Studying Theatre in the Heart of Ireland
By Lauren Highfill
This summer several theatre and performance studies students from Kennesaw State University had the opportunity to live and study in Ireland’s capital city of Dublin. The students were able to experience “one of Western Europe’s important cultural centers,” says Dean Adams, assistant professor and the faculty member who accompanied KSU students to Ireland.
“It was gratifying to see KSU students work and perform with students from all over the country,” says Adams. “They demonstrated that they have the talent and determination to hold their own with any other program in the United States.”
Over the course of four weeks, the students studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in the center of Dublin’s art district. They worked intensively on pieces by important Irish dramatists, studied with distinguished theatre professionals and academics and presented a showcase of their work at the end of their month-long theatre experience.
KSU student Kate McKenzie enjoyed her time at the Gaiety School, as well as the visits to cultural centers like the Abbey and the Peacock Theaters. “The best parts of the trip for me were the classes we took and how we were able to see theatre almost every night,” she says. “It was absolutely fabulous.”
Nick Amideo says he benefited from interacting with other students from the United States and around the world. “There were students there from New York, and even Manchester, England,” he says. “It was an interesting, international mix of people.” He also appreciated the free time that students had to take excursions. “Some of us went to the Irish countryside,” he says. “It was a surreal experience to be standing in a field right next to the ocean in Ireland.”
Both Amideo and McKenzie had never been to Ireland before this summer’s trip, but McKenzie says, “I’ve gotten a taste of Irish theatre and I can definitely see myself going back to Ireland.” Amideo shares McKenzie’s enthusiasm. “I would really love to study abroad again,” he says.