The heart and soul of Siamsa Tíre’s professional performing company lies in its extended Community Cast. These are people of all ages and from all backgrounds here in Kerry who have trained and performed with the company for years. Some of them have been part of the Siamsa Tíre family of performers for decades.
Most members of our 100-strong Community Cast have been specifically trained from childhood through our National Folk Training Academy. During their three years in the Academy, they received weekly lessons from professional singers, dancers, and musicians who taught them the traditional songs, step dances, and musical tunes they needed to be able to perform on stage in the unique Siamsa Tíre idiom.
To this day, selected students who have completed our three-year training programme are offered auditions and once successful, they are invited to train further to become part of our performing company. This training involves learning the various music, dance, and song set pieces that form part of Siamsa Tíre’s extensive repertory. It can also involve specialising in a specific performing discipline such as singing, dancing, or playing a particular musical instrument.
Throughout this advanced training, students also have the opportunity to perform on stage with the National Folk Theatre during its annual summer season Festival of Folk. This allows them to hone their performance skills in front of a live audience, to delve deeper into Ireland’s artistic traditions, and to establish themselves as a member of Siamsa Tíre’s Community Cast, a family within a family here at our theatre.