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About Us

Mel Ryan - Mel Ryan Drama School

Mel Ryan

Mel studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, The Gaiety School of Acting, The Bil Keating Centre for TV Presentation Skills and Carr Communications.

She has been playing leading roles in The Gaiety Theatre, The National Concert Hall, The Olympia Theatre, The Cork Opera House, The Wexford Opera House among others in Ireland for over 30 years. She has also presented many concerts in the National Concert Hall, The Pavilion Theatre and Jury’s Hotel. TV, Radio and Film Credits include: The Late Late Show, Prime Time, Theatre Nights (all for RTE), the Mum in Turkle (RTE), Mother in Fantabulous! (IADT), Stella in Aisling’s Diary (CR Productions/RTE) and Aine in Graham Jones’s latest feature film, Davin. Commercials for Supervalue, A1 Waste, Meteor, Vodafone, Ebookers and more recently Moypark Chicken and Pinergy (RTE/ TV3).

Mel has three grown up children and has always had a special interest in mentoring young people. She is completely dedicated to helping them believe in themselves and to feel that they are capable of achieving more than they realise. She is also very passionate about supporting teenagers through the challenges and pressure of secondary school years.

Astrid Courtney

Astrid trained in Griffith College, where she obtained a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies and an Associate in Drama Teaching with the Leinster School of Music & Drama. She is also a qualified Montessori teacher and trained in Child Protection and Child Welfare.

She worked in Vancouver for a year where she directed plays and was involved in an out-reach drama programme for teens in disadvantaged areas. She also has worked extensively as a stage manager for many theatres throughout Ireland including The Abbey Theatre.

Astrid has three children, has been teaching children of all ages for over 12 years, and has a passion for instilling life skills and building confidence in young people.

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Eimear O’Riordan

Eimear studied Drama and Theatre at Trinity College Dublin after graduating she moved to London to pursue an MA in Acting. She trained at Drama Centre where she was awarded the Vice Chancellor scholarship for excellence in her chosen field (Acting).

She has performed on many stages across Ireland and the UK including The Peacock, Project Arts Centre, Smock Alley, Samuel Beckett Theatre, The Tron Glasgow, The Cork Opera House, The Everyman Palace Theatre, Theatre 503, and Platform Theatre London.

Eimear directs the annual Mel Ryan School Show at The Mill Theatre, Dundrum, featuring the Musical Theatre and Hip Hop students.

Esther Doorly

Esther holds a BA (Hons) in Professional Theatre Studies, a LAMDA Diploma (Hons) in Speech & Acting and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. She won a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Birmingham School of Speech Training & Dramatic Arts. Esther has worked as a full time actress and drama teacher for over 25 years and has performed in theatres throughout Ireland, UK and N. America. Esther has five children and is passionate about instilling confidence and resilience in young people. 


Annabel Bass

Annabel studied Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham and then did a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Reading, to become a Drama teacher. She has taught Drama, directed and produced productions in schools in London for many years, including working with children with special needs and disadvantaged children and teenagers. Annabel has a passion for teaching young people, particularly instilling confidence and developing each child’s communication and life skills through drama, music and presentation skills.

Alan McGrath

Alan has been a featured dancer for some of the world’s leading artists such as Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, David Guetta, Jessie J, Tao Cruiz, Flo Rida and also toured with Jedward for three years.

He was one of two featured dancers/drummers for Ryan Dolan’s ‘Only Love Survives’ for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. He has appeared in pantomimes all over Ireland including twelve Olympia Theatre pantomimes, seven Late Late Shows, The Tudors, My Super Sweet Sixteen MTV, Penny Dreadful, Singing in the Rain (Cork Opera House) and too many others to mention! Alan has had his own dance school for many years so he is a very experienced teacher.

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Rachel Tracey

Rachel has been dancing since the age of 4 with The Goode School of dance, she graduated from Laine Theatre Arts with her National Diploma in Dance. Rachel has been working professionally as a dancer for many years and has appeared in several Gaiety Theatre and Cork Opera House pantomimes and productions, along with many other productions in the UK also.  On TV she has appeared in The Life of a Ballerina, Love/Hate, Mrs Brown Boys D’Movie, Ripper Street, Penny Dreadful, The Daniel O’Donnell Show and Little Women.

Copyright 2015 The Mel Ryan School