Limerick’s MIC launches unique new theatre programme

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Legacy project: Dr Michael Finneran, programme director of the new course, with Minister Jimmy Deenihan, who launched it, pictured with participating students in the new BA in MIC. Picture: Brian Gavin/Press 22
MARY Immaculate College’s brand new undergraduate drama course has been officially launched by Minister Jimmy Deenihan in the Lime Tree Theatre.

MARY Immaculate College’s brand new undergraduate drama course has been officially launched by Minister Jimmy Deenihan in the Lime Tree Theatre.

The BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies, established as a legacy project of City of Culture, is up and running since September in the college and is the first of its kind in Ireland, according to programme director Dr Michael Finneran.

“This programme seeks to articulate the contemporary, varied and ever-changing roles of theatre and its practitioners in society,” he explained of the four year degree, which is located within a new Department of Drama and Theatre Studies at MIC and is the product of years of work by the academic himself.

“At its heart is the concept of ensemble, highlighting the idea that theatre has a core societal function and exists not only as entertainment,” added Dr Finneran.

The course aims to give students a broad and practical knowledge of dramatic form and Minister Deenihan described it as “a truly important and high quality programme”.

“This programme is very much in line with our policy of developing arts in education as the realisation that the arts play a very important role in producing creative people is now universally accepted,” he said.

Well-known Limerick theatre practitioner Joan Sheehy, a member of the Arts Council who spoke at the launch, congratulated Dr Finneran and MIC for its “vision” in developing such a programme and spoke about the “power of creativity and the importance of training in unleashing that power”.

In his address at the launch, MIC president Professor Michael Hayes said: “In order to live full and meaningful lives, access to the arts and to participation in the arts is absolutely necessary.

“We must nurture our creativity so that we can be creative in all aspects of our lives,” he added.