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

Research Space and Lab

Since its opening in 2009, the Brian Friel Theatre has been at the heart of the research and practice activities of the Drama Department at Queen’s. It is a teaching space first and foremost, but also a space for making a wide variety of creative work, a space in which to experiment and play, and one in which ideas might be exchanged – a space for thinking and for doing, in other words. The theatre stages the intellectual and creative work that we do as a department; it also connects us to the wider world of the theatre industry in Belfast and beyond.

Research in Drama does not adhere to the supposed separation of creative work and intellectual work; our work engages both critical and practice-based methods in areas such as dance and dance theatre, post-conflict performance and applied theatre, as well as engaging with some of the greatest writers of our time: Friel of course, Beckett, Shakespeare, to name but a few. Our cluster specialisms also include theatre history and historiography, practice research, theatre within medical humanities, and modern European and American drama. Several academic staff have extensive professional experience working in the film and theatre industry and our department has unrivalled connections to local, national and international theatre institutions, companies, archives and arts organizations.

Drama at Queen’s has been active in developing international networks that support and disseminate research. These have included the Belfast-Sarajevo Initiative, operated in conjunction with the Academy for Performing Arts in Sarajevo along with the Irish Society for Theatre Research and American Irish Historical Society. Recent projects include Friel Reimagined, run by Dr Paul Murphy and Youth Dance Matters, run by Prof Aoife McGrath with Dr Victoria Durrer (UCD) and Dr Louise McKeever (QUB).