|Degree:||Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (BA (Hons))|
Acting, Theatre & Dance
Drama exists on and off the stage; that, we call theatre. It happens in our everyday life, and is the basis for story-telling and other forms of performance within the creative arts. It has its origins in sacred ritual and remains central today as part of our sense making as we negotiate our place in the world. As with other creative arts, Drama and the insights from studying performance can be applied in the fields of medicine, politics, education and more.
Theatre Studies encompass all the arts that make up the live experience we call theatre – including costume, lighting, sound, devising, directing, design, dramaturgy and playwriting. We also study the meaning behind theatre, analysing culture and politics, space and place, the presence of audience and performers, and the use of digital technology.
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All Drama pathways explore the relationship between the theory and practice of Drama and Theatre to discover how and why they work. The strong developmental emphasis of the courses requires a particular blend of practical and academic skills. In addition to a high level of analytical ability and creativity, you will need to possess resourcefulness and self-motivation.
Teaching is by lecture, seminar and workshop, with a strong emphasis on experiential learning and practice-based research through theatre laboratory and production opportunities. This leads to a relatively high number of contact hours with other students for group projects, as well as the regularly timetabled taught classes. You will need to be a team player to succeed on this course.
Single Honors students combine Drama Studies with Theatre Studies throughout their degree, whilst Joint Honors students combine it with another subject outside of the Drama Department. Opportunities are available for Joint Honors students to engage more extensively in practice in their third and fourth years, if they select an exit pathway that includes Drama.
Drama at Trinity is housed in the purpose-built Samuel Beckett Centre, home to the Samuel Beckett Theatre, the Players Theatre, a dance studio/rehearsal space, seminar rooms and offices. All our full-time staff have theatre-making experience and are published academic writers, active both nationally and internationally. Some third and fourth year modules are taught by visiting specialists, including award-winning designers, directors, performers and playwrights any of whom are alumni from the course.
The pathways available are Single Honors, Major with Minor and Joint Honors.
Many of our graduates seek employment in theatre or related professions and a large percentage of today’s Irish theatre-makers are alumni. Some graduates opt to take further training or apprenticeships, whilst others go straight into working in specialist areas of theatre, film, or television (such as directing, acting, design, playwriting, management, community drama and teaching). Some have formed their own theatre companies; many have won awards. Others have chosen research careers beginning with further study at postgraduate level. Even for graduates who decide not to pursue theatre as a career, the core skills of research, writing, organisation, collaboration, and interpersonal communication that they gain on the course last a lifetime.
First and second years will provide you with a foundation in the skills and vocabularies of the theatre historian, analyst and practitioner. During these years, the course introduces drama, theatre and performance, and places them in a contemporary and relevant context. Teaching is by lecture, seminar and practical workshop, covering Theatre History (from the Greeks to the present), Performance Analysis, and Contemporary Performance Research (including studies in semiotics, feminism and gender, dramaturgy, postmodernism and more). Single Honors students also take courses in practical areas of theatre (Embodied Practices, Performance and Technology, and Crew Rotation). Training in study, research, and writing skills is provided to support you with the academic elements of the course.
All students take a compulsory module in the contemporary performance research strand alongside their own choice from a range of optional modules, striking a balance between the academic and the practical nature of the course (based on your chosen exit pathway).
The range of modules allows you to favour study in historical and theoretical fields or in practical aspects of theatre. The range of options may include theatre and Ireland, Shakespeare and Embodiment, stage, costume and lighting design, playwriting, devising, directing, theatre management, acting, performance and technology, women and theatre, and applied drama and theatre. Students exiting through Drama as a Major, Joint Honors, or Single Honors subject also complete a staff-supervised Capstone project. The Drama Capstone project allows students to integrate their interests into an individual research submission (such as a long dissertation or blended practice-as-research).
Assessment is by a combination of essays, reflections, practical assignments, class presentations, oral examinations and students exiting through Drama as a major, Joint Honors or Single Honors subject are required to complete a Capstone project.
You may apply to spend third year studying abroad at a European university as part of the Erasmus exchange programme or at one of Trinity’s non-EU partner universities.