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Setting Up a New Drama Group

Organising a Group

Check if there is already a group near you and network with them for advice and support.

If not organise a general meeting of interested individuals. Get the word out on social media, local newspaper, local radio, local bulletins, local venues. 

Suggested Agenda for Your First Meeting


  • What is the aim of the group?
    – What type of productions are you interested in? This can eventually evolve into your mission statement. Discuss choosing a play.
  • Do you want to compete on the festival circuit?
  • Once it’s decided to go ahead with setting up a group then elect a chairperson, a secretary and treasurer. You will need other officers such as a PRO but this can be done at subsequent meetings.
    – Try not to put people off by spending too much time discussing the mechanics of setting up a group. Draw up a draft constitution and mission statement. A sample Drama Group Constitution can be viewed here.
  • Throw out some ideas for a name for the group and ask people to think about it before the next meeting. Keep it simple and snappy.
  • Check your area for a suitable room for holding meetings and for rehearsals. Check local schools, pubs, hotels, GAA and all the religious groups.
    – Try to get it for free as you will be using it regularly and you don’t want costs mounting.
  • How will you finance yourself?
    – You will need to cover insurance, performance rights, production costs.
    – Decide whether there will be a membership fee.
    – Decide whether you want to set up a fundraising sub-committee.
  • Take everyone’s contact details for communicating in advance of the next meeting. Social media is useful to group communications.
  • We encourage all amateur drama groups to join the DLI as a group member. Contact Valerie in the DLI office or a member of the DLI board for a chat.


  1. Open a bank account in the name of the group as soon as you can to protect everyone involved. Sponsors can then pay you by cheque or directly into your account
  2. Membership fees will help also – have a receipt book for members fees.
  3. Organise a fundraiser such as a table quiz or get a sponsor as soon as possible.
  4. Before your first performance you will need to raise some money.
  5. You will need an insurance policy as soon as possible to protect the group members. Find out more about our discounted DLI Group Insurance Scheme.


  1. Find one or two prospective members who can set up and manage social media accounts for the drama group.
  2. A pay as you go phone is a good way to keep in touch with members who do not use social media. Free group texts can be sent using the internet.
  3. Keep an up to date database of members and keep all members up to date with regular bulletins.
  4. A competition in the local schools for a logo is good PR.

If you’re interested in entering or attending local drama festivals or the All-Ireland festivals you can find out more on our Festivals page.

Theatre Training Workshops

The DLI give a grant to DLI Group members to help them organise workshops. These are a great way of developing skills within a group as well as energising members. Click below to find out more about organising a theatre workshop.