Laguna Playhouse presents seven-day Dublin Theatre Festival Tour, October 1-7, 2019

Theater buffs can experience an extraordinary seven-day trip to see the best of Irish and international theater at the Dublin Theatre Festival with insider access in an intimate group with an experienced tour guide. The trip takes place October 1-7, 2019.

Doug Vogel of Laguna Playhouse says, “The tour idea came about because Helen Rigby of Dramarama Theater Tours used to work for Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and used to lead these trips for donors at ACT. Now she independently offers them and came to us with this opportunity for Dublin. There is a Dublin Theatrical Festival going on during this time, so that is the rare opportunity to experience the festival through a knowledgeable theatre guide. I believe this is the first of this kind for Laguna Playhouse and we are hopeful that patrons will want to attend.”

Laguna Playhouse Abbey

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Historic Abbey Theater

Rigby explains how she became a theater tour guide, “I was first enamored of combining my two passions, theater and travel, when I spent five days in Dublin, Ireland, with a book club, in 2008. It wasn’t even ‘my’ book club, but I met the leader at a party and she invited me to join the group. Having never been to Dublin, I thought, why not? When my boss, the executive director of the theater where I was currently Director of Development, heard about my plans, she said she would like to join me…and by the way, did I know that the Dublin Theatre Festival was going on while we would be there? I didn’t – but when I looked it up, I was fascinated by the myriad choices of performances and booked as many as I could possibly fit into a five-day jaunt. We never saw the book club members, but we did see two performances a day and three shows on one day (which made it really hard to remember which one was which!). We toured Dublin’s historical sites, ate food that surpassed any ideas of “Irish food,” drank numerous pints and Irish coffees and saw fresh new works as well as classics. I was hooked. Travel and theater – that is what I want to do!” 

Tour highlights

This tour offers theater access in a small group in the hip and historic city of Dublin, Ireland. Guests will enjoy performances at the Dublin Theatre Festival, including shows at the historic Abbey and Gate Theaters, plus talks with visiting guests led by a knowledgeable artistic guide. From the quaint hotel located in the city center, attendees will explore Dublin on a guided walking tour, take a day trip into the Irish countryside, enjoy fine dining and shopping – all offered with a dash of wonderful Irish hospitality.

Tour highlights include: Six nights at the treasured Buswells Hotel, complimentary Irish breakfast at the hotel each morning, five to seven productions featured at the Dublin Theatre Festival, discussions with festival artists led by a theatre professional, backstage tours, private chats with actors, directors, and other guest artists, post-show discussions, welcome and farewell dinners at fine restaurants (plus additional dinners), a guided tour of Dublin, hosted dinners at some of Dublin’s best restaurants, accompanied by Laguna Playhouse staff and led by a seasoned tour director, Helen Rigby.

Laguna Playhouse countryside

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Tour of the Irish countryside is a trip highlight 

Why these tours?

Rigby says, “Each tour meets with guest artists in discussions led by knowledgeable artistic guides, who also lead post-show discussions. This tour season we met with the two actors in the cast of Indecent, the director of Downstate (and the new artistic director of ACT in San Francisco) and a group of five young actors working (or not working) in Chicago. In Dublin we were treated to a discussion with Richard in Richard the III, Polonius from Hamlet and the playwright of Rathmines Road. Each discussion brought us more understanding of the thought and creative talent that is involved in ‘putting on a show.’” 

She adds, “And the big one: the patrons on my tours are theater aficionados. They love theater. They attend theater, they enjoy talking about theater and sharing their opinions about theater. Somehow, every single time, the group becomes a family of wine drinking, loud laughing, discussion hungry theater critics.”

Deeper understanding of theatre

“We hope that this trip will help facilitate a deeper understanding of theatre for many of our patrons who wish to take the journey with us and a greater sense of what theatre means to the Dublin community and what it could mean to our community,” says Vogel.

 The cost is $4,450 per person, double occupancy, and $5,250 for single occupancy. There is an early bird discount of $200 for reservations made before April 5, 2019. The tour group is limited in size, so places should be reserved. Reservations require a $1,000 per person deposit, along with a completed and signed reservation form, which will reserve a place for each participant(s) on this program. The balance of the trip is due on or before July 15, 2019.

For more information, contact Doug Vogel at (949) 497-2787 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Helen Rigby at (510) 350-7675 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..