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Life after StageWise – University Drama Societies

StageWise - Drama at UniversityWe thought that now would be a good time to write a blog about the world of theatre in the Universities and third level institutes of Ireland. At StageWise, we cater for teens between the ages of 12 and 18, so for those that choose to go to university or another third level institute, getting involved with a performing arts society is a great way of continuing what you have learned at StageWise and become part of an environment where you can really express yourself with your peers (soon to be friends).

University societies offer an opportunity for you to pursue your artistic side while still getting a qualification in whatever you may have chosen as a professional career, whether it be medicine, engineering or business… you do not have to be doing drama, dance or music academically to get involved in a performing arts society.

While societies will have rules about what they choose to stage or whom they will give resources to produce work, the unique benefit of the student societies is that they are (generally) STUDENT societies and as a result, it will be more collaborative than perhaps productions that are coming out of a classroom situation. As a first year in college, there is every chance that the director or writer is a second year student, directing or writing a piece for the first time.

Much like StageWise, the element of socialising and fun is always to the forefront of societies’ activities. Many of the drama societies will have improv nights and the music societies will host informal Open Mic nights.

If you have still not made contact with the performing arts society that you would like to get involved with, below are a list of contacts. These societies need to be somewhat self sufficient to keep going year on year and are only as good as the people that get involved. It can be tough getting a show on the road, so be prepared to try new things. Even if you have never worked with lighting, sound, makeup, costume, front of house, designing a poster, putting up posters, whatever it may be, if you let the guys know you are willing to get involved and help (so that you can learn) you will be welcomed in.

Some of the most successful people working in the theatre industry in Ireland have used their time in university to fine tune their skills in directing, acting and the technical side of theatre. If you are attending third level, don’t miss this opportunity to explore your theatrical dreams… you may not get the chance again to meet such talented people, do some truly wonder theatre and make some lifelong friends.

While talking about the accessibility of societies, it must be said that this in no way reduces the quality of production – on the contrary – the shows are often unique in their approach and interpretation. The quality of student drama is showcases annually by the Irish Students Drama Association (ISDA) at the ISDA Festival and Awards.

If you have had a good experience with a particular society or have any tips for people on getting involved, please feel free to comment…

Have fun!

(image source: http://ucdsocieties.com/societies/drama/)

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