director and facilitator
Kevin O’Connor has been working in theatre for over twenty years and has a particular interest in Youth Drama. He is a drama facilitator, theatre director and educational drama consultant and facilitator. Since 1998 Kevin has taught and facilitated for a number of educational institutions nationally including the University of Limerick, Betty Ann Norton Theatre School, Cavan Institute and Dundalk Institute of Technology. Kevin also acted as Artistic Director of Cavan Youth Drama, a network of sixteen groups located around the county of Cavan. Kevin has also facilitated Youth Drama groups in Baileborough, Virginia, Drung, Manorhamilton, Letterbreen and Mullahoran. Kevin has a passion for drama and believes in its power to change and transform, and make a difference in the lives of our young people.
Kevin currently lectures in Educational Drama in Limerick University and works as a community drama facilitator on both sides of the border. He also works in a number of Schools and in particular National Schools on a freelance basis teaching Primary School Process Drama. Kevin is the Artistic Director for the Gonzo Youth Theatre and also it’s head facilitator. He has directed all of their teenage productions and performances to date.
Sarah McKenna Dunne
Sarah developed a love of performing as a young child having been involved in different stage schools and academies since the age of five. As a teenager however, she lost a lot of confidence in herself, suffering from anxiety which held back from putting herself in front of others. It wasn’t until a chance opportunity to play the part of ‘Rizzo’ in a school production of Grease helped to rekindle her love of performance, and since then she has never looked back.
She went on to UCD to study English and Drama before taking an MA in Theatre Practice in an amalgamated course between the Gaiety and UCD. It was here she developed an interest in making work for and about young people and began creating her own original pieces, many of which have been picked up for writing awards and bursaries across Ireland. Her work has been performed in Scene+Heard, Smock Alley Theatre, and the All Ireland Drama Circuit.
She is delighted to work with Gonzo Youth Theatre, as she never fails to be impressed by the young people’s creativity and passion for drama. A personal goal of hers is to encourage young people and children, who may be suffering from anxiety, to be proud of themselves and feel comfortable in a performance space. Knowing how much drama impacted positively in her life, she is proud to be a part of a team that listens to young people, giving them the skills to be confident, daring, and creative.
Lisa started her drama Journey by enrolling in the Performing Arts Degree Course in Cavan Institute in 2009. As part of this comprehensive course Lisa and her fellow students traveled outside the confines of Cavan Institute to co-facilitated workshops to teenagers and sixth class children. It was here she first encountered the transformative power of drama as she witnessed first hand the difference drama can make to young people and it’s ability to help them to come to terms with the world around them in a fun and safe environment.
After completing this course she took part in one of The Gonzo Theatre’s early productions; “Pure Brothers” by Philip Doherty under the direction of our very own Kevin O’Connor.
Encouraged and inspired by her interaction with drama Lisa went on to enroll in the four-year Performing Arts course in Sligo IT in 2011, where she learned and developed her skills in Acting, Directing, Movement, Improvisation, Voice and Facilitation. Throughout her time there she took part in many productions most notably Laura Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie”, Beth in “Tea in China Cup”, Corie Bratter in “Barefoot in the Park” and Mrs. Higgins in “The 39 Steps”. After graduating from Sligo’s Performing Arts course in 2015, Lisa took some time out from drama and is delighted to have been asked by the Gonzo Youth Theatre to co-facilitate and help out with the running of GYT.
Lisa is very excited to work alongside the children and teenagers in Gonzo Youth Theatre week after week and to be part of the team that helps our young people to grow in confidence, self-belief and ability and also to develop a burning passion for drama, a passion that has certainly changed her own life.