UCD College of Arts & Humanities and Creative Futures Academy announce the development of new Black Box & Media Lab
We are delighted to announce that development work has begun on the old UCD Dramsoc space in the Newman Building. Work began in February and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023.
This €2.5m is jointly funded by UCD and the HEA's Human Capital Initiative and will provide a state-of-the-art facility for engagement with the CFA's Industry Partners.
It will create a state-of-the-art facility for opportunities to enhance and enrich our student’s learning experience and will provide a space for programme collaborations with our HEI partners, NCAD and IADT, and for engagement with the CFA's Industry Partners.
The Dramsoc Theatre, based in the Newman Building “LGs” (‘Lower Ground floor’), was home to UCD Dramsoc from the early 1970s until 2012, when it relocated to the then new Student Centre. This was a fertile period for UCD Dramsoc in which many of its alumni went on to forge impressive careers within the creative sector in Ireland and abroad, in the fields of acting, writing, filmmaking, dance, producing and directing.
The new space was designed by a team including Oran O'Siochain from the UCD School of Architecture, Reddy Architecture and Charcoalblue - one of the world's leading theatre and venue design companies. Right next to the black box space in the LGs, a media lab is being developed in tandem, to support UCD CFA programmes across the creative and performing disciplines in the College of Arts and Humanities. Among the Artists-in-Residence that will teach include Donal Lunny (traditional music practice), Jenny Jennings (theatre making), and Mark O'Halloran (scriptwriting).
Speaking on the development of the new Black Box, Professor PJ Mathews from UCD School of English, Drama and Film and Director, Creative Futures Academy at UCD said, “I am delighted to see work begin on the repurposing of the old Dramsoc Theatre in the Newman Building to support the UCD CFA teaching programmes in the creative and performing arts. This space has nurtured the creative expertise of so many talented students who have gone on to make an impact on the creative sector in Ireland and internationally. Distinguished artists such as Frank McGuinness, Marina Carr and Conor McPherson began their creative journeys there. By the end of 2023 we will have a world class facility to augment our teaching in Drama, Film, Music, Creative Writing, and Arts Management and beyond. Our new studio will support the learning of the next generation of Ireland's creative talent and will foster our collaboration with IADT and NCAD, as well as with our industry partners and the wider UCD community."
By reimagining this vacant space as a black box studio and media lab for the Creative Futures Academy, UCD will support future generations of creatives, nurture new talent, and make a significant contribution to the development of the creative industries in Ireland.
The Black Box Studio and Media Lab will be a facility to support performance-based teaching and content creation across the College of Arts and Humanities. This space will be dedicated to supporting creative arts and cultivating the next generation of Ireland’s creative talent.