“The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.” President Barack Obama
It has been 25 years since The National Performing Arts School opened it’s doors at The Factory on Barrow Street in Dublin’s Docklands. During that time we have been fortunate enough to see tens of thousands of students enjoy the benefit of attending a school like ours. Our aim was always to provide a selection of classes in the performing arts under one roof. No longer would parents have to go to one school forBallet, another for Singing and yet another for Drama. All of these classes would be available in one Centre where a set timetable would mean students could move from one class to another with no restrictions on what class they wanted to take. There were to be no auditions and the school was to be open to children of all ages and of all abilities – and so NPAS opened on Saturday 17th September 1994.
One of the most important aspects of our school is inclusion – this is very important to us. Every single young person who attends our school is treated with respect, kindness and acceptance. One of our school mottos through the years has been ‘Be Who U Want 2 Be’, and we follow through on this every weekend. All of our Teachers and Administration staff are Garda Vetted and Tusla Certified. They have many years experience working with Children and Young People and are the best team of trained professionals in any performing arts school in Ireland. Jill and Eamon, the Directors of the School, take a personal interest in every single class at NPAS whether it is in Lir, St. Matthew’s or one of our satellite after school Schools.
Many of our past pupils have gone on to have very successful careers in Music, Theatre, Film and Television, but more importantly every child who attends our school has fond and cherished memories of their time here with us. Our school is not about being famous, although this has sometimes been a by product of spending time with us at NPAS. NPAS is a school for everyone. We try at the school not to train children and young people to be singers, dancers or actors but rather we use singing, dancing and acting to develop a personal and individual love of the Arts. The exposure to the Arts supports their self esteem, confidence and develops in them a lifelong love for the arts and for theatre, film and visual art. We instill this love into everyone who attends our school. The NPAS Ethos can be summed up by our commitment to the power of the Arts to support a persons overall holistic development which in turn supports the growth of strong and supportive communities. The biggest thrill we ever get as educators is meeting our past students at a show, not onstage in the production, but in the audience enjoying the production. This happens all the time and makes our job so rewarding and exhilarating.