“It’s possible to use this module as a way to get your foot in the door, to get your work acknowledged so that people can be aware of who you are and what you want to do.”
“A wonderful way to wrap up four years of studying drama” and similar sentiments were the words from one of the six Debut directors, Claudia Kinahan.
The TCD Directorial Debut Festival was launched last Wednesday, November 21, in the Samuel Beckett Theatre. This celebration of undergraduate theatre showcases the work of the advanced directing course taken by Senior Sophister drama studies students. With two shows every week, the three-week long festival aims to challenge the students in a unique way as they bring their individual shows the stage.
Speaking with Trinity News, Debut director Ursula McGinn addressed that “it’s possible to use this module as a way to get your foot in the door, to get your work acknowledged so that people can be aware of who you are and what you want to do.”
McGinn went on the say that the festival provides her with “a snapshot into the experiences you could have as a director in the theatre industry”, as well as being “a safe space to try new and exciting things.”
“You spend 3 years watching others do it then suddenly it’s your turn and not what you expected at all.”
Claudia Kinahan, who is directing the 8pm show this week – ‘Constellations’ by Nick Payne – told TN that “what is so magical about the process is its collaborative nature; it’s so special to work with a team of people, not only from our department, but the wider college community”. She went on to applaud everyone’s work, creating “a really beautiful, memorable piece of theatre.”
Last week’s shows directed by Annie Keegan and Gráinne Holmes Blumenthal – ‘Dogg’s Hamlet’ by Tom Stoppard and ‘The Believers’ by Bryony Lavery, respectively – were well attended. Keegan described the experience as “surreal” and that “you spend 3 years watching others do it then suddenly it’s your turn and not what you expected at all.”
“It did lead to a few sleepless nights and stressful days, but everyone in the department was incredibly supportive and I would do it again in a heartbeat”, spoke Keegan reflectively of the experience.
Holmes Blumenthal said that “(she) knew that directing a debut was going to be stressful, and that it would eventually completely take over (her) academic and social life. But, it was ultimately all worth it.”
She noted the support which she received from her classmates and lecturers and added that she will “sorely miss it.”