Second Age Theatre Company was established in 1989 by Alan Stanford, Ronan Smith, Brian O'Donoghue and Martin Drury as a response to the demand from Second Level schools for a dedicated production company to present curriculum based texts, especially those of Shakespeare. At that time, ad hoc productions were occasionally staged but of an uneven quality and at irregular intervals. It was felt by the company founders that something more permanent was required and offering a more complete package to the students. Since then Second Age has offered regular productions of the major texts for study and in a time frame suited to the study programme of the schools.
Second Age focuses on producing Shakespeare and contemporary Irish classics for young audiences with particular emphasis on the plays being studied by Second Level Leaving Certificate students. As well as performing in Dublin, the company tours throughout Ireland at least once a year.
Since 1989 half a million second level students will have gained their first experience of serious professional theatre and of Shakespeare at a Second Age Production. In addition, the company has built a considerable following among theatre audiences for its productions and is now a regular feature of the Irish theatre circuit.
The principal writer in the Second Age cannon has always been Shakespeare. The company’s primary production in January/February, is always the play set for study in fifth year for senior cycle studies. This tends to work on a four year cycle of Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth and Othello. In addition the company has presented at various times, productions of Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice. Each time the cycle is re-visited a brand new production is created for that year.
The Company produces a resource pack and notes for schools on all of its productions. These are provided free of charge to all schools who attend the performance. In addition, post show discussions are offered with members of the cast after all matinee performances and visits are made on an ad hoc basis to schools by the Artistic Director whenever possible.
More information on Second Age Theatre Company is available on the company website listed below.