A word from the DLI Chair

21st Mar 2020

Dear DLI Members and supporters.

This is a time like no other we have experienced. The world wide crisis of Covid-19 has swept in and completely changed the landscape for everyone, not least for all of us involved in amateur drama.

It was dreadful to see the ADCI Full Length Amateur Drama Circuit cancelled after all the preparations and such investment of time, finances and passion, by the drama groups, the festivals, the adjudicators, John Travers and Committee of the Bostik Smart Adhesive All Ireland Confined Finals in Ballyshannon and Regina Bushell and Committee of the RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival, Athlone … and such disappointment for the audiences. Nonetheless, the tough decision was made by ADCI in the interest of the health and safety of everyone involved and hopefully the measures taken have helped limit the spread of the dreaded virus. Despite the heartache, the amazing spirit that unites the amateur drama community has come to the fore and people know the show will go on. I’m sure we will see many of the plays again.

In these challenging times we are asked “to come together as a nation by staying apart”. We all need to play our part in the new roles we are asked to play, supporting those on the front line, protecting our families, observing the health and safety guidelines, keeping Social Distance. As Leo Varadkar said in his St. Patrick’s Day address on RTÉ, ‘this is the calm before the storm’. There is worse to come and we need to be ready.

This disaster is not the end of amateur drama in Ireland. Let us use this ‘hibernation period’ to dig deep, forge links, share ideas and resources, read plays, recharge our creative batteries, make plans and emerge more vibrant than before. May you and your loved ones get through this crisis safely. We all need to look out for each other and, to quote Leo again, “Let it be said that when things were at their worst we were at our best”.

Joanne Keane

DLI Chairperson