Dear Ireland,

Allie Lawrence
July 27, 2017
Inch Beach, Ireland

Dear Ireland,

I cannot believe that my six weeks in Dublin, Ireland has already come to a close. I am even more amazed by how close I was able to become with so many talented, caring people and how much I learned in those short six weeks. If someone had told me three years ago, when I started college, that I would be in Ireland studying theatre at the Gaiety School of Acting, I would not have believed them. Today, I am left feeling so grateful and lucky to have spent more than a month in this beautiful country with some truly wonderful people.

Before coming to Ireland I did not know very much about Irish culture or tradition. My biggest associations with Ireland were beer and potatoes and since I am not a huge beer or potato person, my mom joked that I had picked the wrong country to study abroad in. Through the Gaiety School of Acting program, IES Abroad, and through my own travels I learned so much about Irish history, tradition, and culture both in the theatre and outside the theatre.

At the Gaiety School of Acting, I learned how important storytelling is to Irish culture and theatre tradition. Whether it’s through the short dialogue of Samuel Beckett or the Hiberno English of J.M. Synge, Irish theatre focuses on the connection between humans and gives voice to a range of identities as they tell their stories. A lot of theatre in the United States is a huge spectacle—flashy and showy—but my time in Ireland taught me that theatre can be as simple as two people having a conversation and as long as they are invested and connected with each other and the story, the audience will be as well. I found myself enjoying the story based Irish theatre because I like to perform and watch theatre that is story and character based.

As I go into my senior year of college, I am excited for what my future holds as a performer and artist and I know that my time in Ireland challenged me for the better and that the things I learned here will forever inspire me. During my study abroad experience, both onstage and offstage, I grew in confidence and as a person thanks to the amazing people I was surrounded by and learning from. From day one I realized that Ireland is so much more than beer and potatoes. I am sure that I will return as soon as I am able, not only because I fell in love with Dublin and the country that surrounds it, but also because there is so much more for me to see and do in this incredible, progressive place.

I am off to the Seattle/Tacoma area to finish up my college career, so it’s goodbye for now to the Emerald Isle and hello to the Emerald City! Thank you Ireland.

Sincerely,

Allie Lawrence

(P.S. for my loyal readers, the closest I came to finding Hilary Swank was finding her name at Leo Burdock’s fish and chips, which was closer than I ever thought I would come. That being said, my search will definitely continue on past Ireland. Thank you so much to everyone for reading my blogs! I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!)

~Final night in Ireland at The Brazen Head--Ireland's oldest pub~

Allie Lawrence

<p>Hi There! My name is Elisabeth &quot;Allie&quot; Lawrence and I am a Theatre and English double major with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. At UPS, one of my favorite activities is being a coproducer for the sketch comedy troupe on campus, Ubiquitous They. I am beyond excited to be able to experience Dublin, Ireland for the first time and grow as an actor in the final summer before my senior year.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2017 Summer 1, 2017 Summer 2
Home university:
University of Puget Sound
Major:
English
Theatre Arts
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