Children of The Lir – Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Arts

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Most people have a favourite film or TV programme. Some can quote a few lines from articular scenes. A select few can even manage a passable impersonation of the actors in question. But how many people can perform their impersonations in front of an audience How many can memorise and effortlessly recite numerous pages of dialogue in front of a camera (or several) How many are capable of improvising on the spot in a captivating, responsive and convincing way

The answer, in case anyone’s unfamiliar with the workings of rhetorical questioning, is not many. That’s because acting requires some talent; and good acting requires a lot of it.

And yet talent alone isn’t nearly enough. Becoming a successful actor also requires a fierce level of determination, an ability to fully invest oneself in a given role, and a huge amount of training and practical experience.

Though talent is a natural attribute, determination is a state of mind. The role of an acting course is to harness and inspire one while attempting to rally the other. This is achieved by presenting students with a range of challenges – emotional, mental, personal or other – along with the technical training needed to overcome them. One need only look at the range of courses on offer at The LIR National Academy of Dramatic Art to see the depth and breadth of training options that are available. Below are just a handful of them.

Using Stanislavski’s System (four-day course)
A four-day course on a system that occupies a central place in actor training around the world. It involves looking at and developing four key areas: how the actor works on his/her body, character, on the text, and on being on stage.

Clown for Actors (five-day course)
Not quite what you might expect (that is, big feet, red nose, baloon tricks, etc.), Clown for Acting is specifically designed for actors who wish to more fully develop their vulnerability and sensitivity to the truth of the moment onstage. Clown training is considered to be an indispensable tool for actors looking to know themselves and the space of the stage more intimately. According to the Lir: ‘The Clown requires a commitment, ferocity, and honesty which can propel actors into profoundly new places in their work’. And in five days too. Intense.

Movement Expression for Actors (four-week course)
Acting is about the body as much as anything else. This workshop focuses on the relationships that occur within and between bodies in space. Exercises will explore how people move and are moved in thoughts and feelings. Areas covered include
Personal Space, Greeting and Leaving, Breath, Dynamics in Motion, Advancing and retreating, and Closing and Opening.

Frank Bolger

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