Archive for August 8th, 2008

New Irish Drama Centre

8th August 2008

The Stage reports that a new Irish drama academy will be established and accepting students within three years. It is part of a project envisioned by Cathal Ryan, a son of Ryanair co-founder Tony Ryan, who died last December aged 48.

The Cathal Ryan Trust, which he established to help finance his dream, has announced plans for the new centre, to be sited on the campus of the National University of Ireland at Maynooth, County Kildare.

The Ryan Maynooth Centre, as it will be known, will house both a national training academy for dramatic arts and a public theatre with a seating capacity of 450 to 600. The academy will include a student theatre space, tutorial rooms, rehearsal and training studios, plus media/sound facilities. A competition to design the centre has just been won by a Dublin-based architectural firm, Smith and Kennedy.

According to the trust, the academy will provide full degree courses in acting, directing and stagecraft, “employing top class tutors from Ireland and abroad”.

RADA’s Lloyd Trott is helping to prepare the curriculum, which will also include higher diplomas and other postgraduate qualifications. A writer’s bursary programme, backed by the trust, is also planned and the facility will operate in collaboration with Tom Madden, head of theatre studies at Maynooth.