UCD’s Drama Society have outlined to The College Tribune their intended strategy in restarting society activity in the coming months. Auditor Niamh Scully explains that the expected approach will incorporate a mixture of controlled face-to-face contact with online activities, with usual safety precautions being followed as per guidelines issued from the relevant public authorities.

The first issue facing DramSoc committee members is how to navigate the running of the ordinarily eventful Fresher’s Week under restricted circumstances. Scully notes that, “we are hoping to still do social distanced tours of our theatre and coffee mornings with committee members” under a reduced capacity to maintain as traditional an experience as possible for all new and returning members. The situation is largely out of the Society’s control however as The Tribune has learned that the UCD Societies Council have yet to issue official guidelines as to how such Fresher’s Week events are to be managed.

Scully states that despite the current uncertainties, the Society has developed new ways to welcome first years and other new members and assures that opportunities in usual off – stage subgroup departments such as media, tech, stage management, design and construction as well as props, costumes and makeup will emerge as usual during the semester. The Society is also, “working on facilitating online events and workshops both on Zoom, which we would record and post after, as well as using the Instagram Live. This would make it widely accessible both during and after for members of our society”.

The Society intends to continue running some of its usual face-to-face events such as auditions and on-stage productions under guidelines commissioned by the Arts Council. They aim to mandate social distancing and mask wearing at all theatre performances and rehearsals and to reduce seat allocation in accordance with social distancing recommendations. Contact tracing will also be implemented for live performances. Production teams will be devised into smaller working bubbles for on stage planning and the Society also aims to have all get-ins risk assessed in order to achieve optimum safety. Scully expresses interest in continuing the successful online projects being run during the Summer trimester to run in tandem with smaller face-to face workshops due to take place during the semester.

When asked about DramSoc’s plans for social events for the upcoming year, Scully implies that it is too early to predict the likelihood of any of the usual events taking place, she says “Our society ball isn’t until the end of February so we will be looking at possibly facilitating this closer to the time. We are hoping that this event will be still be possible. “

Doireann O’Sullivan – Reporter