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Course F 2019 – Text in Practice – Aonghus Óg McAnally

This course will focus on the actor and the word. We will be working from contemporary Irish texts and those from the canon. Among the works chosen writers will include Tom Murphy, Marina Carr, Christian O’Reilly and other contemporary Irish playwrights.

The workshop will be practical and will focus on realising work on the floor. We will look at the world of the play, its place, time, and social, geographical and political context; we will explore character by probing for facts, understanding context that informs action and explore their contradictory drives and objectives; we will investigate where lies the dramatic action in any given scene and where change occurs to forward narrative, we will look at the play’s language and how it informs our reading of a character and our understanding of the world of the play.  We will encourage actors to have fun and make brave choices.

COURSE TUTOR: Aonghus Óg McAnally

Aonghus is a graduate of the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin and also trained with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company in New York. Work while at the Beckett Centre included Mad Forest, The Dandy Dolls, Interludes, and Ubu Roi.
Work at the Abbey Theatre includes Major Barbara, The House, The Burial at Thebes, Big Love, Romeo & Juliet and The Plough and the Stars, which also toured to The Barbican, London as part of the Abbey’s centenary celebrations. Elsewhere, Aonghus has appeared in Rebel Rebel (Anu Productions) Traitor (That Lot), Run/Don’t Run by Gary Duggan, The Judge’s House, Slattery’s Sago Saga, and The Nose (Performance Corporation), Serious Money (Rough Magic Seeds), Die Fledermaus (Opera Slam), True Enough! (Making Strange), W.B. Yeats’ CúChulainn Cycle (R.H.A. Downstairs, Dublin and Riverside Studios, London), Macbeth, Hamlet, and Romeo & Juliet (Second Age), Myrmidons (Ouroboros), The Tempest (Corcadorca), One – Healing with Theatre (Pan Pan), An Triail (Aisling Ghéar), Buile an Phíce (Amharclann de hÍde), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Not a Moment to Lose (Torn Curtain).

Film credits include The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid (Best Irish Film, ADIFF 2018) The Secret Scripture, When Harvey Met Bob, Happy Ever Afters, P.S. I Love You, The Tiger’s Tail, An Cosc, Pride and Joy, Ella Enchanted, The Nephew, A Basketful of Wallpaper, and An Díog is Faide. Television work includes Penny Dreadful (Showtime), Vikings (History), Murphy’s Law (BBC), Striking Out, Prosperity, Proof, and The Clinic (RTÉ), Seachtar Dearmadta, Corp & Anam, The Running Mate, Rí-Rá and Ros na Rún (TG4). Aonghus also presented three seasons of the online Gaelic games show, UB GAA TV, and twice hosted the Irish Times Theatre Awards ceremony. A prolific voice-over artist, he has performed in numerous radio dramas for RTÉ and Newstalk, and voiced the cartoons Duel Masters, Teen Titans and Legend of the Dragon for TG4. He is also host and lead commentator for OTT Wrestling.

He is Artistic Director of Rise Productions, whose debut show Fight Night by Gavin Kostick earned Aonghus the Best Actor award at Dublin Fringe Festival in 2010, where it also won the Bewley’s Little Gem award. It was subsequently nominated Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards, and adapted as a radio play for RTÉ. Rise again collaborated with Gavin for The Games People Play, which won Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards. At The Ford, the concluding instalment in this trilogy of work with Kostick, premiered to critical acclaim and a sold out run at Dublin Theatre Festival 2015. A new music theatre show, Celebrating Christie toured to 37 venues nationally in 2016 and 2017.

Directing credits include Rise Productions’ site-specific piece Tear Down The Walls for Project Brand New at Dublin Theatre Festival, A Picture of Us: A (sort of) Musical for The Cup Theatre Company, Changed for Gumption Theatre Company, The Greatest Show on Earth and Dis-played for the Gaiety School of Acting, and both Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth as part of Text Messages. He also collaborated on site-specific dance piece The River Will Still Run to the Sea by Catherine Young. For Dublin Fringe 2017 he directed Kicking All The Boxes by Liz Fitzgibbon as part of Show in a Bag, which toured to Electric Picnic, Clifden Arts Festival, and Vault Festival London, and Cobra’s Quest, a 5-part audio drama for young people. His critically acclaimed production of Christian O’Reilly’s The Good Father for Rise Productions undertook a 75 date nationwide tour in 2017/2018. He directed Normal by Caitriona Daly and Murder of Crows by Lee Coffey for American College Dublin, and will direct Tony Doyle’s Weekend Warrior at Dublin Fringe 2019. In 2011, he created the year-long Rise Productions: Irish Theatre Podcast project, featuring weekly interviews with leading practitioners, which quickly became the Number 1 Arts podcast on iTunes and is now on the official syllabus at Yale University, NUI Galway, and Ulster University. It returned in 2017 for a second series, and again topped the podcast charts. Aonghus also produced and directed Rise: Audio Drama, two 10-part seasons of short audio plays, which also charted at No.1.

Rise Productions was the pilot company on Irish Theatre Institute’s Accelerator Programme, a fast track resource sharing and mentorship scheme for mid-career artists. Rise is currently Company in Residence at the Main Space in Smock Alley Theatre.

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