West Cork Drama Festival are the long-term lease holders of St Mary’s Community Hall/Rossmore Theatre and responsible for the management and development of the Theatre. The theatre was built in 1948 and vested in the trustees of the dioceses of Cork and Ross as a community centre for the parishes of Kilmeen and Castleventry.
West Cork Drama Festival, established in 1956, is a unique cultural event and as a result the theatre has grown and developed to become one of the major venues hosting amateur drama throughout this country. It hosted All Ireland Finals in One Act in 1982 and 2006 and All Ireland Three Act Confined Finals in 1983, 1984 and 2013. It is recognised as one of the major culture events centres in Ireland and unique in that it is based in a rural setting of West Cork. The West Cork Drama festival held in March each year opens the tourist season in West Cork annually attracting drama groups from up to ten different countries in Ireland.
Community & Kilmeen Drama Group
Rossmore Theatre is run by a volunteer group of 40 members from the immediate community. It is aimed to make Rossmore Theatre a dynamic centre for all indoor community events in the area of Rossmore/Clonakilty and also to provide top class entertainment for the wider area of West Cork.
There is a close association between the theatre and the successful Kilmeen Drama Group, the artistic arm of the West Cork Drama Festival, who rehearse and perform in Rossmore Theatre and who administer drama courses for primary and second level students of West Cork in the Theatre. Kilmeen Drama Group are the All Ireland Drama Champions for 2006, 2011, 2012 and also 2013. Kilmeen Drama Group also won the one act all Ireland in 2007.