Alan Stanford (Harveys Theatre Award Winner)
is an acclaimed actor, writer and director.
He is currently Artistic and Executive Director of PICT Classic Theatre in Pittsburgh PA in the USA.
In 1980 he became a principle actor at the Gate Theatre, Dublin and has continued to work there to the present, as actor, director and writer in what he considers his spiritual and artistic home. At The Gate Alan has directed many world renowned actors in the Beckett, Mamet and Pinter series, including Harold Pinter himself, in one of his own plays. He also was responsible for the staging of Pinter’s 75th Birthday celebration, staging readings and performances of Pinter’s work and with a company of renowned Pinter actors including Michael Gambon, Jeremy Irons and Derek Jacobi, Sinead Cusak and Penelope Wilton. As an Actor at The Gate he appeared in a multitude of roles including Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Herod in Oscar Wilde’s Salome and as Pozzo in the Gate’s world renowned production of Waiting For Godot.
In 1989, twenty years after his arrival in Ireland, he co-founded Second Age Theatre Company, which he returned to in 2001 as Artistic Director and remains as Artistic Consultant. He was a member of the Arts Council of Ireland from 2006 to 2011 and he is currently Artistic and Executive Director of PICT Classic Theatre in Pittsburgh PA in the USA.
Film & TV
Alan has also enjoyed a successful TV career and portrayed roles in ‘Ballykissangel’, ‘The Tudors’, ‘Prisoners Tale’ to name but few and for 11 years in the long-running series ‘Glenroe’, as George Manning. His film career includes roles in ‘Educating Rita’, ‘The Irish R.M.’, ‘Taffin’, ‘Moll Flanders’, ‘Kidnapped’, ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Waiting for Godot’, and ‘Michael Collins’. Read more here
Theatre has been my principle art form and occupation for my entire career. I have a passion for the form and practise of theatre. It is the most eclectic of art forms and the most satisfying. I am a minimalist by nature. I believe in the power of words and movement, I believe in the cleansing power of laughter and sorrow, and above all I believe that the first duty of theatre is to be understood and enjoyed. Theatre to me is the ultimate expression of the art of storytelling and it is through this particular engagement with the audience that theatre has the power to change attitudes, to change minds and to change lives.
Alan Stanford was born in England, in 1949, and has lived in Ireland since 1969. His childhood was spent on the Isle of Wight in the South of England where he developed his passion for theatre in school, thanks to the interest of a teacher who noticed his talent for performing.
He went to train as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He was 17½ years old and very much a country boy in a big city. But he survived and went on to appear in Summer Rep and ‘Z Cars’ on the BBC where he also made a brief appearance in both Cyrano de Bergerac and Saint Joan. He moved to Ireland in 1969 for a twelve week summer season which turned into a permanent residence and home and eventually a new nationality.
He established himself as both an actor and director and within a few short years was working regularly in both mainstream and alternative theatre. He worked frequently with Gemini Productions as an actor and became Director and Administrator of The Project Arts Centre. In the 1970’s he toured theatre regularly as a member of the ITC, the National Touring Theatre of Ireland.
In the late 1970s he began his long association with the Gate Theatre, where he worked as both actor and director and eventually as a writer when his adaptations of classic texts became a mainstay of the program. Some of these adaptations have received highly successful presentations across the United States and especially at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
In 2013 he became a US resident and was appointed as Artistic Director of PICT Classic Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he now lives.