Kennesaw State theatre students prepare for education abroad

Students will travel to Ireland during summer 2013

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KSU students outside of The Abbey Theatre,

known as the National Theatre of Ireland

KENNESAW, Ga. (November 12, 2012)

Around St. Patrick’s Day, there is always a lot of interest in Ireland, but the Emerald Isle is already on the minds of students in the Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre & Performance Studies. They are preparing for a four-week program at The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland from July 1-26, 2013.

John Gentile, chair of the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies and director of the program, says, “The education abroad experience offers students the opportunity to learn what it means to be a global citizen.” Gentile says participating in an education abroad program also helps deepen and expand a student's understanding of the world and the complexities and differences of other cultures.


During the Irish Drama Summer Intensive at The Gaiety School of Acting, students will engage in a series of practical workshops in acting, voice and movement work and text analysis, along with seminars on Irish cultural history, according to Gentile. The course will focus on the plays and playwrights that have made Ireland famous in theater, including works by John Millington Synge, Sean O’Casey, Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel. Students will also have the opportunity to visit important Irish cultural sites.


Photos by John Gentile

The Gaiety School is a perfect match for KSU's bachelor's degree program in theatre and performance studies because of its focus on the scholar-artist model, which values both creative work and scholarship, says Gentile. A team of distinguished professional theater artists and scholars, whose expertise covers a broad spectrum of the performance arts, will teach students in the summer program. “I have the utmost respect for the faculty of the Gaiety School, Gentile says. They are the top Irish theater artists and scholars working in their fields, all highly talented and delightful people.”


Kennesaw State students have traveled to the Emerald Isle since 2002, when Gentile began working with Patrick Sutton, director of The Gaiety School of Acting, to establish the education abroad program. Many of the KSU theatre and performance studies majors who have participated in the trip to Ireland say the experience is life-changing.


One of my favorite things about the program is the fact that it's so balanced between being immersed in the culture, acting and learning the works of these Irish playwrights,” explains Molly Gilmartin, KSU theatre and performance studies student. You don't feel like you're just in a classroom. You don't feel like you're just going on visits. You really get a well-rounded sense of Ireland, its culture and its literature.


Gentile has a word of advice for any student who is considering the trip: "Go! Ireland is a wonderful experience for a first-time international traveler. Its culture is similar enough to put a new traveler at ease. The spoken language is English, but it’s different enough to be utterly fascinating. It is a magical place”


For more information and to apply for The Gaiety School of Acting summer program, visit the KSU Education Abroad website.


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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.

The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts departments.


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The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University supports, defends and promotes academic freedom in artistic expression, as outlined by the American Association of University Professors, and diversity of all kinds as outlined by the university's Human Relations Position Statement.

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