Core Theatre College struts its stuff

Pic: Joe Waldron.

Pic: Joe Waldron.

GALWAY AUDIENCES may just catch a glimpse of some acting stars of the future this Sunday, when the students of Core Theatre College present a public showcase of their work at Druid Lane Theatre.

Established last year, Galway’s Core Theatre College offers its students a highly focused, professional-level, 10-week theatre training course. Experienced tutors impart core skills such as movement, voice, acting technique, mask, improv, design, text analysis, and stage combat.

As well as classes from resident tutors such as Max Hafler, Judith Higgins, and Sarah O’Toole, Core students also enjoy workshops with the likes of Mikel Murfi (Abbey Theatre, Druid, and Barabbas ), Tim Smith (Royal Shakespeare Company and Druid ), Liam Halligan (Focus Theatre Dublin ), Tara Breathnach (TG4 ), and Miquel Barcelo (Gombeens ).

“The presentation will give people a feel of what our course is like,” explains Core founder Max Hafler. “It will comprise a series of short scenes, nicely put together, that showcase different aspects of what the students have learned in areas such as movement, voice work, and so on. They will perform excerpts from one Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet, and one modern play, Factory Girls, as well as a selection of poetry.”

Fellow-tutor Judith Higgins reflects on the progress Core has made since its formation:

“We’re very happy with how it is evolving so far. We have students coming to us from Limerick, Cork and Donegal, as well as Galway, which is great. We keep the classes small, just 10 members, so we can give each pupil real attention. The course is already getting a good response from the students but our long term ambition is to establish it on a full-time basis.”

Hafler expands on how Core hope to achieve this objective.

“It will be a gradual process,” he says. “For example, next year, after completing the 10-week course we may stage a full production rather than a showcase. Then, the year after, we would hope to have two terms of classes followed by a production.

“We have to take it one step at a time though; finances are obviously a factor, especially in the current climate. Then there is also the time required; the students invest 20 hours a week in the course which is a big commitment, especially when they might also be working as well, so expanding it to two terms will be a challenge for them also. But it’s something we really want to do, to establish performance-focused theatre school for the west of Ireland.”

With Hafler, Higgins and co at the helm, Core Theatre College is well placed to fulfil that ambition. In the meantime, audiences can enjoy the public showcase from Core’s latest graduates. The ‘Presentation of Work’ takes place at Druid this Sunday December 4 and tickets are €3. Tickets are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777 and As well as its main theatre course, which runs from September to December, Core also runs a series of workshops on the Chekhov and Lecoq techniques, and mask work from January to April. Auditions are currently being invited for the first of these, in which Max Hafler explores the Chekhov acting method. The workshop runs over four Sundays, commencing on January 22. The closing date for application is Saturday January 14.


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