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StageWorks Annual Drama Summer course is for adults of all ages with interests in acting, directing and drama and theatre in general, including musical theatre. It is suitable for those with experience and beginners. 

StageWorks Annual Drama Summer School will this year take place in Athlone in the modern and spacious facilities at AIT (Athlone Institute of Technology) campus – one of the most modern and progressive campuses in Ireland. After a number of months reviewing many locations throughout Ireland, the StageWorks team are delighted to have selected AIT as the best match for our summer school requirements.

Over the last number of years, the courses which our attendees have been requesting have required larger spaces and more comfortable rooms, something which simply was not available at the older facilities at Gormanston College.

Athlone, as a central location, is the perfect match for our attendees. StageWorks attracts passionate actors, directors and singers from all over Ireland and access is a critical consideration for attendees.

AIT offers:

  • Central location, accessible by motorway and under 2 hours from Dublin Airport.
  • Large rehearsal spaces which are suitable for the types of courses we offer and the tutors at StageWorks.
  • Excellent accommodation facilities adjacent to the college campus.
  • Close access to the town of Athlone, local shops and walking distance to Golden Island Shopping Centre for those that need to shop for essentials during the duration of the course.
  • High-quality catering facilities on the AIT Campus. The facilities are modern and the quality of food is highly regarded by the staff and students of AIT.
  • Athlone has a long association with drama and amateur dramatics. We hope that StageWorks will become part of this strong association.
  • For many years, the StageWorks Annual Drama Summer School has been organised and operated by husband and wife team, Eamonn and Freda O’Donoghue. They have devoted their time and talents to ensure the highest standard of excellence that has made the ‘StageWorks Experience’ the great success it has become today. The annual drama course is now managed by Cormac Donoghue, ensuring that Gormanston Experience continues to live on and develop in the coming years.

So, StageWorks 2018 marks the start of a new chapter in our long-running and renowned drama summer school. Most of what makes the StageWorks experience so special will continue while we feel that the much-improved facilities and location will make our course offerings even more exciting.

Here’s what you can continue to expect from your week at StageWorks:

  • National and International tutors with many years experience throughout Europe. Some tutors will be returning to StageWorks, ensuring the continuity of our course quality and approach.
    Approximately 35 hours of tuition. This is the equivalent of almost a semester of tuition.
  • Quality accommodation. This year’s accommodation is Heather View Court http://www.heatherviewcourt.com/
  • We will be running fun-filled social evenings during the week such as table quizzes, fancy dress, discos, etc…
  • All course attendees will get the opportunity to try a session of all other courses. Re-introduced in 2017, these “taster” workshops are a great eyeopener to other areas of what StageWorks offers.
  • 3 Meals and coffee breaks are included in the course fee.
  • At the end of the week, some of the courses will present parts of their work or a taster of the work they have done over the week. This is always a highly enjoyable presentation.


Eamonn O’Donoghue, Course Director

Eamonn O'Donoghue - Artistic Director - Gormanston Drama Summer SchoolEamonn is a former secondary school principal and co-founder of StageWorks at Gormanston Drama Summer School. He is an experienced theatre director with many stage productions to his credit. He has also directed for TV and Radio. His production of Patrick Galvin’s “Last Burning” represented Ireland at the World Theatre Festival in Monaco. In 1998 he established Acorn Theatre and recent productions include Da, The Lonesome West, Moll and The Kings of the Kilburn Road. He currently divides his time between freelance directing and school administration. In 2005, he coordinated the StageWise series at the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, Dublin.  In addition, he has established Acorn Youth Theatre with whom he has devised a theatre in the round, production entitled “What’s the Story?


Cormac Donoghue, Course Manager

Cormac looks after the management and administration for Gormanston Drama Summer School. A graduated from NUI Galway; he specialises professionally in digital marketing and event management. Cormac has been involved with the theatre and arts for many years, learning the production ropes from a very young age and continuing throughout his years at university. He has previously worked extensively with Seven Ages Theatre Company, Galway and is a former Auditor of the NUIG Drama Society. He previously served as an award-winning Festival Director of the ISDA (Irish Student Drama Association) Festival and is also a founding member of ISDA.

Cormac joined the team in 2013, but his connection to Gormanston Drama Summer school pre-dates that. Nephew of Course Director Eamonn O’Donoghue and son of renowned former Gormanston tutor Joe Donoghue, Cormac was born into the world of drama and theatre and has had the privilege of learning at the feet of his late father.


The team also works with StageWise, the Annual Performing Arts Camp for Teens, a sister company of StageWorks Annual Drama Summer School.