Interview with DYT – The Sleepwalkers
We had the chance to put some questions to two members of Dublin Youth Theatre about ‘The Sleepwalkers’ which runs at the Samuel Beckett Theatre next week. The Sleepwalkers is a joint production between Pan Pan and Dublin Youth Theatre. Find out what Luka and Karim thought below –
Pan Pan / Dublin Youth Theatre present – The Sleepwalkers – 22 – 27 July | 19:30 @ the Samuel Beckett Theatre
Interview with –
Luka Costello, female aged 22 from Drimnagh
Karim Tamu, male aged 18 from Sandyford
Why did you get involved with DYT? Have you always loved theatre, or was it for some other reason?
Luka: In 2012 and 2013, I did two week-long drama workshops during the Summer. That was the first real experience I had with theatre outside of the stereotypical primary school play. After that, I was desperately looking to join a youth theatre group. I heard about the DYT open day and went along with a friend. I did the audition and luckily got a place. I’ve been there since 2013, and it was my first year there when I really discovered my love for theatre and decided it was the career I wanted to pursue.
Karim: I only started really getting into drama at around fourth year in school and I just found that I really had fun and felt super satisfied when I was acting. From then on I’d be a part of basically every other production in my school until I left. I remember I said to myself in fifth year that during the summer I’d try and join a drama group. I forgot about that ’til a few weeks before summer was over. Luckily my friend Liadh posted something on her Facebook about an open day for Dublin Youth Theatre, and since we’re real close and have been doing drama together in school for ages (we even wrote a play together) I decided to text her about it.
The play you’re working on is described as a mix between ‘the Crucible and the coming apocalypse’. Can you tell me about the project?
Luka: It’s all centred around the idea of being trapped, feeling a sense of dread and what a group mentality leads to when you’re stuck together for so long. The DYTers in the show are stuck in this one room, in this heightened state of dreaming. We’re presenting scenes from the crucible, diving into our dreams, and confronting each other on various subjects in this enclosed space we find ourselves. There’s the overarching themes of group hysteria as well as reality versus fantasy, sprinkled with 17 different personalities.
Karim: It’s fairly abstract, to say the least. Looking past all the Arthur Miller stuff, the play is really just about the thoughts that fill up the youth nowadays – the worries, especially. Most of the play is transcribed from conversations the cast have had about just real stuff going on in our world and our two cents on all the little and large things in this big ol’ mess that is human existence. The other large chunk is dreams, which I feel is a further, somewhat more esoteric portrayal of our views towards mankind. In a really weird way. I hope that makes sense. This play is good weird, honest.
How long have you been in rehearsal for this production? How often do you meet?
Luka: We’re at the end of our fourth week now. We’ve been rehearsing Monday to Friday 10am-5pm. It’s been a very intense rehearsal process but no day has been the same.
Karim: It’s fairly intense but it’s super rewarding, I feel. It’ll all be worth it.
Pan Pan are known as quite an experimental theatre company. What has it been like working with them?
Luka: It’s been an honour to work with Pan Pan and their style is certainly unique. We’ve done so much experimenting with the piece, and unfortunately only a fraction will make it to the stage but all the work has filled the show with substance and heart. There’s a bit of everything in the mix: acting, movement, singing, mask, etc. Our director, Gavin Quinn, has really allowed the show to be limitless and absolutely mad but there is without a doubt a method to this madness.
Karim: It’s honestly been unlike any other play I’ve done. The first few workshops we did with Gavin were pretty wild on their own but I honestly wasn’t expecting to be so “outside the box”, so to speak. That’s not a bad thing though as I’ve been enjoying being able to explore a more experimental side of theatre that I really didn’t think I would. Pan Pan seem to really get the cast involved in the creative process in a way I haven’t been before yet I’m still left curious as to how things turn out or change. Nothing’s ever really concrete and it’s that creative fluidity that I really admire about this collaboration.
Do you hope to work in theatre later in life?
Luka: I have just finished studying Theatre Performance in Inchicore College and sadly I’m coming to the end of my time with DYT but I’m just starting my career in theatre. I plan to keep acting in the future, as well as writing. I don’t think any other profession could provide the same rush that theatre does.
Karim: To be completely honest, I wouldn’t have ever seen myself being so involved in acting as I am now. I’ve always been a science guy and I’m currently going into my second year of a five-year Pharmacy course. I’m still a very artistic dude and I’m very grateful to have things like Dublin Youth Theatre around to keep my creativity alive. I don’t think I’d ever make a career out if it but I don’t think it’s a passion that’ll die out any time soon.
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