THE Doonbeg One-Act Drama Festival takes place this weekend with a host of drama groups from around the county and the country treading the boards.
Sliabh Aughty, Mountshannon; Amphitheatre Company, Kilkee and Castlewood Players, Cratloe will fly the Clare fly and will be joined on stage by groups from Cork, Kildare, Wexford and Waterford.
The Sliabh Aughty group has selected Chasing Butterflies, which is written by Mountshannon writer Siobhán Donnellan, while Amphitheatre Company, Kilkee will perform Healing The Dead by John Hanrahan. Cratloe’s Castlewood Players will perform Faint Voices by John McKenna and all three groups are competing in the confined section.
Also competing in the confined are Skibbereen Theatre Society with No Romance Act 2 by Nancy Harris and Coolgreany Drama Group (Wexford) with The Quiet Land by Malachy McKenna.
Competing groups in the open section are Kilmeen Drana Group (Cork) with Whodidit, Insight Theatre group (Kildare) with Love in a Glass Jar, Rasper Players (Wexford) with Me and My Friend and new Heritage Theatre group (Waterford) with Out of Sight.
Organised by a committee of local volunteers, the Doonbeg One-Act Drama Festival takes place annually in November and is now in its 30th year. It has established itself as a very popular festival with groups and audiences alike and is looked forward to as a source of live, quality entertainment.
Festival chairperson Rita McInerney said the festival, which runs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights, offers a wide range of plays to suit all tastes, with everything from comedy and farce to tragedy and drama productions.
“In what is a sign of the depth of Irish writing in one-act plays, this year sees all plays, with the exception of one, coming from Irish playwrights. Nine different plays will be shown over three nights in both open and confined sections, with groups aiming to qualify for the 2016 All-Ireland One-Act Finals in December to be held in the Mill Theatre, Dundrum,” she points out.
This year’s adjudicator is Irene O’Meara, who holds a masters in drama and theatre studies, which has enabled her to work in many theatre-related areas. Irene has worked in the Drama Department at Mary Immaculate College and currently tutors with Hibernia College in both drama and literacy. She also designs and facilitates courses in process drama for teachers and educators.
Ms O’Meara facilitates workshops in acting, ensemble work and other aspects of theatre, while she has acted and directed in many plays with Nenagh Players, Aisteoirí an Aonaigh, DramsocNUIG and other drama groups over the years.
At the Doonbeg One-Act Drama Festival, cheese and wine/cordial are served between the first play and the second play, with tea, coffee and biscuits served between the second and third plays. The candle-lit tables in a cabaret-style set-up add to the ambiance and sense of occasion.
Doors open at the festival on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights at 7.30pm, with curtain up at 8pm.