Research quality reviewers rated Drama and Theatre Studies (DTS) research activities as ‘impressive’ and emphasised that ‘[t]he PGR culture developing in the Department is promising’ and ‘[s]tudents clearly feel supported by their supervisors, they are taking initiative and are attracting funding.’ From 2017/18 a new MA Programme and HDip Programme in Theatre and Performative Practices will be offered and a PhD in Creative Practice is in development.
The reviewers paid particular attention to the DTS contribution of expertise ‘to professional and community organisations’and the ‘mix of established […] and emerging […] mechanisms to support research’. In this regard, according to reviewers:
‘Staff are active, both as individual scholars and as contributors to broader research and professional networks (both within UCC and nationally/internationally). The extent and diversity of these activities are positive. Activities such as hosting the Irish Society for Theatre Research conference demonstrate the Department’s commitment to contributing to the discipline, and placing DTS within broader theatre and performance research networks. This will benefit the work of both DTS staff and its research students and helps lay the groundwork for future activities. The Department’s links with creative industries are positive.’
DTS research staff are actively engaged in the theatre community locally and nationally (Corcadorca Theatre Company, Cork Midsummer Festival, Everyman Theatre, Theatre Development Centre, The Firkin Crane, Gaitkrash Theatre Company). Events hosted by DTS reflect its research diversity and the Department’s unique teaching programme, reaching out to students as well as organizations and individuals in the community.
In 2001 DTS initiated Perforum, an ongoing series of public seminars, lectures and workshops in conjunction with the Theatre Development Centre (at Triskel Arts Centre, Cork). Perforum events are integral to the Department’s research culture and embed research-focused public engagement exercises within the teaching programme. In the period of the RQR, Perforum hosted a broad scope of performance and discussion on themes including: Celebrating the Year of Shakespeare; Theatre Directors and Adaptation; Performativity and Globalization: In Between Indigeneity and Globalization; Directors and Their Creative Pathways; The Actor’s Process. Guest speakers over the period include leading theatre academics and practitioners. Amongst these, Prof. Goran Stanivukovic (St. Mary’s University, Halifax), Dr. Ger Fitzgibbon (Drama and Theatre Studies UCC), actors Aaron Monaghan and Orla Fitzgerald, directors Julie Kelleher, Tom Creed, Jimmy Fay and Conall Morrison. For current Perforum events see: https://www.ucc.ie/en/music-theatre/drama/news/.
In 2015 DTS hosted the first annual Perforum Conference which showcases postgraduate practice-based research as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. To date keynote speakers include: Prof. Richard Gough (Professor of Performance Research, Falmouth University). This year’s Perforum Conference features the work of leading Irish performance artist Amanda Coogan, who will present a site-specific performance art event in the historic Shandon quarter of the city and give a keynote address.
Other forthcoming conferences hosted by DTS include: SCENARIO FORUM International Conference on Performative Spaces in Language, Literature and Culture Education (25-28 May 2017). Up to 100 delegates from around 20 different countries are expected to give presentations, lead workshops or perform a short piece. For further details see http://www.ucc.ie/en/scenario/scenarioforum/scenarioforum-conference2017/.
For a full copy of the UCC 2015 Research Quality Review Exercise please click here