Tuesday, November 25, 2014

100 years of College Drama Society

The college annuals of University College Galway are an indispensable record of student life and activity on campus. With updates on study and academic courses, sporting life, achievements of students and academics, contributions to social and cultural life and general news of interest for and by students it is an insight into what being student in Galway was like over 100 years ago.

In an issue for 1914 the Dramatic Society documents the activities of the first year in existence of the UCG Dramatic Society. According to the notes:

"The first year of this society has been very successful, notwithstanding some "excursions and alarums". There was first of all the question whether we were a college society at all, which was pursued by some so far that one night of rehearsal we found ourselves faced with an order by a college official that we are not to be allowed into the Aula Maxima".

UCG Drama Society, 1914

Thankfully things did improve for the society as it is noted how "Twelfth Night" was to be the first production:
"Rehearsals were frequent, but though they take up much time, they were essential and often good fun as well. The actors were all enthusiastic and painstaking, and from the beginning each did his or her best to make the play a success, and a success it was."

A tribute to the success of the play was noted as being the attendance of the President of UCG on the night of the play (December 16th):

"This tribute of loyalty and respect, not to say affection, acted as a message of encouragement and a stimulus to the actors and made manifest that this was truly "a college night", and such a one as it is hoped will be frequent in the future."

To view the 1914, and other editions of the historic College annuals visit the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room.

UCG Drama Society, 1915, seated at Aula Maxima

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