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Competitions & Festivals

Amateur drama in Ireland has two national competition circuits, both of which are All-Island. The two national circuits are the Full Length/3-Act Festival Circuit and the 1-Act Festival Circuit. Each circuit consists of country-wide preliminary festivals.

· The 1-Act Festival Circuit is run jointly by the Drama League of Ireland and the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland – organisers are members of The ADCI/DLI Joint Committee.

· The ADCI organises the 3-Act Festival Circuit.

One-Act Festival Circuit

From August 1st each year groups register their intention to compete with the National Secretary.


Mary Torsney:


By August 31st each year the organising committee know how many Open & Confined groups are competing. The organising committee will advise festivals how many Open groups and how many Confined groups to include in their festival.

From September 1st each year groups are supplied with their registration number from the organising committee. Groups then apply directly to festivals using this registration number. Groups can apply to as many festivals as they like – however, the groups can accept a maximum of 6 festivals at which to perform.

To Register complete

Apply for One Act Festival Circuit


Each preliminary festival has a professional adjudicator who marks each play under the headings; Direction, Acting, Presentation, Overall achievement. The festivals are run on a league basis with marks awarded for 1st, 2nd & 3rd placings and the top groups in each competition qualify for the All-Ireland finals.

There is a Confined & Open competition within each festival. The Open Competition is for groups with significant experience The Confined Competition is for newer groups/ more inexperienced groups/ smaller groups/groups with less resources. A group decides which competition level to enter, however when a group wins the All-Ireland Confined competition they must then move to the Open competition.

Tables and results

View the current One Act Festival table, recent results and previous winners. Click on the following:




Read the DLI’s full list of rules for our One Act festival Circuit. The spirit that lies behind these festivals is more one of participation than of competition.


The One Act Drama Festival Circuit – Rules 2023

See what’s on nightly

One Act Line Up 2023 Oct






Full Length Festival Circuit

  • Run by the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland (ADCI)
  • Runs from end Feb each year to end March/early April
  • 35-38 preliminary festivals
  • Applications are accepted following the AGM of the ADCI in September of each year
  • Festivals run over 7-10 nights (i.e. 7-10 groups) with a mix of Confined & Open groups
  • The top 9 groups on the league tables qualify for the All-Ireland Finals
  • The venue for the Confined All-Ireland Finals changes each year as it is hosted by one of the festivals, the Confined Finals commence the weekend after Easter each year.
  • The RTE All-Ireland Finals (Open Finals) are held in the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone commencing in the first week in May