Irish Student Drama Festival Celebrates 60th Birthday


Acclaimed director Alan Stanford helped launch the 2008 Irish Students Drama Association Festival (ISDA) in Film Base, Temple Bar, Dublin.  The festival is running until Sunday 30th March.The ISDA festival is the highlight of the student drama calendar and this year it will be hosted by Dublin Institute of Technology. 

The programme includes twenty four productions which will be performed in four professional theatres – Players Theatre, Trinity College; The Black Box, DIT Aungier Street; The Cube, Project Theatre; and The New Theatre. Nine of the productions to be performed are original works, written by emerging playwrights who are part of the student drama movement.  Other productions include well-known plays by Irish and international authors, representing different theatrical genres.

Three hundred students from universities and Institutes of Technology all over Ireland will be directly involved in the Festival.   They include emerging talent as actors and directors, writers; costume and set designers; lighting and sound engineers; photographers; as well as the dedicated organising committee. 

Ian Mullin, current President of the DIT Drama Society and this year's Festival Director, believes the 2008 festival programme will be a fantastic showcase for student drama.  "This festival has been running since 1947 and very many talented actors, writers and performers who are well-known on stage and screen began their theatrical careers in student drama.  Pauline McLynn; Conor Murphy; Fiona Shaw; Donal Gleeson all participated in their student days, while the founders of theatre groups such as Druid and Rough Magic were inspired by their student drama and ISDA experiences."

According to Mullin, the Drama Society is one of the most active societies in DIT and he and his organising committee have been involved in the DIT drama festival for the last two weeks.   "I'm delighted to have been given the opportunity to direct the ISDA Festival 2008.  Each year the festival highlights the sheer professionalism and dedication of the student participants.  Students all over the country will benefit from the opportunity to perform as part of the festival, and Dublin will benefit from the vibrancy that the performers and their audiences will bring to our capital.  It's a great opportunity for anyone interested in the arts to come along to see the future of Irish theatre."

Michael Colgan (Director of the Gate Theatre) will be presenting awards at the awards ceremony on the final evening.

The full festival programme is available at   Tickets are available online at or at the theatre box office.

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