Aoife Smyth is a full time acting teacher and director at Drama Centre London (where she also trained as a director), RADA: The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. In addition to teaching the London Theatre Experience for 16 to 25 Year Olds short course, Aoife also leads the incredible Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London. Having directed shows at The Etcetera Theatre, The Space Edinburgh, Theatre 503 and The Underbelly, we caught up with a true performance lover.

Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London 2017, students and tutors (top L-R: Yun-Hsuan Chou, Tim Meier, Aoife Smyth (tutor), Zixaun Ni, Brigid Zengeni (Tutor), Aida Gargia Vega and Glen Snowden (tutor) / middle: Charlie Corrigan, Will Schaluadek, Tanya Voitovych, Rogier Bak and Joseph Dardano / bottom: Lilly Olsson, Diem Vinci, Roma Scarano and Lydia Baksh (tutor).

What is your name?

Aoife Smyth.

What are you most passionate about?

Theatre, film and generally performance of any kind.

What inspired and lead to your work as an Acting Teacher and Director?

My teachers throughout my life. I had a teacher when I was 6 who didn’t teach us the curriculum and instead taught us about art, music and drama. I come from a storytelling culture, so it always seemed the most natural path for me to follow. I hope I now help students to tell their own stories.

Tell us about your work.

I work with lots of different types of plays, from Shakespeare to very modern feminist writing. I mainly apply a very methodical yet creative approach to find the best way to highlight the meaning and give the audience a sensory experience.

Why did you choose to teach the Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London and London Theatre Experience for 16 to 25 Year Olds courses?

I wanted to work with international students. It is important to keep interpreting Shakespeare’s plays and what could be better than looking at them from different cultural viewpoints?

Who should attend your courses?

Anyone who loves theatre!

Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London 2017, final performance (Charlie Corrigan and Roma Scarano).

Having recently offered a scholarship placement for the Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London course, what is the importance of opportunities such as these?

We had Roma from Carnegie Mellon this year and she brought such professionalism and creativity to the group. It was such a great opportunity for her to take what she knew about theatre in America and discover what was happening in London.

Which piece of creative work, in any discipline, do you think everyone should see and why?

Kings Of War by Ivo Van Hove. It is a Dutch version of Shakespeare’s history plays. It is a fantastic modern translation that still completely gets to the heart of the idea of each play.

Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London 2017, final performance (Will Schaluadek).

Name a favourite book, film and song that you would recommend.

That’s too hard, it changes all the time.

What/where is your favourite London discovery?

The canals.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate.

Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London 2017, final performance (L-R: Diem Vinci, Joseph Dardano, Lilly Olsson and Rogier Bak).

What’s the best bit of advice you have ever received?

If you are going to fail… fail fabulously!

What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?

Always be curious. Always ask questions.

Study Abroad programmes are primarily designed for undergraduate-level students who would like to study at Central Saint Martins, as part of their ongoing studies. To find out more visit the Study Abroad website. Places are now available to book upon Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London 2018. London Theatre Experience for 16 to 25 Year Olds is open to students of all levels.
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