Second Year BA Connect



In their first year, students chose THREE additional subjects. These were be from arts groups 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7. Subject groupings may be viewed here:


In second year, students keep TWO of those three subjects, and they will take these to degree level.


In the ordinary arts programme, students take six modules in each of their two degree subjects. However, BA Connect students drop one module from each of their two subjects. These credits instead go towards theatre and performance. You should contact individual disciplines for advice about what modules you may drop.


Subject Choices and Progression








Theatre and Performance (15 ECTS)

Arts Degree Subject A (15 ECTs)

Arts Degree Subject B

(15 ECTs)

Arts Degree Subject C

(15 ECTs)


Theatre and Performance (10 ECTs)

Students take TWO of the three degree subjects that they studied in first year to degree level

25 ECTs each


Theatre and Performance (placements and research projects)

(60 ECTs)


Students drop drama and do their two degree subjects

30 ECTs each.


You are required to discuss your subject choices in advance with the course director or coordinator, either in person or by email.



In each semester, students take ONE module in Theatre and Performance.


In the first semester, all students register for the course TP203, and then choose ONE of the optional modules, which are as follows:

  • Engaging with the Play Tuesday 2-4
  • Introduction to Devising  Friday 2-5
  • Introduction to Playwriting – Tuesday 11-1

In the second semester, all students register for the course TP206, and then choose ONE of the optional modules, which are as follows:


  • Introduction to Film Studies (optional) Time to be confirmed
  • Introduction to Directing for Theatre (optional) Time to be confirmed
  • In addition students may participate in Yerma or Electra for credit (subject to successfully auditioning for roles).



In the first week, students should attend all of the optional modules (assuming that their timetables allow them to do so). On Friday 6 September, all students must email, listing their chosen courses in order of preference (1, 2, 3). If students cannot attend any of the three courses due to subject choices, they must say so.


We will then allocate places based on students’ preferences and their obligations to other subjects.


In the event that a course is over-subscribed, places on it will be allocated randomly. We will commit, however, to making sure that students who do not receive their first preference in Semester 1 will receive their first preference in Semester 2.


Please note that, as is common practice in all university departments, optional courses run at times that may clash with your other subjects. You must therefore check your availability against any other subjects. You may NOT sign up for a module if it clashes with a core module in your chosen degree subject.



This year there will be two student productions. Yerma will be directed by Max Hafler in Druid Theatre in February 2013, and Sophocles’ Electra, translated by Frank McGuinness,will be directed by Charlotte McIvor as part of the university theatre festival in March.


Students will be entitled to audition for these productions in October/November. If they are chosen to participate they will be able to do the production for credit in lieu of one of their second semester modules.


Students who are not successful in audition may, if they wish, choose to be involved in the production in some other creative capacity such as stage management, assistant direction, etc.


Students who participate in these productions will be able to gain credit for doing so, in place of one of their second semester modules.


We will have more details about this in due course.




  • 2 September – 2BA, Week 1. Classes begin.
  • Tuesday 3 September, 11-12 – Playwriting Module (optional)
  • Tuesday 3 September, 2-4 BOI. Introductory Session for EN201a (optional) (Please note that Patrick Lonergan will briefly meet the class at the start of this module, so please be there at 2 p.m. sharp).
  • Friday 6 September,  2-5 BOI, Introductory Session for EN201b. (optional)



  • 28 October – bank holiday – no classes



  • Friday 22 November - end of teaching for 2BA.
  • Friday 29 November –Deadline for submission of all 2BA continuous assessment work.



  • 2 December – 2BA Exams start.
  • 17 December – All Exams end.



  • 13 January – semester 2 teaching begins for all years



o      13, 14, 15- Yerma, Druid Theatre



  • 10, 11, 12- Electra, Bailey Allen Hall
  • 17 March – Monday bank holiday – no classes



  • 4 April – semester ends for all years
  • 11 April – deadline for submission of all undergraduate work.
  • 15 April – exams begin for all years
  • 17-23 April – Easter vacation – university closed (Easter Sunday is 20 April).
  • 24 April – exams resume for all years



  • 14 May – exams end for all years


Other dates will be announced during the year.







Engaging with the Play: Spring Awakening [trans Ted Hughes]       Max Hafler


The course will look at how we engage with the text and work on character. We will explore questions like  ‘where do I begin when presented with a role in this play?’ ‘How do I discover the character?’ ‘How do I find the world of the play with the director and other members of the team to create a powerful believable world?’


The group is going to look at one play, Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind [trans Ted Hughes] , to build skills and confidence towards a workshop presentation of scenes at the end of the course.


Primarily this is an acting class, but it is also useful if you are interested in directing. It will be almost totally practical. In addition to using Chekhov Technique, we will be looking at  some basic exercises in Hagen Technique , a forensic exploration of reality. Students are advised to read both theory books.


Students must read Spring Awakening and be familiar with it. Know the story. As you read start to imagine the characters and maybe make notes about them. By week 6, I would like you to make a  written response to the play , perhaps focusing on a particular element of research . If you take one of the more factual titles, please spend at least half of the essay on how what you discovered affects the play . 1900 in a provincial German town./Frank Wedekind’s life./ Other plays by Frank Wedekind and comparing them to Spring Awakening./ The German Cabaret movement / Expressionisim in the Theatre / Stage History. / How I might direct this play and why / . How I might play a particular character  in this play and why  /. This will have a 2000 – 2300 word limit  and will be submitted by week 6 . The most effective essays will be shared and put up on Blackboard. Pictures can be included when appropriate.


The workshop performance of scenes in the last class will need some rehearsal/preparation outside of class. There is no journal for this class. YOU NEED TO HAVE READ SPRING AWAKENING  BEFORE YOU START AND BRING THE SCRIPT TO EACH CLASS.


It is not acceptable to miss sessions without a doctor’s certificate or to be late. Working in theatre is experiential and attendance is vital. If there is an emergency and you cannot attend you must the course director know by email ( or phone 091 49 2631).


For this reason, Punctuality and development/commitment in class is going to carry 35% of the mark.

The  written piece handed up in week 6  will carry 30% of the mark.  The performance of 2 contrasting  6 minute scenes in groups of the final week  using different character building techniques is worth  35%




ON THE TECHNIQUE OF ACTING BY Michael Chekhov. Harper Collins

RESPECT FOR ACTING by Uta Hagen. Wiley Publishing Inc.




Devising Theatre

Kate Costello


Devised theatre is a recent phenomenon and current preoccupation. Improvisation is part of the process of devising. All rehearsals are a process of discovery and devising. Improvisation and devising skills are essential tools to as a theatre practitioner and artist. This module will focus on international companies that are well known devisers and creators of their own work. By studying the different companies, it will become clear what methods they use and what tactics they employ when devising.


The aim of the module is to build an understanding of devising. Different devising techniques shall be explored throughout the module. Students will have a knowledge and understanding of different rehearsal processes and techniques. Students also have the opportunity to create and devise their own work, and present it in a showcase performance at the end of the module.


Reading List

Graham, Scott &Hogget, Steven – Frantic Assemble Book of Devising Theatre (Oberon 2009)

Alison Oddey- Devising Theatre (Routledge, 1996)





All classes commence with warm up exercises. Towards the end of the module the students themselves will devise and lead the exercises. It is important for the students to warm up their bodies and voices as the module is physical and requires the students to think on their feet all the time.


Dream Diary

This is contributed to weekly by tudents, and shared in class towards the end of each week. Every week the student will share a story that is inspired by a dream they have had during the week. The dream diary is used as a starting point for devising. The dream diary can also help when devising character. The invention of the characters dream can help discover unexpressed subtext.


The groups can try to imagine:

-the theme of the dream

-what kind of a character could have such a dream

-what kind of a genre would the dream require

-where could we locate these specific dreams in the play, at the beginning, in the middle or in the end.



The students must read a play that interests them. They have to find a scene that is the crux of the play. This will be used later on in the module as a means of devising. We will discuss this in the first week and decide on the plays to be chosen. I will recommend plays with large crowd scenes – e.g.  Top Girls, Governor Inspector, Festen, Seagull. Thesescenes allow for the whole class to get involved in the process and learn from the different means of devising and improvising. Certain exercises that are explored in the class will allow the student to engage with the text on a new level.



Each student will document his/her work each week, what they discover through research, what they learn in class, and what inspires them throughout the module e.g. articles, images, sounds. This will be not be assessed at the end of the module. This is merely a record for the student to help them remember everything and write down what they learn in class each week. The students will be asked to document the devising process. Every week the performance piece will be developed, this process must be tracked by each student.



The Essay will be the main piece of written text for the Module. This final essay, along with the student’s contribution to the course throughout the module, will determine the final result the student will receive.



Our play

Towards the beginning of the module the group will be asked to think about what inspires them, motivates them and encourages them in theatre. I will ask them to think about what type of work they would like to make. As a group we will discuss what issue we would like the piece to focus on and why they would like to explore this. Each week, the class will employ different devising methods to develop the performance piece.


The topic discussed in the class will be directly referred back to and applied to the piece of theatre we are making.


A date will be set for the final performance in the first week. The theatre will be booked and all students made aware of the busy rehearsal period that will occur before the performance.



Each student will be asked to write the biographies of different characters developed in class. We will then share these biographies, combine them and create new plot lines. We will look into relationships to begin with, then themes and events. This continues and a story/plot develops.


Theatre Companies

Each class member is given a Theatre Company to research. Every week a different student must share his/her research and educate the class on the particular company. The student will present the material they have researched. The presentation will not be about the biography of the company; it must deal with the devising processes used by the companies. The student will then be expected to lead the class in one of the company’s methods. 


The International companies that devise and will be researched independently are-




-Mike Leigh


-The Wooster Group

-Forced Entertainment

-Frantic Assembly

-Joint Stock

-Theatre du Soleil

-Pina Bausch


The students will also be asked to look into companies in Ireland that Devise. They will investigate who is devising and making their own work e.g.


-Anu Productions,

-Pan Pan Theatre,

-WillFredd Theatre,

-Moonfish Theatre ,


-The Company





There will be a number of companies in the Festival this year that will be presenting devised work. Students will be encouraged to attend work by smaller fringe companies that are making, creating and devising their own work.


On Sat 5th of October there shall be a workshop day as part of the Festival. A number of workshops will be held by local artists that deal with theatrical concept such as live gaming, performance art, bilingual performances. Students who wish to attend this workshop will be enabled to do so.



Introduction to Playwriting. E212, Tuesday 11-1

DT204: Introduction to Playwriting. E212, Tuesday 11 – 1pm

This twelve-week module will provide undergraduate students with a comprehensive introduction to the craft of playwriting. With guided writing exercises as well as detailed analysis of play scripts, this practical course will assist students in understanding and applying essential dramatic concepts.


Students are not required to be actors, but will be required to share their writing, their voices and their critical faculties to bring scripts to completion. Each two-hour session will include drama and writing exercises as well as textual analysis and group discussions.


Course Outline

Week 1: (note that in week one, this class only runs from 11-12).

What makes a play a play? The relationship between dialogue and action


Week 2:

Conjuring Up A World: Writing from the set or the space

Pentecost by Stewart Parker OR The Enemy Within by Brian Friel


Week 3:

Characters & Actors: Creating strong, believable characters

Trade by Mark O’Halloran OR Yellow Moon by David Greig


Week 4:

Objectives & Back Stories: Allowing characters to develop on stage

Howie The Rookie by Mark O’Rowe


Week 5:

Writing Workshop: Each student asked to present a 5-minute dialogue for class discussion and feedback.


Week 6:

The Third Man: Overhearing and the presence of the other: Moving from monologues/dialogues to a full cast

The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh OR A Whistle in the Dark by Tom Murphy


Week 7:

A Time & Place for Everything: Exposition: How to place, hide and reveal information

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee


Week 8:

Writing Workshop: Students asked to prepare ten minutes of dialogue for feedback and discussion.


Week 9:

Earning the Moment: Structuring the scene and the play for full dramatic effect

Victory by Athol Fugard



Week 10:

Adaptation & Translation: Drawing on the work of other playwrights

Dunsinane by David Greig OR Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard


Week 11:

Breaking The Rules: The Playwright in Contemporary Theatre Practice

Heroin by Grace Dyas OR I <3 Alice <3 I by Amy Conroy


Week 12:

Final Draft: Polishing and Preparing Your Work

This may be a ‘showcase’ for students to read their work for other students, if of an appropriate standard.




Students will be required to produce twenty minutes of original dialogue – either an extract from a longer work or a one act play. Students will be encouraged to work towards completing a one act play to submit to the Jerome Hynes Competition in Semester 2. The module will include two writing workshops to assist in drafting, revising and presenting work in an appropriate format.


Students will also submit a 1,000-word essay analysing a play (of their choice) as a playwright seeking to emulate this work. They will be required to answer questions such as: What were the objectives of this playwright? What effects did he/she seek to create? How does his/her technique achieve this?



Suggested Reading

Negotiating With The Dead by Margaret Atwood

Adventures in the Screentrade byWilliam Goldman

Playwriting: A Practical Guide by Noel Greig

How Plays Work by David Edgar


Required Reading


Currently available from the Hardiman Library

OR from the Methuen/Faber Online Resource:


Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee

The Enemy Within by Brian Friel

Dunsinane by David Greig

A Whistle in the Dark by Tom Murphy

Howie The Rookie by Mark O’Rowe

Pentecost by Stewart Parker

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard

The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh


Not yet available:

Victory by Athol Fugard

Yellow Moon by David Greig

The Oberon Anthology of Contemporary Irish Plays: 'This is just this. This isn't real. It's money.' Ed., T. Conway. (London: Oberon, 2012.)

(This collection contains: Trade by Mark O’Halloran; Heroin by Grace Dyas; I <3 Alice <3 I by Amy Conroy.)



Recommended Reading:


Currently available from the Hardiman Library:


Negotiating With The Dead by Margaret Atwood

How Plays Work by David Edgar

Adventures in the Screentrade byWilliam Goldman

Playwriting: A Practical Guide by Noel Greig






  • Introduction to Directing
  • Film Studies
  • Performance Project: Yerma
  • Performance Project: Electra


Further details about these classes will be provided later in the year, as two of them are going to be taught by people who have not yet been appointed