Amateur drama deserves fair play

 

Sir, – I am secretary of the Kildare Drama Festival, a voluntary organisation which is celebrating its 60th year of staging amateur drama in Kildare Town. We are also members of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland, which organises the RTÉ All-Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone each year. Attendances at this and other drama festivals across the country have reached up to 300,00 people per year.

Over the last 25 years that I have been involved in both Athlone and Kildare, I have never once heard of any of the festivals being supported by the Arts Council, even though there are quite a few professional actors who found their feet at amateur level. If we look for funding from the Arts Council, it keeps coming up with the same excuse that we are amateurs so therefore we are not eligible for funding. We are left on our own to raise funds to keep going. I think we might have a better chance of getting some funding from a different organisation, and maybe Creative Ireland could be the answer. – Yours, etc,

IAN WEIR, 

Secretary,

Kildare Drama Festival,

Kildare,

Co Kildare.