The Lir the National Academy of Dramatic Art
Many of the leading playwrights of world theatre have been educated at Trinity College Dublin, including William Congreve, George Farquhar, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde, John Millington Synge and Samuel Beckett.
The Lir, the National Academy of Dramatic Art, will be launched by the School of Drama, Film and Music in 2011 as a centre of excellence for professional training in all the dramatic arts (acting, design, directing and writing), advancing the rich theatrical heritage of both Trinity and Ireland.
About Drama & Film at Trinity
The School of Drama, Film and Music provides the largest number of programmes in the Arts at Trinity with practice-based dimensions and has been forging links with the arts profession and cultural industries for many years. In 2011, the School will open the professional training conservatoire, The Lir.
The Lir will complement a thriving tradition in the dramatic and cinematic arts at Trinity:
- Ireland’s first Drama department was established here in 1984, and in 1992 the Samuel Beckett Theatre was established, named after one of the most innovative playwrights of the 20th century, to mark the quatercentenary of the university’s foundation.
- Film Studies began in 1998 and since 2003 TCD has pioneered the Republic of Ireland’s first specialist undergraduate course leading to an honors degree in Film Studies. In addition, Film Studies at TCD hosts the Irish Film & TV Research Index Online, a website archive which documents all fiction films made in Ireland and about Ireland and the Irish produced worldwide since the beginnings of cinema.
- In 2009 the School opened a multimillion-euro government-funded Arts Technology Research Laboratory (ATRL).
- The success of Drama and Film at Trinity is reflected in the strength of their links with the theatre and film industries:
- Many of the leading Irish theatre companies have been formed by graduates of the university, such as Rough Magic, Fishamble, Corn Exchange, and Pan Pan.
- The Beckett Theatre showcases the creative output of Drama’s staff and students and hosts visits from some of the most prestigious dance and theatre companies from Ireland, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the United States.
- Many leading theatre artists have provided practical instruction, such as Marina Carr, Michael Keegan Dolan, Selina Cartmell, Fiona Shaw, Anne Bogart, Michael Bogdanov, Jim Sheridan, Patrick Mason, Garry Hynes, Raymond Keane, Ben Barnes, Michael West, Jim Culleton, and Michael Colgan.
- Trinity’s long and distinguished tradition in drama and the cinematic arts is also reflected in its student societies:
- Dublin University Players, Trinity’s student drama society, recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and has produced such eminent directors as Max Stafford-Clark, Michael Bogdanov, and Lynn Parker.
- DU Film Society
- Television Society
- Trinity Film Review
Graduates of Drama and Film at Trinity include many award winning actors, directors, writers and designers, including:
Actors: Dominic West (“The Wire”), Briain F. O’Byrne (Tony Award), Hugh O’Conor (“Chocolat”), Ruth Negga (“Breakfast on Pluto”), Jason O’Mara (“Life on Mars”), Rory Keenan, Tom Murphy (Tony Award), Declan Conlon, Derbhla Crotty (Best Irish Actress Award), Lisa Lambe, Justine Mitchell, George Heslin, Risteard Cooper, Allen Leach, Aaron Monaghan, David Pearse, Karen Ardiff, Cathy Belton and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Best Irish Actor Award).
Writers: Michael West (“Freefall”), Ursula Rani Sarma (“The Magic Tree”), and Simon Doyle (“Oedipus Loves You”).
Theatre Directors: Jim Culleton, Gavin Quinn, Gemma Bodinetz, Selina Cartmell, Annabel Comyn, Jason Byrne, Wayne Jordan, Róise Goan and Jo Mangan.
Lighting Designers: Paul Keogan , Aedin Cosgrove, Sinéad Wallace and Sinéad McKenna.
- The Lir is a landmark departure for the performing arts in Ireland and is formally associated with RADA and emulating its philosophy of training, as well as its ambition.
- Entry to the courses, like at RADA, will be solely by audition, and the courses will not be part of the CAO system or the points race although they will be eligible for fee remission.
- The Lir will have the highest international standards in vocational education and training for actors, directors, designers, playwrights, stage managers and technicians. Students will learn in a vocational conservatoire environment and will be chosen exclusively on their talent and potential, regardless of their educational or economic background.
- The Lir will benefit from the expertise of its Ambassadors, key professionals of international standing in the theatre and related professions.
- It will also benefit from and complement the existing activities and expertise in the School of Drama, Film and Music and the School’s cohort of adjunct professors and lecturers drawn from the theatre and film industries.
- The Lir will contribute to Trinity’s strengths in the dramatic, literary, cinematic and visual arts, the very active theatre, film, radio and television industries, the love of Irish people of drama, film and performance, and the passion to support the arts by private individuals and trusts.
- The Lir will be embedded in the theatre and related professions in Ireland in the delivery of new courses.
- It will be housed in a refurbished, state-of-the-art building in the new cultural quarter of Dublin at the intersection of Grand Canal Square, with its new Grand Canal Theatre, and the Trinity Technology and Enterprise Campus, next to the Arts Technology Research Laboratory.
Adjunct Professors in the School of Drama, Film and Music
Anne Bogart is an American theatre director and a professor at Columbia University where she heads the Graduate Directing Program. A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Bogart has won two Best Director Obie awards, one for No Plays No Poetry But Philosophical Reflections Practical Instructions Provocative Opinions and Pointers From a Noted Critic and Playwright (1988) and the other for The Baltimore Waltz (1990). In 1984 she was also honored with the Bessie Award for Choreographer/Creator for her work with South Pacific. After working together with Mary Overlie at NYU in 1979, Bogart developed a version of an improvisational technique called Viewpoints, based on Mary's discovery of The Six Viewpoints of dance.
Michael Bogdanov, Adjunct Professor of Drama in the Department of Drama, was trained at the BBC in the 1960s and produced, wrote and directed for television in the UK and Ireland. He has directed eight productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, including The Taming of the Shrew for which he received a Director of the Year award in 1979. He was associate director of the Royal National Theatre where he directed about 15 productions. In 1986, Bogdanov and actor Michael Pennington together founded the English Shakespeare Company. In 1990 he was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director. His essays on Shakespeare were published in a critically acclaimed book: Shakespeare: The Director's Cut in 2003, followed by a second volume focusing on the histories in 2005. In 2003, he was involved in setting up the Wales Theatre Company, based in Swansea and Cardiff.
Marina Carr is a leading Irish playwright with her plays being translated and performed throughout the world. Her best known works include By the Bog of Cats…, Portia Coughlan, The Mai, and Woman and Scarecrow.
Fiona Shaw is a leading Irish actor who is regarded as one of the finest classical actresses of her generation. She has worked closely with the director Deborah Warner in such notable productions as Hedda Gabler, Medea, Happy Days, as well as playing the title role in Richard II. She is also well known for her role as Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter films.
Antony Tatlow, Honorary Professor in the Department of Drama, was Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Dublin (1996-2005), Founding Head of the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong (1987-1996), President of the International Brecht Society (1982-1990), and has been Consultant to the Central Academy of Drama, Beijing from 1986. He is the author of Shakespeare, Brecht and the Intercultural Sign (2001), Brechts Ost Asien: ein Parallog (1998), Benwen Renleixue [Textual Anthropology: A Practice of Reading] (1996), Repression and Figuration - From Totem to Utopia (1990), The Mask of Evil: Brecht's Response to the Poetry, Theatre, and Thought of China and Japan (1977), and Brechts Chinesische Gedichte (1973).
Bernard Griffin is a Lighting Designer with 30 years experience and lectures in stage lighting design in Trinity. A graduate of Trinity, he has a Masters Degree in Psychology from University of California, specializing in visual perception. He has also completed four years of study of Advanced Lighting Design at UCSB. A freelance designer, Bernard has designed the lighting for over 3000 shows, including Theatre, Product Launches, Corporate Events, Fashion Shows, Architectural Lighting. He has worked extensively in UK, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, France, Monaco, Greece, Czech Republic, Jamaica, Mauritius, Dubai and Kuwait.
Michael West began his illustrious playwriting career as a Drama student at Trinity. His first play, which emerged from these classes, A Play on 2 Chairs, was first performed in Players Theatre at Trinity in April 1989 where the two characters, He and She, were played by Dominic West and Amanda Hogan. In the intervening years Michael has written several plays including Dublin by Lamplight, Foley and Everday and his latest play, Freefall, was voted the Irish Times Theatre Awards Best New Play 2009. Michael has also translated or adapted many texts including The Marriage of Figaro for the Abbey and Tartuffe for the Gate. He has written the libretto for Ahakista, an opera by Jürgen Simpson, which will premiere in January 2012 in Canada; and is currently developing a new show for The Corn Exchange which will open in Dublin in 2011.
Chisato Yoshimi began an association with the Abbey Theatre as a stage designer in 1983, where she has worked on over 27 shows. In 1988, she became a freelance designer and has designed sets and costumes extensively for other stages and companies, as well as for television and film. Ms. Yoshimi, who studied at the Theatre Design Course at Riverside Studios (which was to become the Motley Theatre Design Course), has lectured in stage design at Trinity since 1990. Work by her and her students was exhibited at the Prague Quadrennial in 2007.
School of Drama, Film & Music Staff
Artists in Residence
Selina Cartmell, Artist in Residence
Selina Cartmell is a leading theatre director in Ireland. She is the Artistic Director of Siren Productions, for whom she has directed Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Fando and Lis and Medea. She has directed Marina Carr's The Cordelia Dream at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Only an Apple, Big Love, and Woman and Scarecrow for the Abbey Theatre. She was chosen as a Protégé in the third cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, to work with Julie Taymor.
Lenny Abrahamson, Film-maker in Residence
Lenny Abrahamson is considered one of the leading young directors of Irish cinema.A graduate of physics and philosophy at TCD, after college he directed the award-winning short film 3 Joes and was director of Adam and Paul (2004), Garage (2007) and the RTE TV series Prosperity (2007).
Michael Keegan Dolan, Theatre-maker in Residence
As the Artistic Director of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, Michael Keegan-Dolan is one of the most celebrated theatre artists in Ireland today. Since 1997 he has choreographed nine works for the company including the internationally acclaimed Midlands Trilogy (Giselle (2003), The Bull (2005), James Son of James (2007)), and most recently The Rite of Spring (2009) in collaboration with the English National Opera. Giselle, The Bull and The Rite of Spring were all nominated for Olivier Awards and in 2008 Keegan-Dolan won the UK Critic's Circle Award for Best Modern Choreography (The Bull). Fabulous Beast have been Artistic Associates of the Barbican in London since 2007.
From 2011-12, the Lir will offer a suite of professional courses:
- Bachelor in Acting (Hons)
- Higher Diploma in Stage Management and Technical Theatre
- Master in Fine Art
Related courses in the School of Drama, Film & Music
- Selina Cartmell, Artist in Residence, directs Medea at the Samuel Beckett Theatre
- Restored Irish Silent Films
- Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
News and Events
View our news and upcoming events.
Best International Short Film for 'Blue Rinse' awarded to two Trinity lecturers in Film Studies at Korean Short Film Festival (AISFF); See trailer for 'Blue Rinse'
Michael West, Lenny Abrahamson and Selina Cartmell join Trinity as Adjunct Lecturers and Artists in Residence
RTE Radio 1 Arts Tonight interview with Prof Brian Singleton and Playwright Conor McPherson regarding Trinity College's new acadamy of dramatic art, the Lir, due to open in September
'Abbey goes back in time: O'Casey evoked in 3d' Irish Times article on the launch of the Old Abbey 1904 project by Dr Hugh Denard, Visiting Fellow Trinity Long Room Hub