Creative Director Áine Keegan has studied her craft international from singing at Berklee College of Music in Boston, receiving a scholarship to study Musical Theatre Performance in the prestigious Colin’s Performing Arts Academy in England and the first ever student to receive the Sheila Murphy Scholarship to study for a HDip in Drama in Education at Griffith College Dublin. Áine is a fully qualified teacher and is an Associate in Drama Teaching with the Leinster School of Music and Drama (LSMD) and a member of the Speech & Drama Teachers of Ireland Association. She has performed in showcases in London and as part of her musical theatre training has starred in amateur productions in London and Dublin. Áine teaches theatre all over Dublin and several of her students have been nominated for Excellence Awards with the examining body, the LSMD and have been extremely successful in castings for theatres such as The Abbey and The Gate, participation in short films, commercials, achieving roles in the HBO series Game of Thrones etc. and gone on to study in third level programmes such as The Lir. She has directed and produced several amateur shows from Musical Theatre to Shakespeare and become one of the main Musical Theatre facilitators at the famous Gaiety School of Acting for both children and adults.
Ciara has trained in all aspects of Musical Theatre from the age of 5 in the Independent Theatre Workshop. She has played many lead roles in professional productions such as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Baby Bear in the Gaiety Pantomime, Jasmine in Aladdin at the Olympia Theatre, Belle in Beauty & The Beast at the Olympia Theatre and many more. She has done intensive courses in Mountview Academy of Arts London, Youth Music Theatre UK, the Gaiety School of Acting and trained in many different forms of dance in Dance House. She has choreographed many primary and secondary school productions such as 'Annie', 'Oliver', 'The Wizard of Oz', 'Peter Pan', 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Guys & Dolls', 'My Fair Lady', The Blackrock Opera and 'High School Musical'. She is experienced in teaching students of all levels, and bringing out their best physical movement and overall performance.
Nina Pongratz is a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer based in Dublin, Ireland. She has an MA is in Contemporary Dance Performance from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and a BA from Muhlenberg College (USA) in Theatre, Media & Communication and Dance with a concentration in Movement Composition. Nina has studied with world renowned choreographers in the USA and in Ireland and has choreographed dozens of musicals including 25th Annual...Spelling Bee, Seussical the Musical, Annie Jr., Oklahoma, and The Marriage of Figaro, and has been nationally recognised in the USA for excellence in choreography by the American College Theatre Festival for her choreography.
Nina has taught dance technique, performance, and composition at The University of Limerick, Dance Limerick, Dance UL, and with the Limerick Hip Hop Intervention Project (LHHIP): dance intervention to improve social integration, physical, and mental health in students with complex disabilities. With the LHHIP she worked with Enable Ireland, Downs Syndrome Ireland, the University of Limerick Postgraduate Entry Medical School, and St. Gabriel’s School where she engaged in research. She is currently the Head of Dance at the Independent Theatre workshop where her students have performed at national dance festivals including Dance Platform (The Helix), and international Dance Competitions including VAD Productions (UK) and the 5,6,7,8 Elite Dance Competition (Belfast).
Recent projects for Nina include Holding On, a full length dance work commissioned by Hues Productions in The Axis (Ballymun); she is directing and choreographing the musical Once on This Island Jr.; and she is a member of the Limerick Dance Collective, recently presenting choreography in Sum of Parts and performing in Making Space: Changing Ground at Dance Limerick. In 2015 she was Artist in Residence at Shawbrook (Co. Longford Dance), and in residence with Dance UL choreographing and directing a commercial dance film Holding On funded by Limerick City Arts Office. She produced the only national level dance competition in Ireland, the All Ireland Dance Intervarsity Competition 2015 hosted by The University of Limerick. Her choreography Vulnera was featured and won first place in the Contemporary Dance competition.