Ballyshannon Drama Society presents ‘Our Town’ by Thornton Wilder, directed by Anne Mc Hugh & Geraldine Diver. It tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover’s Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens. The show will run in the Abbey Arts Centre for four nights: Tuesday 11th October, Wednesday 12th, Thursday 13th and Sunday 16th, at 8pm each night. 

While there is no traditional set in Wilder’s play, there is an abundance of characters, as there is in any small town. Over twenty actors will take to the stage tonight, some familiar to the Abbey audience, but many new and full of talent. Our journey through ‘Our Town’ is guided by the Stage Manager, played by Michael Mc Mullin. He introduces us to the town and all its characters.

This is a wonderful play which breaks away from traditional theatre to tell a well-known story which is still relevant today, even though the play was first produced in 1938. Contact the Abbey Arts Centre box office to book your ticket: 0719851375. Tickets will also be available at the door.


‘Our Town’ opens in the Abbey Arts Centre on Tuesday, Oct. 11th, and features over 20 cast members, some of whom you may recognise, and some you will hopefully see more of in years to come! 

Directed by Ann Mc Hugh & Geraldine Diver, the play is a classic of American theatre which poses particular challenges as there is virtually no set!

Tickets are €10 on opening night and €15 each night after that. To book, phone 0719851375 between 10 and 4. Tickets will also be available on the door. 

Ship mastThis Autumn we are delighted to welcome the Askeraden Drama Group to Ballyshannon to present their version of Ibsen’s ‘Peer Gynt’. The production is a slightly reduced version to allow for travel restrictions, and will be performed in the Abbey Arts Centre on October the 1st at 8pm as part of the Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival.

Here’s the synopsis of the play from the group themselves: ‘This year Askeraden are diving into the dramatic depths of Ibsen’s literary world. We are creating our own variation on Ibsen’s iconic romantic dramatic poem; Peer Gynt. The lead male role, Peer Gynt, will be played as a female role in our version of the dramatic tale. We meet the young Pe Gynt as a modern teenager with Attitude. Pe launches herself into a life of impulsive wandering to fulfill ambition, and introvert procrastination as her sand castles crumble in the tide. Morten Andreas Kise, an experienced member of Askeraden, has adapted the original manuscript for this Askeraden production.

Coffin and soapbox 2Pe is about to embark on a quest to ambitious self-realisation as we join her rollercoaster ride through life. Starting in her real world, we are whisked up into her imaginary heroic scenes, then swept down into the sublime and surreal drama within a troubled soul to share moments of peculiar perspective. Pe completes a circle of life, at last to find some solace in being loved.

Is it madness to worship ambition? Shall we sacrifice everything to ambition? Ambition has layer after layer of ambition, with layer after layer of compromise and sacrifice? Is there no core, no value, no soul, no final realisation? Will there be no fellow traveller?

Grey moltonAskeraden will take you on Pe Gynt’s journey. Ride with us through Ibsen’s masterful tour in search of self realisation, to be oneself, to be good enough. Is that enough?’

The group are coming here as part of an exchange which was set up by Phelim Rooney, originally from Kinlough but now resident in Asker, Oslo, and John Travers, which saw Ballyshannon Drama Society travel to Oslo last year with ‘The God of Carnage’. We’re only too happy to have a chance to return the hospitality we were shown, and to introduce the Norwegians (and the Dane in the group) to the finer aspects of Ballyshannon life and culture!


Join Olive Travers for an experiential writing workshop in the beautiful and inspirational setting of the Longford Demesne Woods in Beltra, Co. Sligo, on August 13th, and help raise funds for a centre for children with disabilities in India. Read on for more info, then sign up quickly as this sounds like a wonderful experience for both new and established writers.

Olive Travers“The Art of Observation” is the first in a series of “Writers in the Woods” workshops which will be held in the grounds of Longford Demesne in Beltra, Co. Sligo. Taking place  on August 13th, the first workshop will be facilitated by writer and Clinical Psychologist Olive Travers.

Awareness through observation is an aspect of “Conscious Writing”, a new holistic approach grounded in cutting edge scientific research. It draws on age-old wisdom and unifies the fields of mindfulness psychology and neuroscience. The aim of the workshop is to enable writers to bring their authentic selves to the desk and allow them to write from the deepest place within so as to realise full creative potential.

Writers will be introduced to the seven core principles that are the gateways to the “conscious” in conscious writing. There is a close connection between spirituality and creativity. Becoming and remaining conscious is a primary focus of all the major spiritual traditions. In spite of their differences these traditions point in the same direction and their seven core principles of   Presence, Alignment, Authenticity, Balance, Simplicity, Intuition and Connection also support writers to open and deepen their conscious awareness. These principles can be applied to any and all types of writing. Creativity is so much more than just something we do. It is a state of being that adds colour, depth and richness to everyday life. “All things are ready if our mind be so,” wrote Shakespeare in Henry V. With conscious writing we ready the mind with an initial inner focus that enables us to write from the level of our true self and the mystery beyond to bypass the fears and anxieties of everyday self. It is the recognition that what we write is the 10% visible tip of a vast iceberg only made possible by the 90% that is unseen. Conscious writing explores these “invisibilities” in search of our true authentic voices and clarity about our core message.

The five core practices of Conscious Writing are;

  • Cultivating Awareness
  • Spending time in Nature
  • Conscious movement
  • Nurturing Creativity
  • Journal Writing

This experiential workshop will explore each of these core practices with an emphasis on sharpening the pencils of our five senses so that we can appreciate the richness of life around and within us. Participants will have access to the natural world of over 9 hectares of a magical privately owned ancient woodland. There are also paths through wild meadows surrounding a ring  fort and fulacht fia.The venue is a winner of the RDS Forest Service Bio-Diverse Forestry/woodlands award.


To Book or for further information please contact Eoghan Timoney at  or alternatively telephone 00353867358044



McCutchen Julia,(2015) Conscious Writing.  Hay House.

Lappin Linda, (2015) The Soul of Place.Travellers Tales.

Frith Chris,(2007) Making up the mind. Wiley Blackwell.




The cast list for our production of Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town’ has just been finalised, and here it is!

Our Town’ by Thornton Wilder

Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th, Thursday 13th and Sunday 16th October 2016

Stage Manager: ​​​Michael Mc Mullin
Dr Gibbs: ​​​​Sean Mc Loone
Howie Newsome​​​: Kevin Lilly
Mrs Gibbs: ​​​​Moya Ferguson
Mrs Webb​​​​: Mary Hoey
George Gibbs: ​​​​Ronan Drummond
Emily Webb: ​​​​Louise Larkin
Professor Willard​​​: Carl Duggan
Mr Webb​​​​: Christian Carbin
Simon Stimson: ​​​John Mc Neill
Mrs Soames​​​​: Emer Mc Shea
Constable Warren: ​​​Michael Daly
Sam Craig​​​​: Simon Ferris
Joe Stoddard​​​​: Paul Mc Gonigle
Townspeople: ​​​​
Ciara Boyle
Simon Ferris
Amanda Byrne
Margaret Byrne
Michelle Fee
Greg Gallagher
Bernie Boyle
Pam Ferguson

Break a leg everyone!!

‘Our Town’ Reading: Wednesday 8th of June, 8pm, Green Room, Abbey Centre. 
We are having another reading for ‘Our Town’ to allow those of you who couldn’t make it the first night to attend. 

Please note if you attended the first reading a couple of weeks back there’s no need to attend again.

I was appointed chairperson this year but I never sat. It was power packed.

12065975_867462920003109_2547556943775868465_nOur  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.

12139935_549545095193840_6220976231147774636_oOslo 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 Old Times for Web (1 of 1)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.

IMG_1920During 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.

image1There 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