Irish student drama festival

The much anticipated Irish Student Drama Association Festival took place from 8th-13th March. The 62-year-old festival comes to Dublin every eight years, with DU Players being this year’s host and organiser in what is one of the highlights of the student drama calendar.
There were over 35 productions from 11 different colleges around Ireland with over 500 performers taking part. Productions were run across the city, including in the Samuel Beckett theatre and the Players theatre located on Trinity campus.
The aim of the festival was to showcase the brightest of the new generation in Irish theatre, with those participating ranging from aspiring actors and directors to set designers and sound engineers. It has been a “springboard for numerous influential figures in Irish film and theatre such as Conor McPherson, Pauline McLynn and Fiona Shaw”, as noted by Ross Dungan of DU Players.
This year the festival was run alongside the Irish Student Drama Association Fringe Festival which showcased alternative acts of comedy, music and dance, further providing a platform for the rising talents in Irish third-level institutions.
Dungan said the week could not have gone ahead without the “dedication of the participating students to a career in the industry”.
The festival was well received with great public interest. Organisers were keen to keep ticket prices low in order to maximise attendance. Dungan says the event was “the most-attended festival ever in Trinity”.
DU Players did not receive a special grant for funding the festival. They generated funds through advertising, ticket sales and revenue from the other college’s participation fees.
The week ended with the ISDF awards ceremony where six awards went to Trinity College, including Best Director and Best Production, both of which for the production of Mercury Fur.