Grainne O’Rourke, LGSM, LLSM, ARIAM, President of the Speech & Drama Teachers of Ireland since 2013.Grainne O'Rourke

Happy Days School of Performing Arts is led by Gráinne O'Rourke, LGSM, LLSM, ARIAM. Gráinne started taking Speech and drama classes from four years of age and was bitten by the bug! By age six she was organising her friends into putting on little plays for their parents! In later life, Gráinne performed in many plays and musicals, and won many prizes including first prize in the Brendan Kennelly Cup. 

Gráinne went on to take Drama and Theatre Studies full time for two years. Gráinne has obtained qualifications in Speech and Drama, Acting, Verse Speaking, Effective Communications and Public Speaking to name but a few! Grainne has studied with and has qualifications from the Trinity Guildhall School of Music, London, LAMDA, (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), Royal Irish Academy of Music, Leinster School of Music and the Drama and Theatre Studies Department in the Inchicore College of Further Education.

Gráinne has over 20 years experience as a Speech and Drama teacher. Grainne has served as President of the Speech and Drama Teachers of Ireland since 2013. Their mandate is to promote speech, drama and communication activities in Ireland. Gráinne was invited to act as an examiner at all levels for the Royal Irish Academy of Music, including their teaching qualifications and as an adjudicator for their High Achievers Awards. Gráinne is a member of the Blessington Theatre Committee.

Happy Days School of Performing Arts has developed on from Happy Days School of Speech and Drama which was founded by Gráinne back in 1993. It is the fruition of many years of hard work, love and dedication by all, staff and students, who have shared in our vision and experienced the magic that is Happy Days. So lets meet the team!


Claire Gleeson Claire Gleeson

Claire has been with Happy Days for over a decade both as a student, a performer in many Happy Days shows and now as a teacher.

Claire holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Occupational Therapy and a Masters Degree through Research with the Discipline of Occupational Therapy both from Trinity College Dublin where she now works.




Anne-Marie Nulty, L.I.B.S.D.Anne Marie Nulty

Anne-Marie has trained in Speech and Drama since childhood. Anne-Marie   also took drama at school in Loretto Foxrock after which she secured aplace in The Liberties College, Dublin where she took a PerformanceDrama Course . Anne-Marie has performed in shows such as "After The Fall" by Arthur Miller, "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" by Bertolt Brecht and the musical "Gypsy" and has also worked in Irish television.

Anne-Marie has been teaching Speech and Drama for ten years and has been involved in many professional productions including assistant to Grainne O'Rourke Director of Happy Days School of Performing Arts in producing "Oliver" in February 2010 at the Civic Theatre.

Kate QuinnKate_Quinn_2

Kate Quinn has studied drama from an early age where she completed in and won many of the famous Feis Maitiu competitions. Kate also completed several Royal Irish Academy exams in speech and drama. Kate went on to study drama in college in both Dublin and Wales where she received a BA degree in theatre and performing arts.

While in college she received bronze, silver and gold medals in the world famous L.A.M.D.A exams. Kate performed in many stage productions including 'Dancing at Lughnasa', 'Red Roses and Petrol', 'Steaming', 'The love of the Nightingale' and many more in such theatre's such as the Draiocht, The Project, Andrews Lane and the Grand Theatre Swansea. Kate also performed in several musicals including 'Sweet Charity', 'Carousel' and 'The Best Little Whore House In Texas'.

Kate has a wide knowledge of all areas of Drama including Production, stage manager, set design and T.V Production.

Sarah CarpenterSarah_Carpentar

Sarah Carpenter started both singing and dancing at the age of five. Since then she has performed at every opportunity on stages such as The Gaiety, The Olympia and The Cork Opera House. Sarah successfully completed a two year dance course at Sallynoggin college of further education. She has been teaching Performing Arts for the last five years in various schools around Ireland. In 2009 she received her diploma in musical theatre performance from the London College of Music. Having spent the last year travelling including teaching Performance Arts in Australia she is looking forward to returning to both teaching and performing in Ireland.


Sarah VaughanSarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan is a soprano from Dublin studying under the acclaimed Virginia Kerr.

No stranger to the musical scene she has performed in many productions both at home and abroad, including; The Pirates of Penzance (Broadway version) (Mabel, Dunamaise Arts Centre), The Gondoliers (NCH & Buxton Opera House, UK), God Bless Archie Dean (Esther, Millbank Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Belle & Cynthia, NCH), The Pirates of Penzance (Isabel, Buxton Opera House, UK), Hollywood Pinafore (Brenda Blossom, Millbank Theatre & Landskrona Riksteater, Sweden), Oliver! (NCH) and The Mikado (NCH & Buxton Opera House). She also performs regularly with Lyric Opera Productions, including; La Traviata, L'elisir d'Amore, The Magic Flute and Norma, all at the National Concert Hall.

Sarah is a well known face at corporate events and has also been featured as an actress on RTE's Flesh and Blood (Carmel) and some advertisements. For her role in Hollywood Pinafore, she was awarded Best Female Singer at the AIMS/VW Awards 2008 and is currently nominated for Best Female Singer (AIMS/HB Awards) for the role of Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance).

Sarah also represented Ireland in the World Championships of Performing Arts 2009 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, returning home with 7 gold and 4 silver.

Upcoming engagements include the World Premiere of Here Comes Love (Helen, Powerscourt Gallery) and The Pirates of Penzance (Isabel, NCH).

Sarah-Jane O'Neill

Sarah-Jane graduated from University of Ulster with a B.A. Honours in Drama with Dance, acheiving the highest grade in that split honours field.  She has a passion for all disciplines in performing arts and has practical experience in all areas including directing, scenography, production management, stage sarahjanemanagement, devising, performing and workshop faciliation.  Last year's works include co-devising and performing in "The Little Box of Wonders" for Belfast Childrens' Festival, directing "Tick, Tick... BOOM!" for Maynooth Musical Society, designing set and costumes for "The Mundy Scheme" for Tavistock Arts and lighting and projection design for Simply Shadows' "Sixties Experience".  She also works closely with Focus Theatre and artistic director Joe Devlin through production administration and venue management.  She has successfully implemented a creative partnersip scheme with Focus and third level graduates from Trinity College, UCD, NUI Galway and Colaiste Dhulaigh, providing them the opportunity to showcase new work to practicing professionals as part of Focus Graduate Season 2011.

Recent projects include production design & stage direction for Take2 Performing Arts' "Time Warp" at The Mill Theatre Dundrum (May 2011), stage manager for Shiva Productions' "Blood Knot" at Project Arts Centre (June 2011), producing Whiskey Tango Foxtrot's production of "Measure for Measure" by William Shakespere at La Cathedral Studios (June 2011) and set and costume design for Brian McAvera's (of Picasso's Women) World Premiere of "Francis & Frances" at Focus Theatre (June 2011).

Helen Mahon 


Mezzo Soprano Helen Maho n studied for the Bachelor of Music Education Degree at Trinity College Dublin and DIT  Conservatory of Music and Drama. Helen specialized in voice under Mary Brennan at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where she also worked with vocal coaches Deborah Kelleher and Dearbhla Collins. A multiple prizewinner at the Dublin Feis Ceoil, Arklow Music Festival and Ballymena Music Festival,

she was awarded a choral scholarship to the Trinity College Chapel Choir in September 2009. She has been classically trained in Piano, Organ, Violin and Harp from an early age and has performed on stage with her local Musical Society. Helen worked as Vocal Coach for the Rough Magic SEEDS Showcase in 2009, producing “Serious Money”. From there she began working as the Vocal Coach with Happy Days School of Performing Arts and Take2 Performing Arts School. Helen was acting Head of the Music Department in St Joseph of Cluny Secondary School in Killiney where she is responsible for the School Choir, the School Orchestra and the School Musical last year..


Barbara Hughes
barbara hughes bw v1

Graduated from Edge Hill University with a B.A.(Hons) in  Drama, Dance & Physical Theatre and an M.A.  in Directing For Theatre  from University College Dublin. She has just finished a drama tour of England. Other productions include LANUDRY by Anu Productions Directed by Louise Lowe Position: Assistant Director.END OF THE ROAD by Fishamble Theatre Co.  Directed by Louise Lowe Position: Front of House. SILENT by Fishamble Theatre Co. Directed by Jim Culleton Position: Assistant Director.

The Proposal by Anton Chekhov ‘ and ‘Live’ (Edge Hill University). Barbara has taught for many years and taught with the  DANCE THEATRE OF IRELAND(Outreach Dance Programme).