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‘From Script to Stage’ Month, Workshop 1: Introduction to Mask – 7 November 2023

Our theme for November is “From Script to Stage” and this week’s workshop will be facilitated by experienced director Anna Simpson, on the topic of Mask.

‘In Life we look at the Eyes, and Read the Face. With Mask, we look at the Face and Read the Body’

The mask is one of the oldest tools in theatrical performance: it requires rigour to bring to life, but also gives the actor huge freedom to play and be open to their creative intuition. In this workshop participants will explore the fundamental concepts of full masked performance: using character masks participants will discover the crucial relationship between audience and performer, new levels of physical control and expression, and create their own dynamic array of characters and improvised scenes from the limitless springboard of the mask itself.

Participants should come dressed ready to move: masks are provided.


A little background on our facilitator:

Anna is a director and playwright trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and the founder and Artistic Director of Quintessence Theatre, a physical ensemble theatre company based in Louth.

Her work is highly stylised and physically driven. Often described as visually striking, visceral and inventive, Anna uses unashamed theatricality and playful, ensemble-based storytelling. Her process focuses on the actor and utilising their collective bodies as a visual and creative tool. Anna fuses choreography, mime, and text, and exploits the shared imagination between actor and audience to create exciting, challenging, expressionistic work that entertains and provokes.

Anna is also a playwright: she regularly adapts classic literature to dramatic form, as well as devises collaboratively with other artists on socially provocative topics, as well as writing her own original dramas.
UK directing credits include The Wasp (Jermyn Street Theatre, London); Dorian Gray & Government Inspector (Incognito Theatre, Pleasance London & Edinburgh, Ed Fringe); Welcome to Thebes & Spring Awakening (South Hill Arts Centre, Reading), Close to You (Southwark Playhouse), and Disco Pigs (Tristan Bates, London). Irish directing & writing credits include: Brigid: Lady of Light (Writer, An Tán Arts Centre, Spring 2024), Unguarded by Anthony Kinahan (National Tour Spring 2024), The Curious Case of Albert Cashier: Lincoln’s ‘Lady’ Soldier (National Tour, Autumn 2023), The Midnight Scalping of Peg Carroll (Droichead Arts Centre), Into the Dark (Anaverna House), Behind Locked Doors (Droichead, An Tain Arts Centre), The Star of Chester’s Lane (National Tour Autumn 2021; DAF Commission Winner 2018), Afloat (Sunday’s Child Theatre, Ed Fringe & Belltable, Limerick), #MeToo, Three, Four… (Droichead), Boy, Girl, Repeat (Droichead), Dracula (Smock Alley, Dublin), Cracks (National Tour, Autumn 2018), Some of Our Children, Romeo and Juliet (An Táin Arts Centre), Little Red Vs. The Big Bad Wolf, Robyn Hood: Princess of Thieves, Sherlock Holmes and the Anaverna Adventure, Beauty and the Beast, The Deadly Wizard of Oz, The Wind in the Willows (Anaverna House); The Picture of Dorian Gray (An Táin).

She was a Young Creative Associate of the Pleasance Theatre, Islington 2013-2015 and an Education Practitioner with Shakespeare’s Globe 2014-2016.

Anna was the recipient of the Elsa Robert Award for Directing, as well as the Broadway World Ireland Award for Best New Play 2018/19 for her adaptation of Dracula.


See you on Tuesday, in Bunscoil Sancta Maria, Synge St. Doors 6:45pm, workshop starts at 7pm!

10€ drop-in fee / 25€ per month (both cash and contactless accepted). If it’s your first workshop, it’s on us!

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