It’s April and Ballyshannon Drama Society’s  winter sport has come to a end, but what a journey.

img_3173Our circuit play ‘The Real Thing’ by Ton Stoppard became an unreal thing, a surreal thing ,a most passionate thing but always the nicest thing shared with the best of people woven together by Friendship making our eight festival journey a memorable keepsake.
Ballyshannon  Drama Society  would like to take this opportunity to thank all the festivals and their committees for looking after us so well and making our task easier .
Thanks to all the Adjudicators who spent time encouraging and motivating us on our journey and we are so grateful for all the awards we received. We really appreciate your help so much.
Our own Ballyshannon Drama Festival was a tremendous success this year. We are lucky to have such a fantastic committee, half of which worked at home while the other half travel on circuit. We would like to thank the Abbey Arts Centre and its staff for all their help and support and also our audiences for their continued support. We couldn’t survive without you all. Honestly.
Thanks to all the groups who entertained us over the nine night run and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all the groups who qualified in the Confined (Newtownstewart, DADS) and Open (Prosperous, Bradán and Corn Mill) sections the very best of luck in the All Ireland  Finals.
Tubberrcurry are hosting the Confined Finals this week and we wish them all every success, and best wishes to all their finalists .
Best wishes to all the groups who qualified for the open finals in Athlone.
Actors they say  live between Reality and Theatre, so we hope the  Drama Gods  will always be at your side guiding you along.
To conclude I’ll share a great quote from Oscar Wilde:
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
                                                         B.D.S.  X


Tickets for the Confined Finals in St. Brigid’s Hall, Tubbercurry, are selling quickly. The final night is now sold out. Tickets are available via the Hawk’s Well under ‘Western Drama Festival’.

2017 Courses and Tutors Announced

Sun, 6th July – Sat, 12 August 2017

We are delighted to announce the line-up of fantastic tutors for Gormanston Drama Summer School 2017. We are particularly excited to announce some new faces, while we also welcome back some ouf our favourites tutors for Gormanston 2017.

Each of the tutors, working with course director Eamonn O’Donoghue, have created engaging, exciting and relevant content for 2017. We feel that there is something for everyone, from the established actors looking to improve their technique, directors looking for new ideas or those new to drama and theatre wanting to get stuck in.

Most of all, Gormanston, being a residential course, offers an amazing social scene that makes the Gormanston Experience so enjoyable.

Visit our Bookings & Deposits page for more information.

Courses 2017

‘The Real Thing’ came third in the Newry Drama Festival and also won the award for Best Sound and Music. Richard Hurst was nominated for best actor, Rachel O’Connor and Louise Larkin were both nominated for the best supporting actress award.

In Carrickmore, Trish Keane won the Best Actress Award, and we took home the award for Imaginative Lighting. Hopes of making it to the All Ireland Final in Athlone have been put on hold, but ‘The Real Thing’ came Second in one festival and Third in four others, received numerous individual and group awards, for acting, stage management, sound and light, which is a great accomplishment for all involved. Well done everyone!


First – Bunclody

Second – Prosperous

Third – Ballyshannon


First – Cornmill

Second – Lifford

Third – Dalkey


Well done to Richard Hurst on taking home the award for Best Actor in Bangor last night. In addition to that, the backstage crew and tech team finally got recognition for all their hard work and expertise with the award for Best Technical Excellence, which includes stage management and set changes. Rachel O’Connor received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. More results tonight from Cavan!

Results from Bangor 

First: Clarence 
Second: Hollywood  
Third: Ballyshannon

Congratulations to all our winners, and well done to all the groups who participated in this year’s festival. The standard across all nine nights of drama was exceptionally high, and our adjudicator Mr. Vince had some very tough decisions to make! (Photos: John Fallon).

And the Winners are…

THE PATSY CROAL BLUE RIBAND: Bradán Players, ‘Blackbird’


FIRST PLACE: Bradán Players, ‘Blackbird’

SECOND PLACE: Prosperous, ‘The Play About The Baby’

THIRD PLACE: Corn Mill, ‘Philadelphia, Here I Come’

BEST PRODUCER: Reidín Dunne, Bradán

BEST ACTOR: George Hogan, Bradán

BEST ACTRESS: Amanda Ryan, Prosperous


FIRST PLACE: D.A.D.S., ‘The Odd Couple’

SECOND: Newtownstewart, ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’

THIRD: Phoenix, ‘The Third Policeman’

BEST PRODUCER: Peter Davey, Tubbercurry

BEST ACTRESS: Gillian Mayse, ‘Anita’ in ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’

BEST ACTOR: Damian O’Keefe, ‘Felix’, in ‘The Odd Couple’


BEST SET: Bradán Players, ‘Blackbird’

BEST STAGE MANAGER: Caoimhe Gallagher, Tubbercurry

LIGHTING: Ciarán Healy, Prosperous


1) Corn Mill – Gar Public and Gar Private, Derek O’Reilly and Charles Mc Guinness

2) Sound – Lawrence Bonner, Letterkenny

3) The girls in ‘The Odd Couple': Eleanor Sheridan, Joan Walkin


Hall of Fame'17 smCongratulations to John Fallon on being immortalised in the Ballyshannon Drama Society Hall of Fame at a ceremony in the Abbey Arts Centre last night. John has a long history of involvement in local drama, most recently acting as the resident festival photographer. We’re delighted to have this opportunity to honour all his contributions, accomplishments and achievements…and to get him in front of the camera for a change!

A native of Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, John came to the area in September 1980 to take up a teaching post in St. Macartan’s National School in Bundoran. He performed in a number of productions with the Bundoran Drama Group in the 1980s: ‘The Righteous Are Bold’, ‘Key For Two’, ‘Patrick Pierce Motel’, ‘See How They Run’ and ‘Fool’s Paradise’. In 1987, 1988 and 1999, three of these productions won the confined section in the Ballyshannon Drama Festival. John returned to the stage in 2016 as a cast member in the Ballyshannon Drama Society production of Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town’.

Hall of Fame 2017 smA multi-talented individual, John has acted as the sports co-ordinator in St. Macartan’s, ran the chess and draughts club, and enjoyed county, Ulster and All Ireland success in the Community Games. He is a member of the Wine Club, the Gourmet Club, the Badminton Club, the Photographic Club, and has still found the time to perform in four choirs: Bel Canto, Donegal Voices, the Bundoran Church Choir, and the Bundoran Remembered Choir.

On top of all this, John is an accomplished pianist and organist…and if that weren’t enough, he was also a member of the Long School of Dancing. John and his partner Catherine Breslin went on to win County, Ulster and All Ireland titles, so it seems fitting that John’s plaque will sit alongside his old dance partner’s in our Hall of Fame.

St. Macartan's former collegues