The flair q&A

Anna Nugent

Actress, voice over artist, producer, director , creative facilitator and more, Anna is the true embodiment of a leading lady. Now living in Dublin (again), she and her husband run their vibrant, busy theater company called AboutFACE.

(Fun story: I've known Anna for over a decade...and it all started when my husband and I made our first trip to Ireland in 2006. We contacted Dublin theater companies, just to say hello, and the nice folks at AboutFACE replied. We hit it off right away, shared many pints and laughs, and they told us to look up Anna and Paul Nugent, their fellow members/founders who had recently moved to New York - Anna is from the U.S., Paul from Dublin. We did, and have been friends and colleagues ever since. More fun facts: Paul came up with the acronym FLAIR!)

Tell me about your business or specialty.

Storytelling through the medium of theatre is my specialty. I'm blessed to be able to work on stories from a variety of perspectives – sometimes I'm the actor and sometimes I'm the director or creator.

How'd you get to where you are now?

Journeys never seem to be in a straight line. I could probably write a book on how I got from the Midwest to working in the prisons in Dublin, Ireland, but the short version is that upon returning to Ireland after 10 years away, I did a training in Drama Facilitation with Youth Theatre Ireland called ArtsTrain. Through that programme I worked on my craft and met really great people who helped me find opportunities to facilitate workshops with youth, direct musicals for a high school, and finally to a drama workshop in the justice system which has led to me working as a drama teacher in two different prisons. Additionally, I am currently directing my first show with a professional cast for my own theatre company, AboutFACE. Which is truly thrilling and terrifying.

What surprises you in your work?

That I don't have to have all of the answers. I have a tendency to fret about things which could be seen as problems or issues, but my new re-frame is to look at them as opportunities and to look at the rich resources around me for inspiration and aid.

What drives you crazy?

Hmmm, I know there is a long list, but right now all I can think of is the frustration when the local cafe we do business meetings in runs out of the delicious salted caramel chocolates they usually serve with their coffees!

Who inspires you? (it can be anybody you know, or don't know)

People who I run into in my daily life, who provide a little ray of sunshine. Whether it's the bus driver who, for all intents and purposes should have left me running after the bus in the rain, stops and smiles and lets me on. To waitresses who step to their own drumbeat. To strangers in the street who share a moment that just brings us all a little closer.

You're a trailblazer - what are some highlights?

Having the President of Ireland attend my first full stage play we produced at the prison. Being on Law & Order: SVU (a long-time goal. The scene was cut, but they shared it anyway!), being part of my first feature film. Currently, being in such a warm and welcoming rehearsal room full of talent!

Any lessons you’ve learned and would like to share?

A lot of those old adages are true. Don't sweat the small stuff. You're stronger together. Fail, try again, fail better.

Words of wisdom or thoughts? Failure isn't something to fear, neither is success. It is possible to take every setback or disappointment and turn it into an opportunity for growth. I'm still learning and growing!


Anna Nugent is an actress, voice over artist, director, producer and facilitator who has worked in the U.S., Ireland and U.K. She is co-artistic director of AboutFACE Theatre Company and is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. Her acting work includes the feature film We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Law & Order: SVU, the short film The Long Wet Grass, and plays such as Beyond Therapy, The McGowan Trilogy, Doubt: A Parable, Shock & Awe and the stage version of The Long Wet Grass, for which she won a Best Actress Award at Origin's 1st Irish Festival. As a director, she has worked in a variety of settings including schools, prisons, youth theaters and, professionally, on plays such as The Quare Fellow, the world premiere of The Gods of the Ozarks and The Crucible, as well as creating new work. She is one of the co-founders of the NEWvember New Plays Festival, originally launched with Tangent Theatre Company in Tivoli, NY, it now has a Dublin version. Anna enjoys every chance she gets to do voice-overs, from e-learning to video games to cartoons. |

(published 2019)