The Tir-na-nOg Theatre School was established in 1988 in response to the effervescent enthusiasm, imagination and spirit of Bowen Island youngsters. The School provides year round courses in Theatre Arts education for young people through a Laban-based approach to classical stage training as well as producing the annual Youth Festival of Plays, a two month celebration featuring the work of students in performances of complete plays ranging from Shakespeare and the Classics to original works and adaptations, which are presented for the community and for the local schools.
From 1988 onward over another 16 years or so, renting a delightful and unusual variety of spaces for classes and theatre productions all over Bowen Island, Tir-na-nOg moved into its first permanent abode atop Cates Hill in 2004.
The Theatre School Society has undertaken to repay the construction costs of the building over a 25 year mortgage (gulp) in order to ensure a truly affordable place wherein we may fulfill our mandate to nurture this inspiring adventure of self-discovery and creative expression launched by our young people.
The responsibility for the payments on a large mortgage, together with a committment to maintain this vital centre of activity with the quality of its courses and performances for the future generations of children, is a large but exciting undertaking for the stewards of Tir-na-nOg. With the support of the wonderful community of Bowen Island, we look forward to the continuing growth of this unique and enduring legacy.
The Tir-na-nOg Theatre School Society is a registered charity authorized to issue donation receipts valid for tax purposes. Financial contributions of any amount are welcomed on behalf of Bowen’s young people.
Classes are directed by Co-founders Jack Headley and Julie Tetzner working together as a team.
Julie, a high school and college teacher from London, England, specializing in movement arts, fine arts, dance and drama, continued to teach on Bowen Island while raising her children as well as writing, performing and touring plays for schools throughout B.C. In 1988 she co-founded the Tir-na-nOg Theatre School with her husband Jack.
Jack immersed himself in the world of theatre at an early age growing up on the fringe of New York City where he was instrumental in organizing a self-sustaining youth theatre company, performing works by such theatre luminaries as Clifford Odets and Tenessee Williams. After moving to Bowen Island to bring up his young children, his love of drama blossomed in the foundation of the Tir-na-nOg Theatre School, to which he brings his skill as director, writer and performer.