LaGrange College Theatre students visit Ireland for upcoming production

Published 9:30 am Thursday, February 1, 2024

The LaGrange College International Students Club hosted its first event on Tuesday afternoon featuring four theatre students who presented their immersive experience studying abroad in Donegal, Ireland.

Students Isabella Rapoza, Florinda Galbreath, Abigail Humphries and Aubrey Helton traveled to Ireland in early January in preparation for their upcoming performance, “Dancing at Lughnasa,” which will be performed at the college’s Price Theater from Feb. 13- Feb. 16. The goal of the trip was to teach the students how to master the authenticity of the Irish, ranging from learning accents to showing them the origins of the story behind the production.  Ten total students went on the trip. Meabh Fyfe, the leader of the International Students Club and an international student from Ireland herself, put the event together to encourage more students to take on study abroad opportunities. 

“As this was our first event, we tried to encourage the whole aspect of study abroad, seeing new things and getting exposed to new elements,” Fyfe said. “This is a group that is doing an Irish play and went to Ireland, so we thought we would bring attention to students that they can have the chance to get opportunities like this.”

The trip was hosted by the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland and the curriculum for the students was organized by traveling playwright and director Maura Logue. Across the four days of the trip, the students received history lessons, cultural context, guided tours, costuming and rehearsals. 

The students were welcomed with open arms by the small community of Donegal, receiving invitations to interview with several media outlets, including BBC Belfast. 

“Every person who was there was just wonderful,” said Isabella Rapoza, one of the actresses and member of the International Students Club. “The best way to learn about anything — especially cultures — is to be fully immersed in that environment, and that was what we got. We were as close to full immersion as we could get.”

Fyfe says that she hopes that the presentation will spark a fire in many of the students who attended and push them to pursue study abroad. 

“I really think that studying abroad is a really cool thing a lot of people should do,” Fyfe said. “A lot of people might be scared or apprehensive, but I really think it’s really essential in your life to be exposed to a whole different environment, meet new people, experience new things, and you’ll come back a different person.”