Experienced actor Alan Devine is setting up a new drama club in the county town for kids from all over Leitrim on January 31.
The new drama club with an emphasis on “fun” will help expand children and teenagers’ imagination, boost confidence and help them focus, concentrate, build social skills and speak in public as well as giving them a taste of the acting world.
“There are so many sport clubs available for children locally, and although they are great for competition and for physical exercise, children need an area to play with no pressure,” Alan told the Leitrim Observer. The drama workshops will provide a safe and anticompetitive environment where each child is allowed to develop at their own pace while still being important members of the group.
From Glenroe to King Arthur, Hamlet, Veronica Guerin, the Tudors, MacBeth and more recently Fair City, Alan (aka Louie Gleenson) has over twenty years experience working as an actor in Ireland.
As a parent of two young boys, he said “How many times have we sat and watched our children play for hours with the cardboard box that the new toy came in, while the toy itself sat ignored and forgotten in the corner? Children are born creative. They are curious explorers and natural storytellers.” Alan believes that Ireland’s future is in the creative economy and for this to be achieved children need to learn to expand their creativity as well as their confidence.
The club will focus on three age groups 7-9 year olds, 10-12 year olds and 13-16 year olds. Each group will participate in different activities that will includes, games, acting, singing and dancing and creating stories.
Ages 7-9 will enjoy fun, creative drama classes encouraging and developing the children’s’ natural sense of play through the use of drama games and exercises which use their own ideas and words to create whacky new scenes and stories. Through playing in this way, the children will also develop their team-work, concentration, confidence and learn the basics of acting and drama. Alan said drama is perfect for getting shy children to “come out of their shells.”
10 to 12 year olds will experience a varied and lively mix of games and exercises which aim to spark their imaginations more than any videogame can! They will make characters and stories up from nothing and will also use a wide range of themes, poems, stories and songs. 10 to 12 yr olds will also learn confidence in being on stage and speaking in front of others while having tonnes of fun!
13 to 16 year olds will explore deeper aspects of acting and creative drama such as character, emotion, physical theatre, vocal work, movement, script analysis, acting for camera ,Shakespeare, social themes and more! They will be encouraged to use and broaden together their own ideas, interests and insights into the world by exploring issues relevant to them while developing their confidence, personal and inter-personal skills and their acting chops!
Alan will be joined by his brother Derrick Devine who is a drama facilitator and has travelled the world with his talents.
The ten week course (€90 per child offers available for siblings) starts this Thursday, January 31 in St. Mary’s Hall, Carrick-on-Shannon 5.30 -6pm. For more info see www.dramaclub.ie
Alan spoke to the Leitrim Observer this week about his acting career and his move to Leitrim on page 17.