Aula Maxima, Maynooth
Aula Maxima comes from Latin, meaning Great Hall. The building is also known simply as "The Aula". It is situated on the South Campus of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and St Patrick's College, Maynooth and is the main theatre for the university, college and surrounding area. It also serves as the conferring hall of the university. The Aula was also used as a Cinema for the students in the College, with the Maynooth Students Union screening films there.
Aula Maxima is known for its historical importance, and famed for its many ghost stories and apparent ghostly sightings.
Right Rev. Mgr. McMahon of the The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC originally gifted the theatre to St Patrick's College, his alma mater, and its construction was completed under the presidency of Bishop Robert Brown.
Aula Maxima houses a projection box, which was in regular use for 40 years.
NUI Maynooth's Drama Society (also known as The Roscian Players) is the resident company of Aula Maxima. A wide variety of their productions staged therein. It also regularly sees performances by St Patrick's College's dramatic society, NUI Maynooth Chamber Orchestra and Maynooth Community Players:
- Questions of Parting
- Laurents, Bernstein & Sondheim's West Side Story
- Berkoff's Lunch
- Durang's An Actor's Nightmare
- Chekov's The Bear
- Barnes's Nobody Here But Us Chickens
- Yeats's Purgatory
- Stoppard's 15 Minute Hamlet
- Duplicit (student-written)
- Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs's Maskerade
- Little Shop of Horrors
- Brian Friel's The Enemy Within
- Frank McGuinness's Dolly West's Kitchen
- Remembering Rose
- Jesus Christ Superstar
- The Musical Misdemeanour's of Sally Scribbles (student-written)
- First Timer's Festival, featuring productions of David Campton's Cagebirds and Brian Friel's Lovers: Winners and Losers
- Brecht's Fear and Misery in the Third Reich
- William Shakespeare's Hamlet
- Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men
- Brian Friel's Translations
- First Timers' Festival featuring performances of: The Bear, Riders To The Sea, Living With Secrets (Student Written), Over The Rainbow (part-student written), God Has Arrived, Cocaine, Cahoot's Macbeth, Bar And Ger
- One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
- The Mercy Seat (Neil La Bute)
- First Timers' Festival featuring performances of: A Question Of Sex, A Handbag, Cinema Limbo, Rosalita (Student Written) and Beer-Girl
- The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Shakespeare)
- Black Box Festival, featuring performances of: Like Dreaming Backwards, Nancy's Boys (Student Written),The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Game.
- First Timers' Festival.
- The Breakfast Club (Student Adaptation)
- The Laramie Project
- The Field
- Black Box Festival 2013
- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Student Adaptation)
Folklore and the Aula Ghost
There are numerous stories detailing the presence of a ghost in Aula Maxima. Simply known as the Aula Ghost, he is reputed to be the spirit of a projectionist, active in Maynooth in the 1940s. The projectionist was a seminarian and member of St Patrick's College who fell to his death from the projectionist's box in Aula Maxima. Many superstitions exist regarding treatment of Aula Maxima and the Aula Ghost. One such superstition centres on the ghost's apparent turning of a chair placed over the projection box to face away from the stage if he does not like a performance, or the manner in which the staging of the performance was conducted.
- National University of Ireland, Maynooth
- St Patrick's College, Maynooth
- Irish theatre
- List of Irish theatres and theatre companies