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Image of Brian Friel in a theatre, with the text Find out What's On

About Us

Since its introduction in 2000 Drama has established itself as one of the liveliest subject areas at Queen’s and is currently the largest university drama department in Ireland, with more than two hundred students at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The ethos of Drama is to combine rigorous research and critical analysis with creative practice. We have close links with the professional theatre community, and many of our staff, graduates and theatre partners are contributing to the emergence of innovative models of theatre and performance analysis, policy and practice in Ireland and internationally.

 

The Brian Friel Theatre, located in the Drama & Film Centre which opened in 2004, is one of the best equipped theatres in Belfast with a 120 seat studio theatre, rehearsal room, dressing rooms, green room and workshop, housed in a Centre that also comprises two cinemas.

Distinguished theatre scholars and artists (playwrights, directors, actors, designers) often visit our Department to deliver lectures, seminars and workshops as well as to discuss their work with our students and staff. In recent years, visitors have included:  Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, Sir Peter Hall, Simon Callow, Augusto Boal, Eugenio Barba, Joshua Sobol Thomas Kilroy, Owen McCafferty, Stephen Rea, Gregory Burke, Christina Reid, Tracy Davis, Marvin Carlson, Janelle Reinelt, Phillip Zarilli, Dennis Kennedy, Bruce McConnachie, Jane Taylor, Mary Lockhurst.

Drama also collaborates with leading arts organizations and theatre companies, such as the Belfast Festival, The Linen Hall Library, The Lyric Theatre, Prime Cut Productions, Tinderbox Theatre Company, Kabosh, and Ransom Productions, all of whom have helped us develop a vital professional practice dimension as part of our overall provision.  

In February 2009, the Brian Friel Centre for Theatre Research was opened by Brian Friel, Ireland’s greatest living playwright, and the Friel Centre consolidates the reputation of Drama at Queen’s which was acknowledged in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for producing world-leading and internationally excellent research in Irish theatre, as well as excellence in practice-as-research. The Brian Friel Centre for Theatre Research aims to produce cutting-edge research into contemporary theatre practice and its historical contexts, and to develop international teaching, research and creative arts partnerships.

Whilst Drama has a strong research focus on Irish theatre and performance, staff research interests also engage with modern European, American and Australian drama; theatre and conflict; theatre history and historiography; gender and performance; postdramatic theatre; dramaturgy; theatre and geography; queer theory/theatre; theatre and cultural memory; theatre in education.