VILLANOVA, Pa. – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University and the Abbey Theatre have launched the “Abbey Theatre Summer Studio,” a joint enterprise which offers a select group of students the opportunity to study with Irish Studies scholars and Irish theatre professionals. The new program, running June 1-19, 2014, in Dublin, Ireland, invites undergraduate students to study the literature, history and practice of Irish theatre while examining the major works and history of the Abbey Theatre. Students will also be trained in the production techniques of Irish theatre.
Students accepted into the “Abbey Theatre Summer Studio” will study the workings and history of the Abbey Theatre as well as develop their own theatre skills, knowledge and practice. Their work will culminate in an evening of student performances on the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock stage. The students will also have the opportunity to observe the development of Brian Friel’s Aristocrats, from dress rehearsal through its first preview performance.
“The Abbey Theatre Summer Studio blends the study and practice of Irish theatre for undergraduates,” said Joseph Lennon, PhD, director of the Irish Studies program at Villanova. “This program at the National Theatre of Ireland gives students the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Irish culture, as well as study with professors from Theatre, English, and History as well as professionals from the Abbey Theatre.”
The “Abbey Theatre Summer Studio” is a product of the Villanova – Abbey Theatre Exchange Program, which was established in 2011, linking Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with the prestigious National Theatre of Ireland. The Abbey Theatre is committed to creating theatre reflective of Irish culture and society, and of its importance in Irish history.
The Villanova – Abbey Theatre Exchange Program seeks to further enrich artistic and intellectual traditions. Through lectures, workshops, and other activities, the Exchange Program will advance dialogue between audiences, students, playwrights, scholars, and theater practitioners—strengthening the University’s bond with Ireland, and the Abbey Theatre’s bond with America.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.