Next up in our series is Dylan Coburn Gray, a fairly recent alumnus of Dublin Youth Theatre and flush with the success of his production Boys and Girls at the First Irish Festival in New York. This show was a big hit in Fringefest here in Dublin in 2013.
Have you taken part in THE 24 HOUR PLAYS before?
Yes, I’m a #24HrDub veteran! I was Assistant Director on Tap That by Amy Conroy and directed by Garry Hines. It starred Sarah Greene, Conor Madden, Eleanor Methven and Janet Moran.
What was the highlight of your previous experience?
Making tea for Garry Hynes, saying hi to Lisa Hannigan and having her SAY HI BACK. Swoon.
What is the most memorable dramatic experience you have had, and why?
Working: First rehearsed reading of my play Boys and Girls. I was so hopped up on nerves that I was properly manic, both before and after. I haven’t performed in it since, but I am still very glad I did for that one; got to feel doubly responsible for the laughs we got, and there was a bit towards the end where everyone went Really Quiet while I was speaking too. Everything I could have wanted!
Watching: Tim Crouch’s An Oak Tree or Black Grace Dance Company or Russell Maliphant. YUM.
When did you first know you wanted to be involved in the performing arts?
I’ve been involved in some way or other since I was very small; both my parents are arts-heads, I spent a lot of time as a wee ‘un in rehearsal rooms, so it was a small step from hanging around DYT to joining DYT.
I think I knew I wanted to DO it – in the 9-5 Mon-Fri sense – when I realised I felt like my music degree was a hobby for the time when I wasn’t doing theatre work, rather than the theatrestuff feeling like a hobby for when I wasn’t working on my degree.
Who (living or dead) would you most like to work with?
In a pipedream kind of way: I want to write a one-woman show where Eileen Walsh redefines rap with her mindblowing verses. Basically 8 Mile, but with Eileen Walsh playing Eminem. Written by me.
In a more immediate sense, I would quite like to have David Fennelly in my play. I’ve thought that he’s a deadly actor since I saw him be Cripple Billy in DYT’s production of Cripple of Inishmaan (shortly before I joined myself).
Tell us a little about your next big project.
I’m working on a show with Claire Galvin that’ll be in Smock Alley as part of Collaborations in early March. It’s called Drawing Crosses on a Dusty Windowpane, and it’s about losing a loved one. It’s kind of a poem, kind of a play, and I think it’s going to be really lovely if not jolly. More deets here soon http://collaborations.ie/
I’m also working on a yoke about taxi drivers, childbirth, and old age. If you catch me around the Dublin spoken word nights in the near future, I’ll be saying bits from it.
What are you anticipating the most about THE 24 HOUR PLAYS?
The chance to write some dialogue – which I haven’t done in ages – for a bunch of people I’ve never worked with before! It’s very exciting. Spicy spicy variety.
Sum up your feelings about THE 24 HOUR PLAYS in five words or less!
“Only that long left? *%$^…”
We caught up with Dylan in New York last summer and asked him what Dublin Youth Theatre means to him as a professional theatre maker.