About Orla Gildea

Orla is a qualified and experienced Drama Teacher and Facilitator. She has been running her own school of Speech and Drama for the last eighteen years. As well as running classes in Celbridge and Leixlip Orla also teaches students privately and on an individual and small group basis. Orla is a Senior Examiner with the Irish Board of Speech and Drama and has adjudicated at Speech and Drama Festivals in Sligo, Kildare, Donegal, Arklow, Kilcoole, Blackrock and Stillorgan.
Orla has facilitated Drama Workshops and lectured to Third Level Students (NUI Maynooth, DIT and Griffith College). Orla’s experience includes Youth Theatre Groups, Transition Year Students for Positive Group Formation, Women’s Groups, Secondary School Teachers In-Service Training focusing on using Drama in Education and Members of Speech and Drama Teachers of Ireland. Orla also works as a Creative Arts Therapist (specialising in Dramatherapy) in a Residential Hospital, National Primary School and Special Care Unit setting. Orla is an experienced facilitator with mental health clients and special needs groups including Intellectual Disabilities and Autism.

Stage / Theatre/ TV Experience

Orla is an experienced actress and has performed many roles in film, TV and theatre; her theatre appearances include Riverbank, Draiocht, Moat, Helix, Smock Alley Theatres, New Theatre and the Dublin Fringe Theatre Festival. Orla also has directed, stage managed and coordinated costumes for theatre productions.

Orla has received bursaries and grants from the Kildare County Council Arts Department to attend acting courses, record her own play and devise a performance to commemorate the 1916 rising. This play was performed in Prosperous Theatre. Orla has a keen interest in devising theatre and also creative writing. A story she wrote was selected for Kildare County Council’s ‘Stories for the Ear’.


  • MA Dramatherapy, NUI Maynooth
  • Diploma in Drama and Theatre Studies, NUI Maynooth
  • Diploma of Licentiate, Irish Board of Speech and Drama – LIBSD
  • Diploma of Associate, Irish Board of Speech and Drama – AIBSD
  • Laban Guild Dance Leader
  • Advanced Performance Acting, Gaiety School of Acting.
  • Diploma in Business Studies – ICM

Orla believes in the importance of continuous professional development and attends training courses and workshops on an ongoing basis.

Professional Memberships

  • Speech and Drama Teachers of Ireland (Past Treasurer)
  • Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists