Part of South Dublin amateur drama since 1983
Based in Balally, a suburb in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area of Dublin city between the villages of Dundrum and Sandyford, the Balally Players Theatre Company has been part of the amateur theatre movement in Ireland since its first performance in 1983.
Amateur Drama is the most widely enjoyed arts activity in Ireland. We believe drama is an inclusive activity and we aim to offer all our members the opportunity for creative expression through a broad and diverse spectrum of work.
Most years, we produce one or two full length productions, a Christmas Variety show, competitive one-act and longer plays for the festival circuit and a summer Shakespeare. Workshops designed to improve our skills are on-going throughout the year. The company has presented high standard theatrical productions in a wide range of genres over the years.
Balally Players started competing on the Drama Festival circuit in Ireland in the late 1980s. The group has enjoyed considerable success on the one-act festival circuit and more recently with three and four act plays. Members have taken plays to France, Denmark, Canada and the USA.
In August 2009 Balally Players was chosen to represent Ireland at the Mondial du Theatre (World Festival of Theatre) in Monaco. More information on that and all other past performances can be found on the Productions page.
A Year in the Life of Balally Players
A summary of some of the activities in the annual calendar is perhaps the best way of giving a flavour of what a typical Balally Players season is like. Following one of the busiest and most ambitious years in the group's history, which involved hosting the National One-Act Finals as part of the Dundrum One-Act Festival at the Mill Theatre in December 2010, the year 2011-2012 was quieter. However, 'quieter' is a relative term! The first production of the season was Aristocrats by Brian Friel in the Mill Theatre during November 2011, directed by Joe Jordan. In February of 2012, three directors in the group (Óran O'Rua, Brian Molloy and Gary Wall) staged a collection of three short plays under the title, Studio Shorts, in the small studio space at the Mill Theatre, Dundrum. That was followed soon afterwards by a production of the Marina Carr play The Mai, in March 2012 directed by Jean Monahan.
Full details on these plays and other Balally Players productions can be found in the Productions pages of the website.
A typical year may also include several workshops where invited practitioners share their knowledge and expertise with members.
The ever-popular Christmas variety show is staged most years. Since December of 2012, Marlay House within Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin, has been the venue for that show.
No two years are the same for the group and each new year brings its own collection of changes and challenges that keep everyone on their toes and committed to producing great drama. In 2014 Summer Shakespeare returned to the Balally Players calendar with The Merry Wives of Windsor in the walled garden of St. Enda's Park, Rathfarnham towards the end of June. And before that, a production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible delighted audiences and filled the main auditorium at the Mill Theatre, Dundrum in March.
And in 2015 Balally Players was invited to perform Guests of the Nation in July of that year at the 'Spots op West' theatre festival in Belgium organised by the International Amateur Theatre Association. 'Spots op West 2015' took place from 7-12 July. The play was performed twice at the festival on 8 July as one of many contributions from amateur drama groups around the world.
Read more about the plays mentioned above and other past performances in the Productions section.
Tony McGettigan, Chairman, Balally Players
At the Annual General Meeting of Balally Players, which was held in the dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre on Tuesday 21 June 2016, Tony McGettigan was elected to the position of Chairman of the group for the 2016-2017 year.
The Committee, which is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting, serves for one year.
The AGM is held between the end of the summer activities and the start of the next year in September. However, if a show or event is planned for early in the next year, meetings and/or readings may be held before September.
To contact a member of the Committe, you can send a message using the email form on the Contact page.
A Thirty Year Milestone
Reflections for the celebration of three dramatic decades — 1983 to 2013
Balally Players celebrated 30 years involvement in amateur drama at a party in Dublin on Friday 14 June 2013. As one contribution to the occasion, the Committee asked Declan Brennan to prepare a short video presentation for the evening, to mark the milestone and say something about the group and how it has evolved over three decades.
Commenting on the task, Declan said "There were probably as many different ways of answering the brief as there are members in the group. The number and range of personalities guarantee that! What I created is deliberately short. We initially aimed for about six minutes and it finished up at nine. An outline idea was agreed in advance, but I knew the final shape and tone would be set, not by me, but by what we recorded at a series of very informal interviews with some of the founders and current members of the group."
"Óran [O'Rua] did a huge amount of work organising everyone to sit in front of the cameras over a couple of weekends. And he was also the interviewer who got everyone relaxed and got them to share some of their memories and thoughts. I was the ruthless editor, who cut it down to a series of glimpses that set out to draw no more than an outline — one which represents the group rather than all the individuals who have made it what it has become over the years — from the first glimmer of an idea in the minds of those who 'lit the torch', so to speak, in the first year, right up to the much bigger group that celebrated its thirtieth birthday and looks forward to many more."
"The video is not a documentary or a history, though it has a bit of both. It's a personal, pencil sketch created from just a few of the thoughts and feelings of people who create something worthwhile and do it with love, laughter, sweat and tears — and even the occasional drop of blood!"
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can join Balally Players?
|Membership is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. You may have years of experience or none, but all are welcome to come along to our Open Nights, which may be held in September (and sometimes January) and by arrangement during the year. If you are interested in joining the group, or wish to find out more, you can contact a member of the Committee using the email form on the Contact page.|
Costs of Membership?
How are the funds used?
The Annual Membership Fee is €50. A 20% discount (€40) applies to fees paid by 1 November and new Members who join at any time during the year. For those who are not earning, are over 65 years, and for students, a 50% reduction (€25 / €20) applies to those charges.
The Membership Fee contributes to the cost of running Balally Players, organising and staging shows and events, and also pays for the insurance that each Member must have before they can be permitted to participate in events organised by the group.
In addition, the money helps to fund resources used to keep Members informed, with notifications on auditions for forthcoming shows, text message alerts and reminders about events, subsidised drama workshops and, when funds permit, a discounted group event such as a theatre visit.
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is usually held at the end of June or early July, each Member has an opportunity to express their opinion, influence the future plans and organisation of the group, and cast a vote on proposed resolutions and Committee elections.
Do I have to act?
|No. Not everybody wants to act and not straight away. There are many other facets to a theatre company and you might prefer to get involved in the design of a set, the sound or lighting, set construction or one of the many other support roles that are equally important — from promoting a show, to finding props, to helping backstage or assisting another member of the creative team and crew. There are openings for all kinds of talent.|
Will I get a role on or off stage?
|The Balally Players Theatre group prides itself on giving as many members as possible the opportunity to perform, if they wish, during the year. However, the work done behind the scenes is just as vital to the success of what is presented on stage. Therefore all Members are expected to contribute to some aspect of that work — as a member of the creative team behind a play, or as part of the crew that organises, prepares and runs a show — and also to help with the essential tasks that are part of the setting up for a show and then taking it down and clearing up afterwards ('striking' the set).|
|What nights?||Usually Monday and Wednesday nights when a play is in rehearsal.|
Where does the group meet?
Rehearsal venues include:
St Tiernan's Community School Parkvale, Dundrum, Dublin 16.
Queen of Angels Primary School, Wedgewood, Dublin 16 www.qoa.ie Link to Google Map on Blackthorn Drive, near the Beacon Hotel, at the entrance to the Sandyford and Stillorgan Industrial Estates
St Olaf's GAA Club, Gaelic Athletic Association grounds, Holly Avenue, Stillorgan Industrial Park, Co. Dublin.
Methodist Hall Wesley College, Ballinteer Road, Dublin
|Where are these venues?||You can access maps showing you how to find these places through the 'Rehearsal Venues' section of the Links page.|