Archive for May, 2015

Got a taste for the absurd? Do you like your comedy queer, physical, uncanny, off the beaten path, out on the fringes where things get dark?

Casting for a new play in Dublin: The Arbitration, by Marcus Richey. 8 actors needed, ages 20 – 70’s. Unpaided acting gig Auditions to be held on May 23 at Filmbase, Temple Bar. all infomation below

The Gaiety School of Acting

ARB posterGot a taste for the absurd? Do you like your comedy queer, physical, uncanny, off the beaten path, out on the fringes where things get dark?

Casting for a new play in Dublin: The Arbitration, by Marcus Richey. 8 actors needed, ages 20 – 70’s. Unpaid. Auditions to be held on May 23 at Filmbase, Temple Bar. Find all the information here, along with character descriptions and sides:

https://sites.google.com/site/thearbitrationplay/auditions

C.V and headshot required.

 

Email thearbitrationmarcus@gmail.com

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Mental health is a big issue in 2015 Ireland today, particualary among the student population considering taking part in the campagin below #breatheselfie

The Gaiety School of Acting

Breathe Selfies

Promoting Positive Mental Health…One Breath at a Time.

We’ve launched a new social media campaign to create more awareness about our Breathe programme. The programme is an early prevention programme to combat the ever increasing suicide trend amongst our youth. It is a creative project to develop and create awareness on positive mental health through communication, focusing on changing attitudes and improving links between teachers, parents/guardian and students. The programme is delivered in post primary schools and has been to over 160 schools nationwide to date.

The campaign is called the #breatheselfie. People are taking a selfie with either our Breathe postcard or wristband and sharing it on social media. Students are who we are targeting and are the biggest users of social media hence the selfie campaign. By sharing your selfie using the hashtag more people become aware of the programme and the importance of addressing mental health in Ireland.

Our supporters to date…

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This is just an infomative post I do not have Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay and the third is to stick with the treatment. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

 

WHat is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects the way a person acts, thinks, and sees the world. People with schizophrenia have an altered perception of reality, often a significant loss of contact with reality. They may see or hear things that don’t exist, speak in strange or confusing ways, believe that others are trying to harm them, or feel like they’re being constantly watched. With such a blurred line between the real and the imaginary, schizophrenia makes it difficult—even frightening—to negotiate the activities of daily life. In response, people with schizophrenia may withdraw from the outside world or act out in confusion and fear.

Most cases of schizophrenia appear in the late teens or early adulthood. However, schizophrenia can appear for the first time in middle age or even later. In rare cases, schizophrenia can even affect young children and adolescents, although the symptoms are slightly different. In general, the earlier schizophrenia develops, the more severe it is. Schizophrenia also tends to be more severe in men than in women.

Although schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, there is help available. With support, medication, and therapy, many people with schizophrenia are able to function independently and live satisfying lives. However, the outlook is best when schizophrenia is diagnosed and treated right away. If you spot the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia and seek help without delay, you or your loved one can take advantage of the many treatments available and improve the chances of recovery.

Early warning signs of schizophrenia

In some people, schizophrenia appears suddenly and without warning. But for most, it comes on slowly, with subtle warning signs and a gradual decline in functioning long before the first severe episode. Many friends and family members of people with schizophrenia report knowing early on that something was wrong with their loved one, they just didn’t know what.

In this early phase, people with schizophrenia often seem eccentric, unmotivated, emotionless, and reclusive. They isolate themselves, start neglecting their appearance, say peculiar things, and show a general indifference to life. They may abandon hobbies and activities, and their performance at work or school deteriorates.

The most common early warning signs of schizophrenia include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Hostility or suspiciousness
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene
  • Flat, expressionless gaze
  • Inability to cry or express joy
  • Inappropriate laughter or crying
  • Depression
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Odd or irrational statements
  • Forgetful; unable to concentrate
  • Extreme reaction to criticism
  • Strange use of words or way of speaking

While these warning signs can result from a number of problems—not just schizophrenia—they are cause for concern. When out-of-the-ordinary behavior is causing problems in your life or the life of a loved one, seek medical advice. If schizophrenia or another mental problem is the cause, treatment will help.

Effects of schizophrenia

When the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are ignored or improperly treated, the effects can be devastating both to the individual with the disorder and those around him or her.  Some of the possible effects of schizophrenia are:

  • Relationship problems. Relationships suffer because people with schizophrenia often withdraw and isolate themselves. Paranoia can also cause a person with schizophrenia to be suspicious of friends and family.
  • Disruption to normal daily activities. Schizophrenia causes significant disruptions to daily functioning, both because of social difficulties and because everyday tasks become hard, if not impossible to do. A schizophrenic person’s delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thoughts typically prevent him or her from doing normal things like bathing, eating, or running errands.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse. People with schizophrenia frequently develop problems with alcohol or drugs, which are often used in an attempt to self-medicate, or relieve symptoms. In addition, they may also be heavy smokers, a complicating situation as cigarette smoke can interfere with the effectiveness of medications prescribed for the disorder.
  • Increased suicide risk. People with schizophrenia have a high risk of attempting suicide. Any suicidal talk, threats, or gestures should be taken very seriously. People with schizophrenia are especially likely to commit suicide during psychotic episodes, during periods of depression, and in the first six months after they’ve started treatment.

 

Diagnosing schizophrenia

A diagnosis of schizophrenia is made based on a full psychiatric evaluation, medical history, physical exam, and lab tests.

  • Psychiatric evaluation – The doctor or psychiatrist will ask a series of questions about you or your loved one’s symptoms, psychiatric history, and family history of mental health problems.
  • Medical history and exam – Your doctor will ask about your personal and family health history. He or she will also perform a complete physical examination to check for medical issues that could be causing or contributing to the problem.
  • Laboratory tests – While there are no laboratory tests that can diagnose schizophrenia, simple blood and urine tests can rule out other medical causes of symptoms. The doctor may also order brain-imaging studies, such as an MRI or a CT scan, in order to look for brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia.

Mental health professionals use the following criteria to diagnose schizophrenia:

  • The presence of two or more of the following symptoms for at least 30 days:
    1. Hallucinations
    2. Delusions
    3. Disorganized speech
    4. Disorganized or catatonic behavior
    5. Negative symptoms (emotional flatness, apathy, lack of speech)
  • Significant problems functioning at work or school, relating to other people, and taking care of oneself.
  • Continuous signs of schizophrenia for at least 6 months, with active symptoms (hallucinations, delusions, etc.) for at least 1 month.
  • No other mental health disorder, medical issue, or substance abuse problem is causing the symptoms.

Conditions that can look like schizophrenia

The medical and psychological conditions the doctor must rule out before diagnosing schizophrenia include:

  • Other psychotic disorders – Schizophrenia is a type of psychotic disorder, meaning it involves a significant loss of contact with reality. But there are other psychotic disorders that cause similar symptoms of psychosis, including schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and brief psychotic disorder. Because of the difficulty in differentiating between the psychotic disorders, it may take six months or longer to arrive at a correct diagnosis.
  • Substance abuse – Psychotic symptoms can be triggered by many drugs, including alcohol, PCP, heroin, amphetamines, and cocaine. Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs can also trigger psychotic reactions. A toxicology screen can rule out drug-induced psychosis. If substance abuse is involved, the physician will determine whether the drug is the source of the symptoms or merely an aggravating factor.
  • Medical conditions – Schizophrenia-like symptoms can also result from certain neurological disorders (such as epilepsy, brain tumors, and encephalitis), endocrine and metabolic disturbances, and autoimmune conditions involving the central nervous system.
  • Mood disorders – Schizophrenia often involves changes in mood, including mania and depression. While these mood changes are typically less severe than those seen in bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, they can make diagnosis tricky. Schizophrenia is particularly difficult to distinguish from bipolar disorder. The positive symptoms of schizophrenia (delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech) can look like a manic episode of bipolar disorder, while the negative symptoms of schizophrenia (apathy, social withdrawal, and low energy) can look like a depressive episode.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event, such as military combat, an accident, or a violent assault. People with PTSD experience symptoms that are similar to schizophrenia. The images, sounds, and smells of PTSD flashbacks can look like psychotic hallucinations. The PTSD symptoms of emotional numbness and avoidance can look like the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

 

Hope for schizophrenia

Treatment options for schizophrenia are good, and the outlook for the disorder continues to improve. With medication, therapy, and a strong support network, many people with schizophrenia are able to control their symptoms, gain greater independence, and lead fulfilling lives.

If you think that someone close to you has schizophrenia, you can make a difference by showing your love and support and helping that person get properly evaluated and treated.

PhD(isabled)

A wall covered in shelves all stuffed full of books. Light shines on the left-side of the image.

The first time I went through the UK’s Disability Needs Assessment process to secure Disabled Students Allowance for a PhD, it took four months and the production of a letter that I wrote, signed off by my then-supervisors, clearly stipulating the range of activities that typically distinguish postgraduate researchers from any of the prior stages of academic study.

Going through this process again now, and despite having supplied this letter to my Needs Assessor, it’s become apparent that these points about the specific character of PhD activity need reiterating. And if I’ve had to say them not just once but twice, there’s a strong chance I won’t be alone in this.

Here’s the process, in brief. In the UK, disabled and chronically ill PhD students will be entitled to access support from the Disabled Students Allowance, a fund that provides for equipment, specialist and non-specialist helpers, and other provisions that…

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Literary Reader Vacancy at the Abbey – Closing Date for Applications June 5th 12pm. http://www.abbeytheatre.ie/vacancy-literary-reader/

All budding playwrights should consider entering the Bruntwood Prize or at least looking at the recorded workshops with playwrights Simon Stephens, Bryony Lavery, Phil Porter and director Dawn Walton. Great resources on this website. Deadline 5th June.
http://www.writeaplay.co.uk

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also want to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for that
kind introduction. In recent weeks, I have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting
eighty-nine gracious Senators, including all the members of this Committee. I thank you
for the time you have spent with me. Our meetings have given me an illuminating tour of
the fifty states and invaluable insights into the American people.
There are countless family members, friends, mentors, colleagues, and clerks who have
done so much over the years to make this day possible. I am deeply appreciative for their
love and support. I want to make one special note of thanks to my mom. I am here
today because of her aspirations and sacrifices for both my brother Juan and me. Mom, I
love that we are sharing this together. I am very grateful to the President and humbled to
be here today as a nominee to the United States Supreme Court.
The progression of my life has been uniquely American. My parents left Puerto Rico
during World War II. I grew up in modest circumstances in a Bronx housing project.
My father, a factory worker with a third grade education, passed away when I was nine
years old.
On her own, my mother raised my brother and me. She taught us that the key to success
in America is a good education. And she set the example, studying alongside my brother
and me at our kitchen table so that she could become a registered nurse. We worked
hard.
I poured myself into my studies at Cardinal Spellman High School, earning scholarships
to Princeton University and then Yale Law School, while my brother went to medical
school. Our achievements are due to the values that we learned as children, and they
have continued to guide my life’s endeavors. I try to pass on this legacy by serving as a
mentor and friend to my many godchildren and students of all backgrounds.
Over the past three decades, I have seen our judicial system from a number of different
perspectives – as a big-city prosecutor, a corporate litigator, a trial judge and an appellate
judge. My first job after law school was….
… as an assistant District Attorney in New York. There, I saw children exploited and
abused. I felt the suffering of victims’ families torn apart by a loved one’s needless
death.

And I learned the tough job law enforcement has protecting the public safety. In my next
legal job, I focused on commercial, instead of criminal, matters. I litigated issues on
behalf of national and international businesses and advised them on matters ranging from
contracts to trademarks.
My career as an advocate ended — and my career as a judge began — when I was
appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York. As a trial judge, I decided over four hundred and fifty
cases, and presided over dozens of trials, with perhaps my best known case involving the
Major League Baseball strike in 1995.
After six extraordinary years on the district court, I was appointed by President William
Jefferson Clinton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On that
Court, I have enjoyed the benefit of sharing ideas and perspectives with wonderful
colleagues as we have worked together to resolve the issues before us. I have now served
as an appellate judge for over a decade, deciding a wide range of Constitutional,
statutory, and other legal questions.
Throughout my seventeen years on the bench, I have witnessed the human consequences
of my decisions. Those decisions have been made not to serve the interests of any one
litigant, but always to serve the larger interest of impartial justice.
In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is
simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law – it is to apply the
law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous
commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes
according to their terms and Congress’s intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents
established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I
have applied the law to the facts at hand.
The process of judging is enhanced when the arguments and concerns of the parties to the
litigation are understood and acknowledged. That is why I generally structure my
opinions by setting out what the law requires and then by explaining why a contrary
position, sympathetic or not, is accepted or rejected. That is how I seek to strengthen
both the rule of law and faith in the impartiality of our justice system. My personal and
professional experiences help me listen and understand, with the law always commanding
the result in every case.

Since President Obama announced my nomination in May, I have received letters from
people all over this country. Many tell a unique story of hope in spite of struggles. Each
letter has deeply touched me. Each reflects a belief in the dream that led my parents to
come to New York all those years ago. It is our Constitution that makes that Dream
possible, and I now seek the honor of upholding the Constitution as a Justice on the
Supreme Court.

A Venerable Puzzle

Like the late Rodney Dangerfield, the House of Lords don’t get no respect. Many observers dismiss it as politically irrelevant, and the media often ignores it. But while it’s undeniable that the House of Commons is the dominant chamber, it would be wrong to write off the Lords as a moribund anachronism. Those who actually study the upper house see a rather different picture. They see a chamber that is increasingly willing to flex its muscle and stand up to the government. In The House of Lords and Contemporary Politics, veteran Lords-watcher Dr. Meg Russell of UCL’s Constitution Unit provides a valuable analysis of how the chamber works in today’s Parliament.

The first part of the book provides a historical and theoretical framework for Dr. Russell’s approach. Her look at the powers of other second chambers is particularly illuminating because it emphasizes the fact that, despite the formal and informal limits on the Lords’ power, it…

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“The situation in which I now stand for the last time, in the midst of the representatives of the people of the United States, naturally recalls the period when the administration of the present form of government commenced, and I can not omit the occasion to congratulate you and my country on the success of the experiment, nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations that His providential care may still be extended to the United States, that the virtue and happiness of the people may be preserved, and that the Government which they have instituted for the protection of their liberties may be perpetual.”
..Washington’s final annual message to congress – december 7, 1796

Dublin Theatre Festival 2015 runs from 24 Sept – 11 Oct. The full 56th festival programme will be announced in July, with all tickets on sale to the public from August. As well as tickets for The Night Alive, audiences can also purchase tickets online now for The National Theatre of Great Britain’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which will be staged at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from 6 – 10 October.
Dublin Theatre Festival is principally funded by the Arts Council.
Dublin Theatre Festival is proudly supported by sponsors including The Doyle Collection and The Irish Times.