On 18th 05, Irish Theatre Institute, in association with Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival, launched our pilot PRIME programme, designed to provide career supports and training opportunities for the older theatre practitioner. The scheme began with three intensive days in 05 (18th – 20th) with three further dates scheduled for the coming months (10th June, 15th July and 2nd September). The focus of the programme is on the following strands: Physical & Mental Well-being; Arts Entrepreneurship and Your Career; Networking.


Highlights from the 05 dates are detailed below.

Day 1 | Monday 18th 05


Warm up Exercise: Voice

Andrea Ainsworth, Voice Director, Abbey Theatre

Techniques to assist in warming the voice and sustaining your instrument.

Managing your Money

Gaby Smyth, Gaby Smyth & Company, Chartered Accountants

Financial management for working actors who continue to work well beyond the retirement age.

Making your Work: Origination & Development

Gavin Kostick, Literary Manager, Fishamble: The New Play Company

A session on making your own work from idea/origination through to development using Gavin’s insights into and reflections on the Show in a Bag initiative in particular.

Dublin City Arts Office: Supports and Opportunities

Ray Yeates, Dublin City Arts Officer

A discussion on supports, services and opportunities available to older actors through Dublin City Arts Office and Dublin City Council.


Day 2 | Tuesday 19th 05


Alexander Technique Workshop

Sara Shepherd, Irish Society of Alexander Technique Teachers (ISATT)

A practical introduction to the Alexander Technique

Making Your Own Work & Funding

Facilitated by Irish Theatre Institute Co-Directors and General Manager

Group discussion of making your own work and potential funding opportunities currently available.

Lunchtime performance

Being Norwegian at Bewley’s Café Theatre @ Powerscourt

Theatre Upstairs, The Cup Theatre Company and Bewley’s Café Theatre @ Powerscourt

Social Media: Getting Connected/Being Connected and Top Tips

Facilitated by Irish Theatre Institute’s General Manager and Admin and Events Assistant

Getting connected through social media.


Day 3 | Wednesday 20th 05


Ensemble – Wake Up the Body and Sharpen the Mind

Annie Ryan, Artistic Director, The Corn Exchange

A practical workshop in yoga/meditation to wake up the body and sharpen the mind

Case Studies: Show in a Bag/Touring

Invited artists involved previously in Show in a Bag shared their experiences of creating their own work. Show in a Bag is an initiative of Tiger Dublin Fringe, Fishamble: The New Play Company and Irish Theatre Institute to resource theatre makers and actors.

Participating artists:

Marion O’Dwyer and Maria McDermottroe, Payback! Absolut Fringe 2012

Pat McGrath, Small Plastic Wars, Dublin Fringe 2013

Producing & Touring 

Pat Moylan, Theatre Producer, Former Chair of The Arts Council

A discussion with theatre producer Pat Moylan on her work to date including recent projects.

Financial Planning into Older Age: Challenges & Opportunities

Aidan Kelly, Independent Financial Advisor.

A session on financial planning into older age, saving and pension options

Guest Director Session # 1

Lynne Parker, Artistic Director, Rough Magic

A discussion with Lynne Parker about her approach to her practice, her experience of working with older actors and the challenges and opportunities that this presents.

Casting | Bow Street

Maureen Hughes, Casting Director at Maureen Hughes Casting 

Participants travelled to Bow Street with ITI Co-Directors for a site visit and discussion facilitated by Maureen Hughes.