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.
- 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
- Membership fees will help also – have a receipt book for members fees.
- Organise a fundraiser such as a table quiz or get a sponsor as soon as possible.
- Before your first performance you will need to raise some money.
- 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.
- Find one or two prospective members who can set up and manage social media accounts for the drama group.
- 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.
- Keep an up to date database of members and keep all members up to date with regular bulletins.
- 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.