I remember starting college and heading to one of my first lectures. I settled into the uncomfortable seat and tried to write the heading ‘Week 1’ in my notebook on a right-handed desk. There was a huge buzz of chatter, nervousness, and excitement among my peers. Then, our lecturer walked in. He put his coffee down on the table and began his introduction to this class, and to life as a drama student. To end his introduction, he chuckled and said the line “Because, let’s face it, we’re all going to be unemployed actors once we leave”. We all laughed back knowingly.
Let’s face it, I know what you were thinking when you saw ‘Drama Studies’ in the title. We’ve all heard of the stereotype; the ‘starving actor’ living on their parents’ couch or a small flat somewhere working a ‘dead end’ job until they get their ‘big break’. While theatre can be a hard industry to break through, drama studies as a course provide you with many more skills and practices than this stereotype that the media provides.
Once you begin a course in drama studies, you realize through learning the history of art movements that the biggest art revolutions all began from one small idea. Drama Studies as a course provides context into the biggest art movements in history. Throughout the course, you learn so much more than just theatre; you read pieces of literature that were the starting points for theatre practitioners. Drama Studies in Trinity focuses on the theory of theatre and differentiating between ‘drama’ and ‘theatre’, which most people think is the same. The essays that we write are implementing this theory that we learn and analyzing plays based on said theory.
Once we learn the elements of theory and know how to apply it, we begin working on our own pieces with the knowledge that we have. This is the practical element of our assessment and we get graded on our use of technique and the structure of the piece.
Right now, we are working on an ensemble piece for the annual Second Year Show that takes place in the Samuel Beckett Theatre in April. I am working in the dramaturgy department, which involves adapting a script to the vision of both the playwright and the director. This show is an exciting opportunity, not only for our class to work on a show, but to create something of which we are proud.
Throughout these coming weeks, we will be working together to put something out into the world of theatre, a place in which we all imagine a future. For us, studying drama isn’t all about the potential fortune or wealth that could come with it. It is a place that makes us our best selves, a place in which to put all of our drive and then make our own stamp on the theatre world. All of this dedication turns into the wonderful experience that is Drama Studies.
Still here? Check this out: State of Play – Previewing Round 7 of the Allianz Football League