This course is designed to equip students of exceptional talent with the skills necessary to pursue a career in theatre and related industries through the development of skills, professional practices and creative approaches to writing for performance.
It encourages a self-reflexive approach to learning with a view to developing independent thinking practitioners of theatre. Through a series of skills-based writing workshops and tutorials with professional playwrights, directors and a dramaturge the individual voice of the student writer will be nurtured and developed. Classes in dramaturgy and contemporary theatre practice will supplement the training. The course will culminate in the writing of a performance for the student’s chosen medium that will benefit from staged readings, rehearsals, staging or recording.
Students on the course will work in a dedicated space for writers in The Lir building. In addition to the core classes and workshops, individual tuition from The Lir’s dramaturge will be a key feature of the training. In addition, master classes by visiting practitioners will supplement the student experience. Students can opt to take this course either part-time (24 months) or full-time (12 months).
Master in Fine Art Playwriting
Full-time and part-time students will take three concurrent modules in the first two semesters. The fourth module will be taught in the third semester and subsequent summer months (for full-time students) or in the second year of the course (for part-time students). The fourth module will be supplemented by an ongoing series of masterclasses from professional writers and script editors.
Contemporary Theatre Practice
This module will introduce students to a range of contemporary theatre practices as evidenced in the theatres of Dublin. The principal aim of the course is to enable students to become conversant in the styles, forms, theories and practices that constitute contemporary theatre making in Ireland. In addition, students will be introduced to a range of dramatic production in related media (radio, television and film) whose styles and forms will be analysed in this module. The Contemporary Theatre Practice module is shared by all Master in Fine Art students (directors, designers and playwrights).
This module will be taught by a professional dramaturge. Its aim is to introduce students to a range of dramatic texts for the theatre or related media with an emphasis on the dramaturgical composition of those texts. An understanding of the contexts within which those dramaturgical strategies were produced will also be fostered. This seminar-based module requires students to examine key problems related to the creation and structure of scripts for performance. Students will consider a variety of theories regarding dramatic structure, consider the research requirements of script creation, explore different approaches to script development and learn to apply a dramaturgical vocabulary to a number of case studies.
The overall aim of the module is to prepare students for the writing of a play for performance in Module 4. Students will share their creative writing in a workshop format, and will receive both group feedback and individual tuition in the development of their craft. The module includes: creative workshops; developing an awareness of the professional writing context; developing an explicit, personal aesthetic; and offers the possibilities for writing in numerous professional contexts (theatre, education, community), and for various media (theatre and recorded media). This module also outlines career development and group or self critique; it introduces research skills, rehearsal etiquette and re-drafting.
This module will be taught through individual supervision of the writing of a student’s full-length play (of between 45 and 90 minutes performing time). The play will be submitted for examination along with a reflective journal of the student’s practice. The development of the script will be aided by the involvement of professional actors and directors in the redrafting process. The module will culminate in a rehearsed reading of a selection of students’ work in a semi-staged showcase to an invited audience of theatre professionals. This showcase, which does not form part of the assessment, is designed to bridge the gap between training and the theatre and related industries.