Disclaimer: This is just my experience! Class expectations may shift yearly, or if a professor changes. A general piece of advice is that on the first week, you should be on your best behavior and be in dress code. As the term goes on, you may become more comfortable, but it is best to begin with as much professionalism as you can until you learn tutors' expectations.
The dress code will be sent to you as a reminder before the semester begins, but the earlier you know, the easier it is to shop. You are required to wear all black, no logos or lettering. Make sure they are clothes you are comfortable to move in. Sneakers or soft soled shoes—you can buy black plimsoll shoes for about €6 at Penney’s. No jewelry, nail polish, or makeup, natural hair colors only. While this code sounds pretty strict, a lot of it is about safety. For example, wearing rings in stage combat could put someone at real risk.
I also recommend wearing lots of layers. It can get really cold walking to class and in the building. Although in classes like dance, you’re going to want something cooler under.
Bua - Most days, 20 minute yoga/voice warmup. You will need: yoga mat.
Improvisation - Once a week. This course teaches the basics of improv, starting with games, and moving into creating scenes with 5 and more people. No crop tops.
Acting - About 12 hours/week. The first year class is split up between two different teachers. Both classes are learning similar methods, but it is important to note that every teacher is different. Do not feel discouraged if your classmates are discussing techniques or ideas you haven’t learned. You will also have some combined classes where you get to play games and devise work with the whole year. You will need: a notebook and pen. You may also be asked to bring props for an activity or a scene. You will likely also work on monologues and scenes in your class, so try to have something up your sleeve you would like to work on.
Voice - 1 - 3 times a week. You will work on breathing techniques, body connection, and delivering text. We also did a lot of yoga and reading exercises in this class. You will sometimes need a yoga mat, (never hurts to just have it,) and will often be asked to bring memorized text.
Dance/Tap - 2 hours, once a week. You will need: yoga mat, foam half dome, tap shoes. Some student’s shared half domes and tap shoes, but there’s no guarantee someone will have one that works for you. We were given at least a week when we arrived to make sure we had all our items, but after about week 2 you should be prepared.
Stage Combat - One of my favorite classes. You just need to bring yourself, but a warning: it often gets really sweaty, so maybe dress light. It’s also important to note that you will be in close contact with other students, so that may affect how you choose to dress. The teacher is awesome though, and will always let you modify moves if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Mind Body - This class focuses on meditation and connection with your body. You will need: yoga mat.
Stagecraft - The basics of what goes on behind the scenes. You will need: notebook and pen.
Manifesto - 1 - 2 times a week, this class focuses on the creation of your own work. The professor likes to focus on non-traditional ideas of theater. You will need: notebook and pen, and an open mind.
Movement - I really loved movement class. Not quite a dance class, movement focuses on connection with the body and telling stories through physical space. You will need: yoga mat, notebook and pen.
Singing - A relatively new class to the Gaiety, singing is a class meant to meet each student where they’re at. You will be asked to prepare sections of songs to work on, and get to work both individually and with a group. You will need: a charged phone to play karaoke tracks.
Film Technique - Basics of acting on film. You will mostly do exercises that have been scripted by the professor, but you may be asked to bring in your own text. We also got to handle the cameras, lights, and sound while other students worked.
Mime - I can almost guarantee this class will not be the mime you expect. The class may feel like it is moving slowly at times, but be patient. You will get to create your own mime pieces in this class, which is fun. No crop tops.
Fundraising - Fundraising is where the full time students meet to discuss strategies to raise money for their grad play. While it is not required that IES Abroad students attend, it can be a fun way to help fellow students and get involved in the community.
My General Advice:
- Even if you think you’re the expert on something, there’s still more to learn. Approach it like you know nothing.
- Take pictures/video of class as much as you’re allowed. Always check first if it’s ok, but you will regret it if you leave Gaiety with no documentation of your work.
- Breathe and have fun!
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Hello hello! I am a junior at Mount Holyoke College, studying music and theater. This summer, I got to work an internship in a professional costume shop! In my free time, I love composing music, cooking, working with kids, and exploring outside.