Wexford Drama Festival celebrates 50th birthday
WEXFORD Drama Festival celebrated the anniversary of their 50th Festival in grand style.
The committee were joined at the Riverbank House Hotel by drama groups and festival committees from all over the country. Little did the first committee realise back in the early 1950's that the drama festival would still be going strong in the new millennium.
The original committee organised the drama festival to be held each year in the Dun Mhuire to coincide with Lent. Parishioners would be able to take to the stage during the time of fast and abstinence in the Parish hall as dances were cancelled.
Amateur drama is very strong in Wexford.
This year Kilrush, who competed in Wexford went on to represent the county in the Confined all Ireland in Rossmore.
Bridge Drama Group who won the Wexford festival, went on to compete in the RTE All Ireland Drama Finals in Athlone, with their director Pat Whelan taking home the highest accolade of Best Director. It was a fantastic achievement as it was Bridge Drama groups first time to compete in Athlone.
Tony Rushforth the adjudicator in Athlone, loved Pats interpretation of the play as did hundreds of Wexford people who attended it in the Dun Mhuire and Opera House in the sell-out run-up to Athlone.
Aoife Byrne, Chairperson of Wexford Drama Festival thanked her committee, the large band of volunteers, the drama groups and festival committees who travelled to celebrate with them.
She said a highlight of the 50 years was bringing the All Ireland Confined Finals to Wexford in 2011.
The groups were awe-struck walking out on the stage in the Opera House.
Aoife thanked Fr. Jim Fegan and the Parish Hall committee for all their endeavours to keep the Parish Hall available to drama goers, she also praised their Sponsors The Riverbank House Hotel for their on-going support in these difficult financial times.
During the night Aoife presented Lauren Corish Wallace with a scholarship for the drama league of Ireland summer school as she was chosen by this years adjudicator as the most outstanding newcomer to the drama circuit. Lauren, and her family who are involved in drama, was thrilled to receive the award and was looking forward to the extra tuition!
After all the speeches actors, actresses and drama groups had prepared party pieces which they preformed long into the night, to the accompaniment of the Jelly Roll Jazz trio