyone can meet and mingle each evening.

Our new team of Willie O'Brien, Ollie Kenny, Mary J Egan, Christine O'Brien and Elaine McLoughlin are looking forward to welcoming old and new participants to Limerick.

We are offering the usual wide range of courses, catering for all levels of experience in acting and directing, as well as a class in Set Design, led by tutor Maree Kearns.

Fees remain at 2018 rates:

Residential: DLI Members €450 Non-members €530

Non-Residential: DLI Members €250 Non-members €295

Enquiries to Willie O'Brien 087 2326259 summerschool@dli.ie

Course A

Kevin O’Connor

A Safety Net and a Beanbag

This beginners’ course offers an introduction to acting in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. It will be ideal for those with little or no acting experience, and for those wishing to recharge their theatrical batteries. We will provide the chance to explore a variety of acting techniques and approaches in a playful, accessible and practical way. Participants will get the chance to practice team-building vocal and communication skills, as well as how to work with a script and create empathy for a character.

Whether you are an aspiring performer, wish to revitalise your creativity, or simply want to try something new to boost self- confidence, you will find this course active, fun and rewarding! The techniques learned here will be transferable not just to your drama work but also to your working and social life. Enhancing communication - learning about yourself and how you relate to others - building confidence and developing your imagination and creativity along the way.

Topics covered include:

• Group exercises, drama games and improvisation • A range of approaches to acting technique • Understanding and developing characters • Rehearsing scenes from various plays • Exploring the use of voice and body through vocal and physical exercises

Course B

Aaron Monaghan

Approaches to Directing

This course is aimed at those new to directing, or those with some experience who wish to expand their skills. The work will be practical, hands-on, and will experiment with the differing techniques required for varying styles of work.

The course content will include:

Physical Theatre


Collaboration with creative teams

Working with Actors

How to get the best from performers

Taking an idea from embryonic stage to full production

Scene studies from specific texts

Throughout the week, participants will alternate between actor and director, and a full enthusiastic collaboration will be expected in improvisational and devised exercises. Participants are encouraged to suggest specific texts in advance that the class may work on over the course of the week.

Aaron trained at The Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College , Dublin. He has worked with The Abbey, is an ensemble member of Druid Theatre Company, and co-founder of Livin' Dred Theatre Company.

Course C

Geoff O’Keeffe

Creating with Courage: An Actor’s Workshop.

For actors with experience who wish to challenge themselves to dig deeper and be more courageous in their creative response to the work, this course affords you the opportunity to work within an industrious, yet supportive environment. For one special week we will create a space where the imagination is ignited, where stories are sometimes whispered, sometimes roared. A space where we give ourselves permission to fail. There is no paying audience, but we will critique, refine and reconsider. We will do it again and again and then we will probably do it again.

Using scenes from a range of contemporary texts that challenge and provoke from Caryl Churchill, Philip Ridley and Marina Carr amongst others, we will seek to be brave and bold in our playing. Exploring a range of techniques, we will find ways of playing the truth of the characters and unravelling their stories. In the knowledge that there are many ways to tell a tale, we will harness the potential of the actor’s physicality, the power of ensemble movement and the expressiveness of choral voice to create dynamic and engaging pieces of theatre.

You will be advised of texts/scenes to be prepared in advance of the course. Bring your heart, your mind, your sense of adventure and jump on board!

Course D

Maree Kearns

How to Make a Scene

If you are the one always figuring out what the world of the play looks like or a director trying to figure out how to achieve a dynamic space for your cast to inhabit, then this is for you! This very hands-on, practical course will look at the creative process of the theatre designer and the many challenges that are faced when creating a show. We will go through the design process step-by-step, breaking down how set and costume designs go from page to stage from the first script reading to opening night. We will work in teams from a pre-selected script and examine the visual aspects of the play. We will also consider the role of design and designer within a production and how that works with the rest of the cast and crew, uncovering how, when and why design decisions are made.

Areas to cover include • Applying the creative process to any production, no matter how big or small.• Brainstorming designs into life, using the whole creative team.• Methods to help think creatively and visually • How to break down, research and get to know the world of your play.• How to use colour, scale and texture in set, costume & lighting design.• How to storyboard, build a scenic model and see why they are important tools for the entire cast and crew.• How the right costume choices help build a character.• Design choices for a touring production.

Course E

Peter McAllister

Scenes from Chekhov’s Plays

In this workshop for advanced actors, we will explore scenes from the plays of the Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov, in versions by Brian Friel and Thomas Kilroy.

Using a range of acting techniques taken from Stanislavsky's System, we will look at a variety of scenes from the major plays. In the mornings we will work on creating the characters - using exercises involving paintings, music and/or improvisation - while in the afternoons we will work on selected scenes - using active analysis or the étude method - as in a professional theatre laboratory.

Note that the key texts will be THE SEAGULL, UNCLE VANYA, and THREE SISTERS, and that some preparation and pre-reading will be required for this workshop.

Course F

Conall Morrison

The Art and Craft of Directing

Conall Morrison will lead a week’s work, for directors and actor-directors, on the art and craft of directing for the theatre. We will explore a wide range of techniques that the director needs to master:

Text analysis - from the classics to the contemporary.

Mise-en-scène - how the director creates the visual world for the play.

Analysis of different styles and genres - how to realise the unique aesthetic of each individual pro-ject.

Improvisation in the rehearsal room - how improvisation can inform and extend performance.

How to approach new writing - how the director can function as dramaturg.

How to learn from great directors - Peter Brook, Lev Dodin, Declan Donnellan, Katie Mitchell, and how to fruitfully build their techniques into one’s own work.

The work will be very hands-on, and participants will alternate as actors and directors throughout the week, exploring the topics and texts by thoroughly working them through on the workshop floor. Participants would need to undertake to have read some set texts in advance.

A challenging but enjoyable week!

Course G

Louise Lowe

The Play is Not the Thing

Sometimes the play is not the actual thing… sometimes we start without the play. Sometimes we start with a play as the inspiration to make something else and sometimes the play we make is not for a stage... theatre can be made in a myriad of ways.

This course is for those who are interested in devising and using the devising process to script and create brand new work. Using different methodologies we will explore how classical texts can be used as a framework for devising and how these in turn can be presented in a variety of immersive settings.

Led by theatremaker Louise Lowe, this playful and challenging course is for those with some experience and an adventurous spirit. Participants will be expected to work with classical and contemporary texts, move physically, act and direct each other… and step off into the unknown!

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