The drama department has cancelled all in-person debut productions, as they could not be facilitated safely under current coronavirus restrictions.
Debut productions are considered a staple of drama students’ time in Trinity, and gives them much-coveted experience that they can use in the industry.
Students this year, however, will instead have to put on an online adaptation of their production or put together a portfolio representing the creative process of their productions.
In an email statement to The University Times, Catherine O’Mahony, a Trinity media relations officer, said that two debut productions had already been planned to be online, and that five productions that were meant to be in person would now have to be cancelled.
“The Debut committee”, she said, “which includes student representation, was unanimous in its view that in-person theatre production cannot be facilitated safely under the current COVID situation”.
She added: “This is a decision that was not taken lightly. It was taken to protect the health and lives of our students, staff and their extended families.”
In early January, Trinity announced that lectures, small group classes and tutorials will remain online for the rest of the semester, while some practical classes and lab-based activities will take place in person.
An email to staff and students this evening – signed by Provost Patrick Prendergast and Vice-Provost Jürgen Barkhoff – stated that while teaching will move online, the libraries will still be open to students who had pre-booked seats.
Schools and programmes will also determine what practical classes and lab-based activities can take place in person and what changes to teaching formats may be required. Placements will also be going ahead where possible, with those students being prioritised for the coronavirus vaccine.
Study spaces will also remain open to students. However, College has said that they “should only be used as a last resort” and that all staff and students should “reduce access to campus as much as possible”.
College will also be providing more training and resources to improve online teaching and material.
Essential on-site research will continue on campus. Researchers are, however, encouraged to work from home unless they are “carrying out time-sensitive essential work” that must happen on site.
“When we wrote to you just before Christmas, we were hopeful that we would be able to expand in person teaching and other activities on campus and undertook to communicate our plans for semester two this week”, the email stated.
“As you will be aware, the public health environment has deteriorated dramatically and unexpectedly”, it added. “The situation domestically and overseas is currently very serious and is likely to become even more serious in the weeks ahead.”