Jack Reardon is relishing his new role as artistic director of Clonmel-based youth theatre group Stagecraft, having taken over from Shane Dempsey.
"Stagecraft has always been my second home", says Jack.
"Joining at eleven, Stagecraft taught me so much growing up. It’s been the place where I’ve made my greatest friends, shared the most amazing experiences and created the best memories", he says.
"Stagecraft was always so much more than a youth theatre to me and to so many others. It taught me the skills I needed to excel in all things theatre.
I’ve had the opportunity of working with incredible directors and actors, perform on stages around the country and become chairperson of one of the biggest college drama societies in the country at DCU (Dublin City University).
Stagecraft taught me skills no other club could and has made me the confident, energetic person I am", says Jack, who is studying for a masters degree in Theatre Directing at the Lir, which he says is Ireland’s best theatre training college. The Lir is part of Trinity College Dublin, as well as being affiliated with RADA in the UK, and he's looking forward to studying under Ireland’s best directors and facilitators.
About his predecessor, Jack says "Shane Dempsey started Stagecraft in 1998 and developed it into one of Ireland’s leading youth theatres. He has transformed the lives of countless young people in Tipperary.
When Shane asked me to take over what he had started I was honoured. I was privileged to be asked to continue the work he started and further the training of young people in Clonmel".
Looking to the future he says "I hope to continue the amazing training Stagecraft offers and maintain the fun-filled, open space Stagecraft occupies. My dream is to make theatre and Stagecraft synonymous with Clonmel.
When people think of theatre training in Clonmel we want them to think of us. We hope to offer the best training possible and train our actors to be the next Cillian Murphy or Saoirse Ronan. We want the new era of Stagecraft to be all about our students and provide exactly what they want".
Jack will be assisted by Ciara Laste, who has started studying musical theatre at IMT (Irish College of Music Theatre). "Together Ciara and I will be developing workshops designed to teach our students all the skills we are learning, ensuring they are receiving the best training possible on offer.
The skills and knowledge shared between Ciara and I will offer a theatre experience unlike any other in Tipperary".
Stagecraft is open to anyone aged between 5 and 21 years old. They are hoping to see as many new faces as possible this year. Rehearsals take place at The Hub theatre at 49 Albert Street, just off Irishtown.
The senior classes run on Friday evening while the junior groups meet on Saturday morning.
Classes resume this Friday and Saturday, September 23rd and 24th.
For more information log onto Stagecraftyt.com or call Jack on 087-2805375.