Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In London for the New Year?

Some suggestions from Lyn Gardner (Guardian's Drama Critic) for what to see ... here

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Poetry: some ideas and resources

Here's an interesting webpage I came across by accident. It's 100 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, from April 2009.

Anyway, forget about the National Poetry Month bit. The page comprises 100 links, ideas and activities which variously lead you to a huge variety of poems, give you ideas for writing poems, encourage you to think about poetry and so on.

I'm linking to it here mainly because it should give speech and drama teachers some new ideas about how to increase the interest of young people in poetry and poems. And because I don't like to think that poems are just for exams ...

Have a look. It's pretty good.

100 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Friday, November 27, 2009

Inside the Actors' Studio

Inside the Actors' Studio is a US TV programme in which a guy called James Lipton conducts in-depth interviews with actors of note. The wikipedia description of the show, containing a list of all those interviewed is here.

The interviews are about 50 minutes long and, although I've only seen a few of them, are fascinating because they go into significant depth about the craft of acting, preparation for roles and so on.

Here's a link to a YouTube clip of a section of an interview with Jodie Foster. I picked Jodie Foster because ... erm ... (blush) ... I ... erm ... think she's great!

If your appetite has been whetted, here's how you find more: click on this link - sham420 - and scroll down the right hand side of the page. There are loads of great actors here (and then there's Sylvester Stallone!)

I'm going to pick out a few over the next while and I'll link them directly to the Irish Board's You Tube Channel which, if you haven't visited it yet, is here

Friday, November 20, 2009

Irish Board's Library

We have a pretty good library, you know.

Over 550 books including 150 poetry books and 130 drama books.

Also books on acting, costume, make-up, drama games, improvisation, mime, production/direction, public speaking, drama teaching, theatre, the voice and so on.

Here's the catalogue: IBSD Library Catalogue, November 2009

While we don't lend, visitors and bowsers are more than welcome. Just call first (01-2164279 or 086-8232317) to make sure we'll be there and that we have some biscuits in.

The Irish Board Offices are at D11 Nutgrove Office Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14. Lots of parking nearby.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Drama Teaching Resource site

The indefatigable Mary Moore has found another drama teaching resource site.

It's here:

I've signed up for the newletter so I'll review that in a few weeks. In the meantime, have a browse and see what you come up with.

Any suggestions for other sites to feature are most welcome. Please email me at


Friday, November 6, 2009

Musical Theatre Backing Tracks

We get quite a few queries about where to get backing tracks for musical theatre numbers.

Here's a few sources:

If you have iTunes, visit the iTunes store and browse around. Tracks are 99cent or so.

Other places to visit:

Friday, October 16, 2009

IDAC Workshop: Jim Culleton

IDAC (the speech, drama and communicatons teachers' association) is holding a workshop on 22 November 2009, in Ely House, Ely Place, Dublin 2.

The facilitator will be Jim Culleton, Artistic Director of Fishamble Theatre Company. It's going to be hugely practical and stimulating.

More details from the IDAC website: click here

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Here's a set of (very) brief videos on how to make and use theatre masks. It's a fascinating topic and while an interesting introduction, the videos don't really do it justice. They're worth a browse though. I'm hoping to post more mask-related material soon ...

How to Make and Use Theatre Masks: eHow

Friday, October 2, 2009


BACKSTAGE is a US publication and website which acts as a resource for actors and aspiring actors. It contains news, views, ads and so on. The website is here.

The reason I'm highlighting it here is that its website contains some pretty useful advice on what they call 'The Craft'. There's stuff here about improvising, crying on cue, playing drunk and so on. Browse at will.

When you've finished with this section, have a look at 'Ask a Professional'. Here you'll find advice on stage nerves, make-up and so on.

Tell your senior students about this.


(Click on the underlined words to get to the sections referred to)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Creating a Character

I have to confess that I didn't know about 'Role on a Wall' until a little while ago.

I suppose the best way to describe it is as a more visual take on a character chart, with which we're all familiar.

I suppose that the advantages of the 'Role on a Wall' technique are that it IS visual, and that can help young (and not so young) people who think that way. And also, because it is stuck up on your studio wall, it can encourage a collaborative effort at working through a character. What more could you ask for?

Well, I found something on the BBC website which explains the whole concept rather well. Here it is (just click on the link): Role on the Wall


Friday, September 18, 2009

Drama Lesson Ideas

Mary Moore, one of our teachers in Newcastle West, told us about this site.

It's from the Norfolk County Council website in the UK, under the heading of Drama for Learning and Creativity (D4LC).

When you click on the link below, it will bring you to a page with some further links. Clicking on each of these will bring you to a list of Word documents, each of which has a drama lesson plan. These were written for primary schools but, from a quick glance at a few of them, you might be able to use them to glean some ideas for improvisations, creative writing exercises and even short plays.

Take a look and see what you think.

Here's the site: D4LC

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Irish Board of Speech and Drama Essentials

First things first, here are some links to some Irish Board essentials. (Best to right-click on each of these and open each in a new window or tab):

Syllabus 2009-10

Entry Forms

Publications Order Form

September 2009 Newsletter

We're Up and Running

Hi. I'm David Meredith, Director of the Irish Board of Speech and Drama.

This blog is intended to be a resource for speech, drama and communication teachers. On it we'll put things that we find on the internet (and in other places) that we think will be interesting and useful for teachers.

We're going to try to update it at least once a week but please forgive us if we miss a few. It won't be because we've lost interest. It'll be because we're out and about examining, or in the Irish Board office buried under a mound of certificates.

Talking of the office, please visit us. We're located in D11 Nutgrove Office Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14. Our phone number is 01-216-4270 and our email address is (Just give us a buzz before you plan to visit so that we can get biscuits in.)

We're on Google Maps. Just type in Irish Board of Speech and Drama Dublin and it'll pop up.

We have a small library of about 500 books, with poetry, plays, solos, duologues, books on drama techniques, drama teaching, play production, public speaking, mime and so on. You can also browse through our own publications and, of course, have a chat.

See you soon.