Leish Burke

Leish’s interest in theatre as a child was confined to school productions and involvement in the local Comhalthas. After leaving school this interest took a back seat as she went on to study European Studies at UL in Limerick. Thirty years ago Leish rediscovered her passion for theatre and studied with the Leinster School of Music and Drama, Griffith College, Dublin. Leish began working in many schools throughout Kildare and Wicklow in the 90’s all the time furthering her knowledge by undertaking courses in all aspects of theatre and arts in the community.She  is the founding Artistic Director of Griese Youth Theatre where the approach is very much a holistic one, nurturing both the artistic and social development of the young person.The Youth Theatre (named after the local river) began in July 1999 in the Meeting House in Ballitore village as a week long art and drama workshop. It  followed a proposal put to Kildare  County Council Library Services and Action South Kildare by Leish and Artist Jacques Candelay to provide a complimentary learning experience to local young people through the medium of art and drama. The group has now over 100 members aged 6 to 20 divided into Junior Griese and Griese Youth Theatre and offers weekly drama workshops. Other activities include workshops in scriptwriting, dance, art, yoga, participation in street theatre , local festivals, programmes with other youth theatres, training for young leaders, Youth Initiative projects and Youth Exchanges. GYT have performed both nationally and abroad and have been fortunate to work with many of Ireland’s leading theatre practitioners.

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