Rules/ Amateur Drama



  • To develop dramatic skills.
  • To develop creativity in production, stage setting, stage management.
  • To introduce members to the world of theatre.

Team Size

There is no limit to team size.


  • Counties/regions can enter two teams to the national rounds.
  • Any county/region that has not entered drama in the last three years will be allowed to enter a rainbow team consisting of members from a number of different clubs within the county/region.
  • A county/region eligible to enter a rainbow team can do so for 3 out of 4 consecutive years.


  • Team members must be 17 years of age or over and under 35 years of age on September 1st, 2020.
  • Previous national winners of the competition are ineligible to compete for two years.
  • Previous county winners/representatives are eligible to compete in the following year.
  • Persons under 17 years of age are allowed to play children’s roles where specified by the author only. Such persons are not required to be affiliated members of Macra na Feirme.
  • Paid actors, full or part time, are not eligible to compete.


  • Plain drapes, which will be provided by the hosting branch, may be used by the competing teams.
  • Colored lighting (not compulsory) can be used, once available to all teams.
  • All stage furniture must be free standing i.e. tables, chairs, windows, doors, fireplaces, cooker.
  • Each branch must have its own producer and stage manager and be responsible for its own play.
  • All branches must supply their own costumes, furniture and other props.
  • Only the team/cast members and a maximum of 5 helpers (including the director, if they are in the wings) will be allowed in the wings before, during and after each performance, with the exception of the Presiding Officer and his/her assistants. There are no restrictions on the number of helpers who are not in the wings, e.g. light/sound assistants. Helpers need not be affiliated to Macra na Feirme.
  • Teams are not allowed to bring props of any kind onto the stage or wings before the specified time allocated for them. This includes any form of marking i.e. tape markings.


  • One-act plays that are eligible for the Drama League of Ireland One Act festivals and competitions are eligible for the Macra na Feirme Amateur Drama competition.
  • A branch cannot produce the same play for two consecutive years. Teams may be able to find suitable one-act plays from the following sources:

Samual French Ltd.,

52 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 5JR, England. or

This is the most comprehensive source for plays and musicals.

Irish Playography

(run by the Irish Theatre Institute)

A wide-ranging database of all plays professionally produced in Ireland since 1904.

The Society of Irish Playwrights,

19 Parnell Square, D1. Phone: 01 872 1302. A comprehensive list of plays written after 1950 is available. Enclose an s.a.e.

The Drama League of Ireland,

The Mill Theatre, Dundrum, Dublin 16.

A support service to amateur theatre in Ireland which also has a very well stocked lending library of plays.

The One-Act Play Companion

by Rex Walford & Colin Dolly.

(published by A & C Black, London – A far-reaching guide to one-act plays, playwrights and performance.

The Macra Trilogy

Macra’s  booklets, Intermission Impossible 1 and 2 and Intermission Complete are available from the National Office.

 If necessary, teams should inform the Presiding Officer if the content of their drama could cause offence to the audience (bad language, etc.) so that an announcement can be made. Competitors are requested to submit a copy of the play they are performing to the National Office at the closing date for entries.


Written permission from the author to produce the play must be presented to the Presiding Officer on the night of performance. Permission must be produced each time the play is performed. Failure to do so will mean disqualification. Branches must pay all copyrights and production rights of the plays performed. The county executive or Board of directors will not be responsible for any legal proceedings issued against any branch. The main agent in Ireland for most plays is The Drama League of Ireland, The Mill Theatre, Dundrum, Dublin 16. Phone: 01 296 9343,

Note: Teams are advised to obtain written permission, licence, etc. well in advance of the competition.


  • There will be 55 minutes allowed for each team’s performance, that is, from opening to closing of curtains.
  • Ten minutes will be allowed for preparation of the stage, plus two minutes for composure on the stage.
  • Five minutes will be allowed for the clearing of the stage.
  • Teams failing to comply with above time limits will be penalised at the rate of five marks per minute or part thereof.


There will be three judges who must not communicate with each other. Each judge must, independently, give a clear decision in favour of one group.

 Marking System

Acting ......................................... 45

Direction  ................................... 30

Production ................................. 15

Innovation  ................................. 10

Total  ………………………………100


The aggregate placing system will be used to determine the winner. In the case of a tie, the total marks will determine the winner. if there is still a tie, the team with the higher score for acting will be deemed the winner


Prizes are awarded to best actor, best supporting actor, best actress, best supporting actress and best producer at national rounds. At national rounds, a special Adjudicator’s Prize will also be awarded. The host county is responsible for the individual prizes for this competition.

Closing Date

The closing date for entries to National Office is Wednesday, March 10th, 2021