THEATRE FEVER is grabbing NUI Galway as students and alumni theatre companies get ready to tread the boards for the university’s first dedicated theatre festival.
From Monday March 1 to Friday 5, the new theatre space in Áras na Mac Léinn and the Bank of Ireland Theatre will play host to the Jerome Hynes one-act play series, a radio play series, a new Dramsoc production of the Oscar Wilde classic Starchild, and plays from guest theatre companies Mephisto, Waterdonkey, and Poormouth.
The week aims to bring theatre to everyone and with that in mind the festival will be launched with some theatrical madness! A parade will weave around campus to announce the beginning of the festival and right throughout the week many of the foyers on campus will host 10 minute ‘theatre-bites’ which will be performed by talented young actors from DramaSoc.
The one-act play series will run throughout the week in the Bank of Ireland Theatre. The 11 one-acts are original pieces by staff and students with themes running the gamut from madness to marriage to mortality.
Among the featured productions are Ciara O’Dowd’s The Tree Experiment, in which a middle-aged scientist gets a text intended for someone else, but decides to prove her thesis that maybe, just maybe, there is no such thing as random connection.
Eoghan Timoney’s Chocolate Cake and Wine is a dark chocolate alcoholic comedy about a deep seated contract where Joe and Sarah Shine, Mister Jim Comerford, and the Silent Waiter may reflect characters from an era that is close to our hearts.
The events of 9/11 informs Colm Byrne’s Freefall: Heroes in an which Irish girl in the Twin Towers discovers beauty in the final moments. The drama poses the question whether it possible to go back and change the past.
The one-act plays will compete for the Jerome Hynes memorial prize which will be awarded on Friday March 5 after the omnibus of all 11 plays.
The radio play series is a new venture this year and writers of the university have taken up the challenge to write, produce, direct, and record the plays themselves. These plays will be broadcast during theatre week in association with Flirt FM. The launch of the radio plays will take place on Thursday 4.
There are also plays from guest companies Waterdonkey (Love Song ), Mephisto (The World’s Wife ), Poormouth Theatre Co (Clamped ), and ALâ Community Theatre (A Day In The Life Of An Asylum Seeker ).
Another notable event on the programme is Theatre of the Oppressed, a Forum Theatre presentation which is a culmination of the forum theatre facilitators workshops, organised as a collaboration of the VEC, ALâ Community Theatre, and NUI Galway Dramsoc. It explores Augusto Boal Theatre of the Oppressed as a tool for social change.
When asked how the preparations for the festival were going, societies officer Riona Hughes said: “Áras na Mac Leinn is alive with rehearsals at the moment. If the preparations are anything to go by, we are all in for a real treat.”
The theatre festival is open to both students and the public. Tickets will go on sale soon, for more information see www.socs.nuigalway.ie