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Cheques Presentation to Mayo Autism Action 2012 

About Parke Arts & Drama Group

The idea of forming a local drama group in Parke had been discussed many times but always seemed to be put on the back burner in favour of more pressing commitments. Many of the Group had been involved in concerts over the years and also in putting on plays for the younger generation and getting them involved in Scor and Readoiri. Eventually in September 2008 a like minded group of people got together and it was decided that it was now or never for the establishment of a Drama Group for the adults. So the call went out for budding actors and stage crew. Fortunately at this time we were put in touch with Dermot MacMahon who had been heavily involved in Directing with St. Patrick’s Drama Group in Westport. He kindly agreed to come on board and guide us along the right path.

Many plays were read and discussed until finally we settled on Pretend Sick, by Michael Joe Ginnelly, as our debut production. Casting began well and many of the parts had been filled, but we came up one cast member short we had no male for the part of Martin. So again the call went out for male actors to fill the role, finally after many attempts, Michael Maguire walked through the doors and after his audition we knew we had our Martin. And so the journey began!

Pretend Sick took to the stage in March 2009 to, thankfully, full houses and much, much laughter. For the majority of those involved it was their first time on stage, so you see it is possible!!!!!

Co-operation with the Parke Community Centre Committee has been one of the corner stones for the success of the Group to date. They have provided us with a venue to present our productions and also a place to rehearse throughout the Winter months. Without this support our Group could not be successful.

The Group has also contributed over €6,500 to Charity since being established. Among those to benefit have been: The Irish Wheelchair Association, Western Alzheimers, Hospice Uganda, Parke NS, Enable Ireland, Mayo Autism Action and Parke Community Centre Extension Programme. The Group is delighted to have been in a position to make such donations and is grateful for the support of its audiences in making such donations possible.