This course offers a hands-on approach to the study of Irish
theatre history as a living process. We move from the nineteenth-
century plays of Oscar Wilde to the early Abbey plays of W.B. Yeats
and Sean O’Casey, to the towering genius of Samuel Beckett in
mid-century, to major contemporary dramatists such as Brian
Friel, Marina Carr and Enda Walsh and, finally, to the growing role
of interdisciplinary arts practice, dance and collaborative theatre-
making approaches in the contemporary Irish theatre today.
Students on this course have unprecedented access to one of the
world’s greatest Irish theatre archives—working with the treasures
of the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive, as well as the papers of
Thomas Kilroy, Druid Theatre, the Lyric Players’ Theatre and many
more. These archives include hundreds of videos of performances
and original promptbooks, as well as correspondence between
major authors, drafts of plays, and set and costume designs.
With classes taught by world-leading scholars, this course offers
students the opportunity to work in the major international centre
for research on Irish theatre and performance and to gain access
to hands-on work experience in either archive maintenance and
acquisition and/or literary management for the theatre.