Course E: Be the Change you Want to See in the World

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Thomas Conway

The course is designed for actors seeking techniques for rehearsing strong central roles which undergo profound changes over the course of the drama. It has participants on their feet from the start, exploring such elements in stage performances as rhythm in movement and speech, ensemble work, improvisation, physicalising dialogue and collaborating with fellow actors in finding stage actions. It explores recent adaptations of Ibsen's A Doll's House—whose iconic central role offers the most compelling and most frequently performed example of character undergoing a radical change; —including an imagined sequel, Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, where the husband, daughter and nanny turn the tables on Ibsen’s famous lead.

The course gives an overview of the actor's process from first encounter to final run through. It addresses such tasks along the way as breaking down a play into events, achieving spontaneity within the given circumstances of the play, and developing techniques for interpretations grounded in actions. It also offers actors techniques for critiquing their own work.

It will also give practical insights into the acting process and enables participants to bring their personal strengths and experiences to bear on the tasks involved. The techniques explored translate into each participant's particular circumstances, and especially supports those performing at a competitive level; however, the course assists all participants to gain confidence in taking on central roles. It asks of each participant to be the change they want to see in the world and to experience how theatre-making is well placed to support us in making those changes.

Thomas Conway teaches contemporary theatre at the Lir Academy, Dublin. As a dramaturg and director, Thomas has worked with Druid, Painted Bird (co-writer with Fiona McGeown on Between Trees and Water – best new play, Dublin Fringe Awards 2014), Moonfish, Pan Pan, Fabulous Beast, among others. His directing credit include the world première of Enda Walsh’s Gentrification. He served as Theatre Talking Host at Dublin Theatre Festival for the years 2017 and 2018 and is the editor of The Oberon Anthology of Contemporary Irish Plays.