Speech & Drama Classes

These classes are made up of students from 7 years to Adult in smaller groups to ensure a maximum of individual attention. The focus is on developing speech skills and techniques building up a repertoire of dramatic monologues, speaking poetry and prose, reading skills, projection, clear articulation, correcting speech faults and building confidence in speaking in front of an audience.

Over the course of their studies they will study many different styles, periods and genres of Drama from Greek to Modern Irish and everything in between. They will master accents and dialects and discover how to bring a character to life on stage.

 Martha Breen Leinster School of Music & Drama Excellence Award Winner 2014 - Currently studying Drama at The LIR, Trinity College, Dublin

Martha Breen Leinster School of Music & Drama Excellence Award Winner 2014 - Currently studying Drama at The LIR, Trinity College, Dublin

They also learn poetry from a different perspective to their schoolwork – discovering a real understanding and interest in the different styles and forms.

Completing two exams per year they quickly gain in confidence and experience and have the opportunity to work right up to and including their Associate Diploma and train as a teacher themselves. We offer a wide range of speech training options and exam boards with our students taking Leinster School of Music and Drama and/or LAMDA or Trinity Guildhall exams, with outstanding results. We are very proud to say that the winner of the overall Excellence Award in 2008, 2009, 2014 and most recently 2016 from the Leinster School of Music & Drama was an ITW student each time! 

Our Speech & Drama students perform in our informal, in-house performance nights at Christmas and in May giving parents and friends a chance to see them in action and building up their experience and confidence in performing in front of an audience.

 Al Porter was a student of Gillian's for many years and also won the Leinster School of Music & Drama Excellence Award in 2009.  He is currently working as a Stand Up Comedian and also writes and stars in the Olympia Theatre Pantomime every year.

Al Porter was a student of Gillian's for many years and also won the Leinster School of Music & Drama Excellence Award in 2009.  He is currently working as a Stand Up Comedian and also writes and stars in the Olympia Theatre Pantomime every year.



We are delighted to be introducing NEW advanced acting and scene study Classes on Wednesday evenings.

Limited to 8 students this group will focus on acting techniques and study scenes from Shakespeare, Classical, Contemporary and Modern plays and studying the methodology of Stanislavsky,  working towards performance opportunities at Christmas and in April/May. We welcome applications from students over 14 yrs of age who have a passion for theatre and are keen to develop their acting skills to a more advanced level.

These are taught by Sarah Bradley who has recently completed her Masters in Directing at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and who has an impressive CV of acting and Directing credits to her name.


Sarah Bradley and the ITW Artistic Director Gillian Oman are also available for private monologue/audition preparation classes by arrangement.  

These classes include: 

*Advice on selecting the right colleges to apply to for the individual student.  

*Selection of appropriate Classical and Modern/Contemporary monologues and work on having a strong repertoire of contrasting pieces.

*Interview technique is another key element to our preparation.

We have many years of experience and have had students accepted into many of the top colleges in the UK, Ireland and America including The LIR, Royal Scottish Conservatoire, LAMDA, Mountview Academy of Performing Arts, DIT Drama, The Gaiety School of Acting, Bull Alley, ICFE, The Royal Central School of Drama, Rose Bruford London, Bristol Old Vic, Laine Theatre Arts, CPA and The Atlantic Acting School and NY Film Academy in New York.


There are several different types of exam available to our students, these include:

Speech & Drama

This is an all round course. The focus is on speaking poetry and prose, solo acting, improvisation, reading skills, projection, clear articulation and building confidence. As the student progresses through the grades all styles and genres of drama and poetry are covered. Students gain a clear knowledge of the techniques of speech both in theory and practice. Our Speech & Drama students will cover 2 grades per year and will also get the opportunity to work on duologues and at senior level to also do their Solo Acting grades if they wish.  

Effective Communication


This course offers the student an opportunity to enhance their communication skills through developing good articulation and listening skills. We take our pupils from initial introductions, through natural conversation to discussion. As part of the course, students complete a project that they can then talk about on a subject of interest to them. This can be practical (have a dinner party, arrange an outing) or conventional Roald Dahl, my favorite football team etc.) The focus of this course is on building confidence and articulation.

Solo Acting



Ideal for our students who wish to pursue a career in acting. Solo Acting is geared towards the performers Licentiate Diploma and equips the students with audition pieces both Classical and Modern. We train our students in vocal and acting techniques, mime and movement, accents and dialects, the analysis of chosen theatrical works, character development, study of playwrights, use of stage area and use of costume, props and make-up.

Exams and exam boards are chosen in consultation with the student ensuring the exams taken are the most appropriate for that individual and their hopes and aspirations. 



For our advanced students we have the RADA SHAKESPEARE AWARDS. Silver and Gold are also available. Minimum age 14yrs.

BRONZE Individual (12 Minutes)
1. One speech from a Shakespeare play, the speech can be in verse or prose and not to exceed two minutes - 50%
2. One Shakespeare sonnet
Please note that this must be from the book of sonnets and cannot be a prologue or similar from a Shakespeare play - 30%
3. Sight-reading of a short speech from a Shakespeare play- 20%

BRONZE Duologue (15 Minutes)
1. One verse speech from a Shakespeare play from each participant, using their partner as their focal point. Not to exceed two minutes each - 40%
NB: The speeches must be from different scenes to those being presented.
2. One scene from a Shakespeare play not to exceed four minutes - 40%
3. Sight-reading of a short scene from a Shakespeare play - 20% 

Festivals and Competitions

Our students are encouraged to perform and compete in the Speech & Drama Teachers of Ireland Festival in March and The Feis Maitiu in May.  These give our young actors a wider audience to perform to and the opportunity to see other children perform too.  Entries must be in by the beginning of February each year and our students perform in the Poetry Speaking, Monologue, Junior Shakespeare and Senior Shakespeare Cup and in the Duologue and Recital sections each year.  Please look out for an email in early January and talk to your childs teacher if you are interested in your child taking part.


We prepare our students from Junior up to Young Adult level for the Leinster School of Music & Drama Exams and Certificates.  The students are examined at Christmas and in May of each year and the syllabus is wide ranging and challenging whilst giving every child a broad repertoire that covers all styles and genres.   Our Young Adults also have the opportunity to sit the final LAMDA or Trinity Guildhall exams if they wish. The LAMDA results can be converted into UCAS points for entry into UK Universities. We are also delighted to offer the RADA Shakespeare Monologue and Duologue Awards.

Access All Abbey


Speech Training students are encouraged to get Access All Abbey membership of The Abbey Theatre for the year. We make full use of the discounts and workshops it entitles us to with regular trips to the theatre as a group. It costs only €10.