The Original Theatre Project

This project is a unique journey to create a new and exciting one-hour theatre piece. The Original Theatre Project is a four-stage project that begins at your theatre department, is developed, rehearsed and performed in Smock Alley Theatre next door to The National Theatre School of Ireland – The Gaiety School of Acting. Finally, the play is brought back to your home country for presentation at your theatre department. We have hosted Southern Illinois University and Carthage College.

Check out Carthage Colleges experience when they premièred

The Original Theatre Project is an idea conceived by The National Theatre School of Ireland Director, Patrick Sutton and Professor of Acting, Kathryn Gately of NIU Dekalb, Illinois when they met at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference in 2002. The Project produces an original play annually, boasting ten world premieres held in Dublin to date, and ten U.S. premieres throughout America. Original Theatre Project.


STAGE 1: Developing the starting points.

At your theatre department. 1 week.

NTSI theatre director and a writer will work with 12 (negotiable) participants on the development of a very broad range of starting points. The objective is to fire the imaginations of the participants to discover different ways of starting to develop an original theatre piece. A wide range of objects and images will be explored and it can also include the use of a departmental choreographer and a musician / composer.

STAGE 2: The writing begins.

At your Theatre Department. 3 months.

All the images, ideas and starting points are brought back to Ireland and the writer and director begin the process of drawing from the starting points with a view to creating and original piece of theatre sourced in the experience of the intensive week long exploration.

STAGE 3: Rehearsals and Performance. Dublin.

Intensive three-week rehearsal process, followed by a series of performances in a Dublin. Includes regular theatre visits, a series of lectures on the Irish literary tradition, regular voice classes and a series of visits to see significant Dublin cultural landmarks. Accommodation in the Temple Bar House

STAGE 4: Performance.

At your Theatre Department.01

The Original Theatre Project will return to your campus and will be performed there for a home audience.

Duration of the course: 4 months

Location: Theatre Department and The National Theatre School of Ireland – The Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin

Storytelling: Our Great Tradition

Ireland has long been known for its rich storytelling tradition. This intensive program immerses participants in that tradition by placing them as both gathers and tellers of some of Ireland’s most extraordinary stories.

We will plan a 2-week itinerary for a group of 10 participants who will spend two weeks travelling throughout Ireland listening to and gathering stories. Travelling by bus, all participants will visit counties such as Wexford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Galway, Mayo, Donegal and Belfast as well as Dublin. Participants will stay in quality hostel accommodation. The final week will be spent in Dublin where all the gathered material will be crafted into an evening of storytelling presented in Smock Alley Theatre 1662.

The Writer’s Room

For a small island, Ireland boasts a rich writing tradition ranging form Oliver Goldsmith to Oscar Wilde and from Sean O’Casey to Samuel Beckett. George Bernard Shaw, WB Yeats and Marina Carr stand alongside the likes of Emma Donoghue, Seamus Heaney and Roddy Doyle.

In this customized intensive program, ten creative writing students will work for three weeks in The National Theatre School of Ireland – The Gaiety School of Acting with three specialised teachers in the areas of poetry, short story and theatre on the creation and development of ideas, images and starting points. All participants will be given one-to-one tuition on a wide range of assignments. The final week will see all participants selecting a range of material that will be read on the final evening of the program at a Writers Room gathering in Smock Alley Theatre 1662.


Get in Touch

For further information on any of the above programs, including duration and costing, please contact or call us on +353 1 679 9277.

‘I loved the Gaiety School! Everyone – teachers, directors, students and program planners were lovely and the program challenged me and taught me so much! Thank you!’

Sydney Wilkins, St Marys University

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