I was appointed chairperson this year but I never sat. It was power packed.
Our story started when the ADCI elected John Travers to the honorary position of Chairperson. Fantastic news. They could not have chosen a more worthy person. He is the stalwart of our drama society.
Oslo in September was the next exciting news for our society. We were invited there by Phelim Rooney and his drama group to perform “God of Carnage “. Such a honour. Our expectations could never match the overwhelming holiday we all had in the most beautiful backdrop with a team of people who became our friends on a handshake and bonds that we will treasure and remember for a very long time. This was truly special.
On returning with itchy acting feet we read several plays in the hope of a possible circuit production. Through that process we chose “Old Times” by Harold Pinter under the baton of Conor Beattie. We called it Winter with Pinter. We took up residence in our gorgeous Abbey Arts Centre and studied with the masters of English unstitching the script, working at snail’s pace until it was seamless.
Winter’s work was complete. We had a magnificent set, a wonderful lighting plot and sound design with a team of people ready to pull it together.
We opened in mid-February with four in-house performances in the prelude to a circuit run. We performed in eight festivals, carried home the trophies with pride having won four firsts, three seconds, and a third with numerous awards for acting, directing and set design. We qualified for the All Ireland Ffinals in Athlone. The challenge had paid off.
We qualified for the Ulster Finals also, another great honour. We won the Ulster award for the Most Ambitious Play, several nominations and placed third. I have to say the entire journey with “Old Times” was the very best of times in the company of kindness and goodness and we were thankful to all our families and friends who trailed our path.
During that time we hosted our Drama Festival, a nine night run in our local Theatre. Half of our committee stayed at home to run the festival while the other half travelled on circuit. This was difficult work for the skeleton crew we left behind but each group were in safe hands. It was all managed to perfection.
There is more good news to come. Ann Mc Hugh held auditions last Thursday for a play called “Our Town” which requires a cast of 23. “Our Town” is written by Thornton Wilder. Rehearsals will run through the Summer and show time will be in the Autumn.
During the summer a sub-committee will meet and make plans for a exchange visit from the Oslo drama group. We can’t wait to meet them all again and become audience members while they preform “Peer Gynt” by Henrik Ibsen. Storm heaven for a Indian Summer !!!
Overall it was a fabulous year. We should be very proud of what we have achieved. We are thrilled with our new director and our new members and we look forward to new unfolding dramas from home and Oslo. The fun continues in the company of a very talented dramatic society that I am privileged to be part of.
A round of applause to everyone.
– Trish Keane