Drama Association of Wales History
Use the links below to choose the history of the area of DAW activity you’re interested in:
- Wales One-Act Play Final Festivals - List of past winners
- British One-Act Play Final Festivals - List of past winners
- DAW Summer Schools - History
We are also collating Photoalbums for all the areas above.
Key points in the history of DAW
DAW founded in 1934: Starts to run a small specialist drama library, lighting equipment and drape hire service.
1965: DAW launches one act playwriting competition – the four winning plays are chosen to perform at The Coliseum, Trecynon. The authors include Grafton Radcliffe, J.R. Evans and T.C. Thomas. The event was also publicised on BBC Radio.
1966: DAW hosts the British Final for the first time.
1970: DAW starts to run training courses, a youth drama programme and continues its one act play festival.
1971: DAW joins forces with the British Drama League and the Scottish Community Drama Association to form the UK Centre of the International Theatre Exchange (ITE).
January – March 1973: DAW moves from Cathedral Road to Chapter Arts Centre and becomes a registered charity.
1973: DAW member group Bridgend Castle Players are chosen to perform at the Opera House in
1977: The Players' Theatre, Gelligaer are the first Welsh winners of the British Final since 1969! Perfoming the Frank Vickery play After I'm Gone.
1982: The Players' Theatre win again at the British Final with their performance of Sganarelle.
June 1986: Third time lucky for The Players' Theatre as they bring the Howard de Walden trophy back to Wales at the British Final, this time performing The Forced Marriage.
June 1989: DAW organises a weekend event called dramaffest 89, which incorporates workshops and street theatre centered around the Wales One Act Final held at Theatr Hafren. Photos from the weekend can be found here
Spring 1990: The library is re-named the Eynon Evans Library DAWN article
January 1991 – March 1992: DAW acquires the playsets of the British Theatre Association. Western Mail article 28/2/1991
27 June 1992: DAW members Castaway (from Aberystwyth) win the British Final Festival with their performance of After Liverpool.
August 1992: Oscar-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins becomes the Association's newest patron, attending the opening of DAW’s new premises… in Splott. He even autographs the wall! Photos of the event here
1994: DAW celebrates its diamond jubilee.
1994 – 1997: A joint venutre between DAW, HTV and Sherman Theatre produce the successful series of HTV Lunchtime Plays, which includes the writing talents of Arnold Wesker, Helen Griffin and Lisa Hunt.
Summer 1996: Five newly translated Welsh language plays are published and presented at the Bro Dinefwr Eisteddfod, they are Yr Arch, Noson Dan Gynfas, Ar Amrantiad, S'Dim Ots Gen I and Amser I Hau, Amser I Fedi.
May 2003: DAW & ITE invite Art 3 a theatre group from South Korea to perform throughout Wales. DAWN article
14th May 2005: A fire started at the DAW buidling destroys the roof and the upstairs storage rooms. Thankfully the library was not damaged, the DAW office is forced into temporary accommodation for the next several months
October 2008: DAW organise the Shakespeare Today masterclass led by Michael Bogdanov. DAWN article
November 2008: DAW launches its first website
October 2009: DAW welcomes new Patron, Connie Fisher. DAWN article
June 2010: DAW introduces its new logo and redesigned website.
Spring 2011: After a investment review of its 116 clients the Arts Council of Wales withdraw their financial support of DAW. DAWN article
June 2011: After 19 years DAW moves from the old library into The Maltings. DAWN ceases publication, a monthly e-newsletter is introduced in its place.
January 2012: DAW welcomes a new patron Michael Sheen OBE Newsletter article.
February 2013: The DAW Executive committee are faced with no choice but to make the staff, who had been with DAW for many years, redundant. Extensive discussions begin to establish what will become long term of the library stock, which DAW is no longer able to support, after its loss of funding.
April 2013: The future of DAW is highlighted in a news report by BBC Wales video here.
Spring 2014: The move of the bookstock begins from The Maltings to its new home at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. DAW leaves The Maltings and moves into temporary accommodation, pending its move back to the old library in Splott.
August 2015: DAW brings back the successful Summer School, held this year at the Willow Globe. Summer School Newsletter
July 2016: The 83rd British Final Festival of One-Act Plays is held at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff. The Unknown OUTCasts return the Howard de Walden trophy to Wales (after 24 years!) with their play Contractions. Further details on this weekend can be found here
Updated April 2017