Limerick prides itself on a long tradition of both theatre and musical heritage. For many years those who wished to pursue a career in performance were forced to leave the city to find suitable academic courses in either Dublin or further afield in the UK.
This began to change a number of years ago with the creation of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.
This was then followed by the introduction of the Irish Aerial Creation Centre, Ireland’s first purpose-fitted space for aerial dance. A unique addition to the cultural fabric of Limerick and Clare, the centre is home to Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company and other world-class aerialists, providing a centre for the creation and education of aerial dance.
Limerick’s cultural academic offering is now further enhanced with the new undergraduate programme (level 8) in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies at Mary Immaculate College. The programme was officially launched in November 2015.
The course focuses on an area of drama and theatre education not currently catered for at third level in Ireland.
Applied theatre is considered to be the study of drama and theatre across a range of practical applications and non-traditional settings, including but not defined by stage performance or the study of literary texts. Contemporary theatre signals that the programme will deal largely with current and emergent modes of theatrical production and reception.
The BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies, which is located within a new Department of Drama and Theatre Studies within the Faculty of Arts, MIC, seeks to give students a broad and practical knowledge of dramatic form, and according to Programme Director, Dr. Michael Finneran, is the first of its type in Ireland, to have the specific focus of the programme on applied and contemporary theatre.
“This programme seeks to articulate the contemporary, varied and ever-changing roles of theatre and its practitioners in society” explained Dr. Finneran. “At its heart is the concept of ensemble, highlighting the idea that theatre has a core societal function and exists not only as entertainment”.
The four year honours degree programme covers such areas as Contemporary Irish Theatre; Theatre for Young Audiences, Performance Studies, Drama Education; Digital Theatre; Cultural Policy & Administration; Directing for Theatre, Community Theatre, and will include professional work placement options in a contemporary or applied theatre setting.
Mary Immaculate College holds a significant asset in delivering this programme in the Lime Tree Theatre, a state-of-the art 510 seat professional venue located on the College campus, and which has hosted over 140,000 patrons since opening in October 2012.
Through the College’s close relationship with the Lime Tree Theatre and the new relaunched Belltable, students on the programme have the unique opportunity to be exposed to and to engage with the best local, national and international practice through touring and community-based projects and will have direct access to the extensive facilities of a professional theatre.
For further information on the course visit: http://www.mic.ul.ie/prospectivestudents/Pages/ContemporaryAppliedTheatreStudies.aspx