PRIME: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) For Older Actors is an initiative from Irish Theatre Institute in association with Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival, which is designed to provide career supports and training opportunities for the older theatre practitioner. Following an open call for applications, seven professional theatre actors were selected for participation in this pilot programme taking place May – September 2015.

Following attendance of The Shadow of a Gunman at the Abbey Theatre on Tuesday 14th, the fifth day of PRIME took place on Wednesday 15th July featuring a schedule of physical, entrepreneurial and networking sessions.

Highlights included:

Tuesday 14th July            

Evening performance: The Abbey Theatre

The Shadow of a Gunman by Séan O’Casey

Directed by Wayne Jordan

Wednesday 15th July

Pilates: Developing your own routine  

Nóirín McCarthy, True Pilates Dublin

An introductory workshop to pilates tailored towards the individual body with focus on breathing, correct alignment & balance, incorporating useful pointers towards practise at home.

Casting #3: The Abbey Theatre

Kelly Phelan, Casting Director, Abbey Theatre

A discussion of the Abbey’s experiences, approaches, challenges and opportunities of casting older actors in the context of recent productions, including The Abbey’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, earlier this year.

Site Visit and Lunch: The Ark

Maria Fleming, Theatre Programmer, The Ark

Venue Tour with Theatre Programmer Maria Fleming, followed by a discussion on The Ark’s programming and opportunities for older actors over lunch.

Funding Application Preparation: Guidelines, Application and the Budget

ITI Co-Directors and General Manager

A guide to making applications for funding, focussing on guidelines and meeting criteria, effective and feasible budget preparation and completing the application form.

Case Study: From actor to playwright

Noelle Brown, Playwright/Actor, Six in the Attic participant.

Noelle led a session discussing her career to date and the transition from acting to writing in recent years. In 2015 Noelle co-wrote POSTSCRIPT with Michèle Forbes.

PRIME participants 2015:

PJ Brady

Liam Burke

Sheila Flitton

Angela Harding

Michael Judd

Jack Quinn

Jack Walsh