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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 Moypark Chicken, Pinergy and Paddy Power (RTE/ TV3).

Mel founded the school in 2011 with two students and is proud to say that the school now has nearly 500 students in six venues in South County Dublin.  She 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 studied Drama & Theatre Studies and followed on to complete her Associate Diploma 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.

With over 17 years drama teaching experience, Astrid is specialised in teaching life skills through the medium of drama, music and public speaking and is passionate about building confidence and resilience in young people.

Astrid is a trained iheart Programme Facilitator and teaches our iheart Programme (Innate Health Education & Resilience Training).  This transformative fun and interactive programme, for ages 10-18yrs, focuses on maintaining mental health, uncovering innate resilience and educating young people about our psychological system to cope with the challenges of teenage life.

Niambh Doolan

Niambh passionately believes in providing a secure foundation from which children can explore their world through creativity. It is this belief which has led Niambh on the road to providing specialist education to children with additional educational needs. In Niambh’s classes, children are afforded the opportunity to follow a differentiated curriculum where required; specifically developed to support individual children’s attainment.

Niambh’s classes focus on learning through immersion and play, using multi-sensory modalities to encourage engaged and active students.

In addition to Speech and Drama and Creative Drama teaching, Niambh also works with Mainstream Primary Schools to provide bespoke education programmes developed to target the needs of individual pupils – Drama for EAL, Drama for ASD, Drama for Aistear at Junior and Senior Infant level, as well as transition workshops for 6th classes.

Niambh teachers Dream Believe Achieve Classes at the Mel Ryan School.

Aislng Breen


Aisling is a Dublin based performer and teacher. 

Theatre appearances include “Shaz” in ‘Tinder the Comedy’ (Tivoli Theatre/Olympia Theatre/UK tour). “Resident Director/Understudy” ‘Menopause The Musical’ (UK Tour). “Mrs Pugh” in ‘Annie’, “Lina Lamont” in ‘Singin’ In The Rain’, “Ensemble and U/S Miss Lynch/Jan” Grease (at Cork Opera House). “Sunshine Suzy” in ‘The Snow Queen’, “Slip” in ‘The Little Mermaid’, Shakira/Velma in Jungle Book and will play one of the ugly sisters in the upcoming panto 2023 at The Gaiety Theatre. 

Television and film productions include: Fair City(Marina Delaney), Apres Match.  Commercials for Aldi,  Glohealth, Dunnes Stores and An Post. 

Aisling is also a trained dancer/choreographer and has worked on many tv shows and films in Ireland as part of the dance/movement team. These appearances include Penny Dreadful, Vikings Valhalla, The Last Duel, Tudors, Camelot and Fame The Musical. Aisling was the Movement Director on the play “A Day in May” and assisted the choreographer on the musical “Angel Of Broadway”. 

Aisling is passionate about helping students overcome performance anxiety and focuses on confidence & resilience building in class.

Elaine Gallagher


Elaine trained with Bull Alley Theatre Training Company from 2002-2006 graduating with an ATCL from Trinity Gulidhall ,London.

Credits include playing Mother Courage in Mother Courage at Smock Alley, Bride in  Blood Wedding at The Project Arts Theatre , Various Characters in Hamlet in Tallaght Theatre,  Jane in I Have Five Daughters at The Project Arts Theatre. Elaine has also starred in West Side Story, Chess and City of Angels at the Driocht Theatre and the Dublin premiere of Ragtime The Musical at the O’ Reilly Theatre.

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