Paul Healy Details of the 2008 Roscommon Drama Festival were unveiled at a press launch held in Gleeson’s Townhouse, Roscommon on Friday night last. Welcoming guests at the launch, chairperson of Roscommon Drama Festival organising committee Ms. Mary Cox said that the Festival had been revived in 2007 after an absence of 27 years. Now, owing to the huge level of interest from drama groups and audiences alike, the 2008 festival had been extended and will run for nine nights, from Friday, March 7th to Saturday, March 15th. The venue will again be Roscommon Arts Centre. The festival will be officially opened by Cllr. John Kelly, Mayor of Roscommon on Friday, 7th of March. Mary said that audiences could expect to encounter an interesting and varied line-up during the course of the nine nights ‘ranging from the ever-popular John B. Keane plays to the newness and freshness of Seamus O’Rourke’s ‘The Trappe Family.” The chairperson continued: ‘Our groups come from as far away as Cork and as near as Glenamaddy. It is wonderful to have new groups but it is especially endearing to see some of last year’s groups returning. We especially welcome last year’s winners, KATS from Galway, and look forward to their production of ‘The Glass Menagerie.’ ‘This year’s adjudicator is well-known actor and director Mr. Padraig McIntyre. He is no stranger to Roscommon, having directed Conversations on a Homecoming in Roscommon last November. ‘Last year one of the major successes of our festival was the quality of our awards. It is our privilege to have Michael Fayne produce our awards again this year. Michael has commissioned two new awards which will be presented to the winners of this year’s Open and Confined sections’. The Festival is a major showcase for amateur drama, with groups from Claregalway, Tubbercurry, Cork, Glenamaddy, Carrigallen, Galway, Dunmore, Corofin and Sligo set to perform a wonderful array of plays as they compete for awards and nominations to the All-Ireland finals. The chairperson thanked Suzuki through the dealership of Keane’s Garage for sponsoring the launch and also Roscommon County Council for their kind support. She also thanked her committee colleagues for all their hard work. Ms. Cox said that we should have great pride in ‘our town,’ commenting that many visitors to the 2007 Festival had commented positively on Roscommon. Furthermore there had been much positive comment about the Arts Centre as a venue. Canon Eugene McLoughlin, President of the organising committee, added his thanks to Mary Cox and the committee for all their work. Canon McLoughlin said that he also wished to wish this year’s adjudicator, Padraig, every success.