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Drama League of Ireland
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As we approach Phase 2 of the lifting of Covid restrictions on 8 June, we are allowing ourselves some optimism about the road ahead.  We are certainly hearing positive stories from our members about their drama related activities during lockdown, how you are getting around social distancing, etc and plans for the future.  
At the moment, we are sending out this newsletter every fortnight, and intend putting one of our member groups 'in the spotlight' in each issue.  This time it's Trim Drama Group's turn.  If you would like to see YOUR group featured in this spot...send around 300 words, preferably with a high res photo, outlining which drama activities your members have been doing, and what your plans are to keep the momentum going to Joanne Keane:   
We know how innovative and resourceful you are....tell us about it!! We'll post your piece here, and with your permission , on the DLI Facebook page.  

We thank all of you, groups and individuals, who have renewed membership with us in 2020. A special thanks to those who have recently made the payment during these difficult times by EFT or on our website This revenue will be invaluable to DLI to sustain our efforts to support our groups in drama activity later this year and beyond.  
If your group has already paid JLT/Marsh Insurances for 2020/21, please let our Finance Director, Karen Carleton, know on She wants to liaise with JLT to organise some refund on the policy payment.  
As theatres remain dark, we all look for new ways to create and present drama.
Newest DLI Board member, John Lennon,  conducted an exploratory exercise to look at any rights issues that would arise from posting videos of performances of plays or excerpts of plays. He also looked at the current requirements with regard to use of music for background or within a performance. 
There is no problem where people perform self-penned pieces, have obtained permission from the playwright, or use work that is out of copyright. However it is not permissible to use any copyrighted work for a public purpose, be that performance an exhibition or social media posting, without the prior consent in writing of the owner of any work or their appointed agent and upon payment of any required fee. 
Any part of a play or written work of another author, remains liable for royalties/fees no matter how short any such excerpt would be. There are, however, instances where permission would be easily obtained and could allow for some performances.
Likewise with music, the current copyright laws are very clear, that any track cannot be used wholly or in part without the appropriate permissions and payment of any fee arising from the granting of such a permission  
As was quoted to John: Copyright is copyright even in extraordinary times!
The best advice that we can give at the moment with regard to posting performances on social media platforms or elsewhere, would be to ensure that the appropriate permissions are in place prior to any such performance.

Like so many groups around the country, Trim Drama Group’s rehearsals for our Spring 2020 production were well underway when Covid-19 struck our country. We were planning on staging two one act plays Hello Out There by William Saroyan with director Shane Fox and The Quiet Land by Malachy McKenna, directed by Elaine McLoughlin, who is well known to the DLI.
Our planned production was to take place in April in Bakers Loft, the upstairs venue of Brogan’s  Bar here in Trim, a long established ‘home from home’ for local arts groups.  With heavy hearts, we took the decision to postpone our production as it became increasingly clear that there was no way that we could rehearse or stage it safely with the impending virus and the accompanying restrictions. Note that we have just POSTPONED both these plays and look forward to the day, in the hopefully not too distant future, when we can stage them both safely.
Our committee got together on Zoom to discuss what we might do as a group while all our local venues were shuttered and the country was in lockdown. We had been discussing monologues as one obvious way for individuals to perform , and over the course of our lively call, we came up with our online offering Solo - But Not Alone as a way of continuing Trim Drama Group’s community arts involvement during lockdown. We invited members of our group, past and present, to video themselves performing a monologue , reciting a poem or a reading of their choice and send it to us to share on our social media and compile for posterity as our 2020 collective production.
We are delighted with the response and we have received all manner of submissions from members of all ages from nearby and far afield, most recorded using phones and even TikTok. Some are powerful and dramatic, some are humorous and witty, some are laugh out loud comedy and all are delivered with genuine heart.We will be planning the launch of Solo over the coming days, so keep an eye on our Trim Drama Group Facebook page for details of when and where you can catch our members as they perform Solo,secure in the knowledge that they are not alone. 
Our group also looks forward to being involved in the virtual Salmon of Knowledge Festival 2020, planned to take place online in August 2020. The Salmon of Knowledge Festival is a fun, free local festival here in Trim, established in 2016, and Trim DG have been associated with it since its inception. We look forward to involvement in the online version this year. 
So, whilst Covid-19 has definitely dimmed our lights, it has not dimmed our spirits and we look forward to sharing our members’ Solo productions in the very near future, as we also do to returning to the live venues and audiences we miss so much.
Barbera Mellerick
Chairperson, Trim Drama Group                                                                  
We have enjoyed sharing our members' reminiscences with you over the past weeks. Our thanks this time to Frances Blackburn,John McDwyer and Maurice O'Sullivan.  It's not too late to send your anecdote to:
Frances Blackburn, Limerick, shares another Mickey Murphy tale !
Remember our new group member Mickey Murphy and his hare brained schemes?  Let me tell you another story....
Festival time again and accommodation had to be secured for five women and one man. Everyone had their tasks allotted and Mickey volunteered to book the B& B.  I was uneasy but he assured me that he would do it ASAP and we could relax.
He gave a lovely performance that night and the adjudicator mentioned Mickey’s perfect Dublin accent - she had no idea that he was born and reared in Camden Street!!

All was well, so, where had Mr Murphy booked us in for the night??   ‘Nuff said...he had completely forgotten to do it.  A mad checking with anyone local confirmed that there wasn’t a room to be had in the area.......
I will remind you all that it was mid-November and it was now approximately 12.45am....when we set out in search of a room for the night. Eventually the magic ‘Vacancies’ sign loomed - the house was in front of us in a blaze of light. Every room had lights on and the hall door was wide open.
We stepped into the hallway ...
Can I help you?  We turned around to see a tall grey woman.  Grey is what she was. Tall and willowy, grey hair and wearing a full length grey dress.  We quickly told her our story, all talking at the same time.  She merely said Follow me. Up the staircase and on to the widest hallway I have ever seen.  The six of us walked abreast as we moved along it. She opened a door and said Would this be alright? The room was massive...

If the young gentleman would come with me I will show him his room.  As he was leaving, Mickey looked back and begged Someone come with me,PLEASE!!!  We got on with preparing for bed amid Betty’s occasional moaning.....We’re gonna be murdered in our beds tonight, girls.... Finally there was silence. 

We all settled down. Then the door knob turned and a slight creak as the door was pushed open. Betty screamed again Told you, we’re gonna be murdered!  Just then Mickey’s head came around the door. Jaysus, girls, I can’t sleep over there. Can I bunk in here instead?  And in he came.....

I must tell you that I may have been more traumatised than I realised because since then I have no recollection of having eaten breakfast, paying the bill or of ever seeing the grey woman again and sometimes I wonder...Did it really happen?!!

John McDwyer , Leitrim, remembers a 1981 mixed grill!
My first year on the festival circuit was 1981 when I played Gar Private in Philadelphia, Here I Come with Phoenix Players, Tubbercurry, and my first festival appearance was in Ballyshannon. 
Now, Ballyshannon was and is renowned for its hospitality and Dorrian's Imperial Hotel was famed for sending well fed actors into battle. I was delighted to see a magnificent mixed grill set before me and did it full justice, my background being of the  plenty of babies in Africa would be glad to get it variety.  When I had cleaned my plate, the late Rita Gannon, being older and wiser in festival terms, offered me some of hers which was gratefully received.
On to the Abbey and I offered my usual brilliant, bordering on the definitive, reading of Gar Private. Unfortunately, when I opened my mouth, the mixed grill had its vengeance as my mouth was a dry as Lent on Lough Derg and only the first four rows were privy to my extraordinary tour de force performance. 
Now the adjudicator was one Doris M Day (no, not that one) and Rita and I stood in the wings listening to her judgement. 
She said there was an audibility problem with my performance. I have studied this actor closely, she said, and he has a lazy muscle in his upper lip - at which point Rita whispered And two mixed grills in his belly!!
It all worked out in the end as we won the ADL All Ireland in Mullingar at the end of the season.
Maurice O'Sullivan, Torch Players, Limerick & Late Arrivals!!
About 9 am on a March morning in 1986 our Lighting Man, Joe, and myself set off from Limerick for the West Cork Festival in Rossmore, and, as usual, took a number of wrong turns as we approached Rossmore. We eventually arrived about 12 noon and set to work immediately on the lighting before the set’s arrival which was scheduled for about 1 pm.
1pm, 3pm, and 5pm went by and no trace of Michael who was transporting the set. No mobiles in those days of course, so we rang his mother in Limerick who told us that he left home about1 0 am!
It is now 6 pm and the cast, who are coming by bus, should be here shortly, but we have no set and no means of communication with Michael. Eventually he coolly saunters into the Hall about 6.15 to say he can only get within 500 yards of the Hall as the road in front of it is closed off because of the West Cork Car Rally. On enquiring why he is so late he says he got a puncture and when I suggest that a puncture could not take that long to fix he responds with I had to have my dinner, didn’t I !!
We now have the bigger problem of how to get the set onto the stage, so, with the help of some very willing Committee members we race across several fields and ditches between the Hall and where the car and trailer are parked. If there was a prize for the fastest set construction we would have won it, though sadly there was no prize for this theatrical feat!!
However, before our production of Moliere’s Imaginary Invalid could go on, we were to encounter another type of non-arrival.
To be continued........
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Drama League of Ireland  •  Mill Theatre  •  DUBLIN, 16

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