Study Abroad in Ireland

In Summer 2018, TDPS will once again host the Berkeley Summer Abroad course “Irish Theater,” which will run July 9-August 11, 2018 in Galway and Dublin, Ireland. This five-week, six-credit course begins with one week of classes in Berkeley before a four-week trip to the Emerald Isle to study Irish theater at its source.

Irish theater, in both the Republic and Northern Ireland, is at an unprecedented level of popularity as measured by the number of international tours, productions, and translations of plays worldwide in recent years. The 20th century opened with the powerful resurgence of Irish writing brought about by W.B. Yeats’ and Lady Gregory, whose Abbey Theater set the standard for the aspirations of national(ist) theaters around the world. It ended with overlapping waves of renewal: from the founding of major new theater companies like Field Day and Charabanc in the North in the 1980s to the arrival in the 1990s and 2000s of a new wave of theater companies. In the early 21st century, Irish theater stands poised to continue expanding the scope and influence of this body of work, despite the huge social, cultural and economic upheavals of the past twenty years. This study abroad program takes advantage of Ireland’s rich theater, literary and historical culture by engaging students in the study and practice of Irish Theater from historical and contemporary contexts.


Irish Theater: Origins and Contemporary Performance takes advantage of Ireland’s rich theater, literary, and historical culture by engaging students in the study and practice of Irish Theater from historical and contemporary contexts. Students will engage with Irish dramatic literature, history, and cultural theory in lecture, discussion, and practice. They will apply their knowledge to writing weekly critical essays addressing productions, presenting scene-work from the Irish theater, trips, and class activities in order to integrate their intellectual knowledge with their lived experience as theatergoers, performers, and visitors in Ireland.

The first week of the program will be in Berkeley, where students will be introduced to the material and prepare for travel to Ireland. For two weeks students will lodge and study at the National University of Ireland, Galway, adjacent to Galway City Centre. Galway’s arts scene is renowned throughout Ireland, especially for music and theatre. Our arrival in Galway coincides with the start of the annual Galway Arts Festival, Ireland’s largest international arts festival, giving students the opportunity to participate in talkbacks and workshops not only with West of Ireland companies but also with visiting artists.

For our final two weeks students will lodge and study at Trinity College Dublin, located in the heart of the city–an institution central to the study of Theater and literature in Ireland, and the alma mater of many of Ireland’s best-known playwrights and Theater artists including Samuel Beckett, J.M. Synge, Oscar Wilde, Oliver Goldsmith and George Farquhar. Most of Dublin’s major theaters and historical sites are within walking distance of our classroom. Our daily classes will be held at the Samuel Beckett Centre, which houses the TCD School of Drama.

Students will attend at least ten plays/performances at theaters such as the Abbey, the Gate, and Druid as well as visit historical and cultural sites associated with the advent of Irish theatre and literature and the Irish struggle for independence. We will also welcome prominent theater artists into our classroom for talkbacks and group workshops. Past Guests have included Druid Theater’s Casting Director, Maureen Hughes, Barabbas’s artistic director, performer and clowning expert Raymond Keane, Irish Modern Dance Theater’s John Scott, and the co-artistic directors of the internationally acclaimed Brokentalkers, Gary Keegan and Feidlim Cannon and acclaimed scenic and lighting designer Sabine Dargent.


Five-week program: July 9th – August 11th 
7/9/18 – 7/13 /18 in Berkeley
7/16/18 – 7/29/18 in Galway (students check in on 7/16; classes begin 7/17)
7/30/18 – 8/11/18 in Dublin (classes end on 8/10, and student’s checkout from lodging 8/11)
All dates are subject to change.

Units: 6 units

Courses: TDPS 113A: Irish Theater: Origins and the Contemporary Scene. This course fulfills the Performance and Literature Upper Division requirement for Majors and Minors. It also fulfills International Studies requirement or Arts and Literature requirement of the Seven-Course Breadth Requirement for the College of Letters & Sciences.

Eligibility: At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program. 2.0 GPA or higher

Cost: Visit for a cost breakdown. Scholarship opportunities will be discussed at the info session. 

• Application opens February 1, 2018
• Space is limited, and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
• Deadline to apply is March 9, 2018


1) Visit the UC Berkeley Study Abroad page here:
2) See last year’s website/blog:
3) Read what a previous student had to say about the program:
4) Ask questions. Please direct any questions to program director Christine Nicholson at