Teen Taster at The Lir Academy

Q&A with Teen Taster Tutor Dee Burke. Teen Taster Weekend gives 15-17-year-olds the chance to experience what our six-month training for teenagers would be like.

Describe your own passion for the course:

I’m an actor, theatre facilitator and youth theatre director with over 15 years experience as a practitioner. I’m especially passionate about theatre training for young people and have spent much of my career designing and delivering workshops with them in mind. I know that given the right space and time, with the right people in the room to nurture this relationship, the experience can be transformative.

I believe wholeheartedly that theatre can amplify young people's voices and that theatre has the power to allow young people to see the potential in their own lives.

What will participants learn on this course?

First, we will acknowledge that all the soft skills we already hold are welcome in a creative process, recognising there is something interesting in how we all naturally move and speak. Young people taking part in this course will develop their basic skills in acting and confidence in performance.

We will use tried and tested improvisational tools to support skills for character development, enhance our imaginations and explore how we can move and engage individually and as a group for performance. We will embrace our unique perspectives and experiences, appreciating how this approach can support our portrayal of diverse characters and narratives while also fostering a sense of connection and compassion towards each other as we work.

Young people attending these workshops will leave feeling confident in taking action and making decisions, safe in the knowledge that the characters they inhabit here, will live with the consequences of their choices only for the duration of the workshop.

Who is suitable for this course?

This course is suitable for any young person who has a passion for theatre and acting. If you’ve been thinking about developing your skills as an actor, whether you are just beginning your journey or your journey has already begun, this course will provide the scope for you to challenge yourself from the stage you are at.

Everyone in the room will have the freedom to engage with this content on a level that is right for them and ultimately each participant will know their own comfort level best.

Is prior experience needed?

There is absolutely no experience requirement for this course. Arriving into the workshop with an interest or even a curiosity in acting and theatre is enough. EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

What will participants leave the course with?

I hope that young people will leave this course feeling a little braver than when they first walked in the door, armed with a renewed sense of self confidence in their acting skills. I would like the participants to feel like they can carry what they learn over this course into their own lives feeling supported, self assured and poised to continue in pursuing their passion for theatre.

Book your spot on our Teen Taster Weekend Intensive here.

About Dee Burke

Dee Burke is an actor, theatre facilitator and director. She specialises in Youth Arts and has been facilitating and directing theatre with young people for over fifteen years.

Some highlights from this work includes directing several productions for the National Theatre: Connections programme, facilitating in schools across the country for the Artist in Schools scheme and facilitating on several young actor programmes in The Lir Academy since 2021. Dee is also a Resident Facilitator and Director with Griese Youth Theatre.

Dee began her acting career as a company member of award winning theatre company ANU Productions. This work with ANU at a formative stage in her acting career instilled the importance of collaborative arts practice, seeing how this way of playing can energise and inspire actors in a rehearsal room.

Dee believes we should consistently push the boundaries of what theatre can be in Ireland. She recently performed in Ballad of a Care Centre by acclaimed visual artist John Conway which combined virtual reality elements with live performance. Dee is continuing to collaborate on this project in several interpretations of the original piece.

Some of Dee’s previous theatre acting work includes Hedda Gabler (Abbey Theatre), The Fabulously True and Timeless Tales of Sergeant Virgil (Andy Crook), Glorious Madness, AngelMeadow, Vardo Corner, Thirteen, The Boys of Foley Street, Laundry, World’s End Lane, Memory Deleted and Down the Valley (Anu Productions), Beautiful Dreamers (Performance Corp and Anu) Meat by Gillian Greer (Smock Alley Theatre) and Black Wednesday by Gavin Kostick (Show in a Bag/Bewley’s Café Theatre).