Abbey Theatre Seeks New Playwrights Programme Manager

6th December 2010 by Maura McHugh

Abbey Theatre

The Abbey Theatre is looking for applicants for the position of New Playwrights Programme Manager.

The Abbey Theatre is Ireland’s national theatre and occupies a unique position in the hearts and minds of Irish people. It has two theatres: the Abbey, with a capacity of 492 seats, and the Peacock, with a capacity of 147 seats. The Abbey produces a year round programme of productions, public readings, workshops and artistic development work. We produce work on our stages and on tour, which not only showcases Irish and international theatre but also engages with the artistic and civic life of contemporary Ireland.

One of the key roles of the Abbey is to actively develop new works of theatre and the Literary Department plays a central role in meeting that challenge. This is achieved through commissioning new work and providing a reading and response service for the 300 unsolicited scripts received annually. To further foster and promote new writing we run an annual New Playwrights Programme for six emerging writers of promise.


The New Playwrights Programme Manager identifies and encourages emerging writers to participate in the programme through the reading and critical analysis of the Abbey’s unsolicited script submissions. The person will devise and deliver other aspects of a programme to support the Abbey Theatre’s aims in relation to new writing and will also provide a service to writers. This is a full time position reporting to the Literary Director.


Duties to include but not limited to

  • Identifying and recommending to the Literary Director new plays and emerging writers of promise.
  • Reading and evaluating unsolicited scripts to provide different levels of written and oral feedback to writers on behalf of the Abbey Theatre.
  • Devising and delivering workshops to explore and encourage the craft of play development incorporating guest speakers and expert contributions as appropriate.
  • Being the key point of contact and champion for the New Playwrights Programme.
  • Providing a prompt and high quality service to all writers either in writing or in person.
  • Deputising for the Literary Director as necessary.
  • Working with and liasing with the reader panel.
  • Contributing to the activities and administrative activity of the department
  • Actively attending play productions and particularly tracking new work by emerging writers.
  • Develop and be informed by a strong understanding of the goals and values of Abbey Theatre and the department.
  • Collaborating with other internal departments as appropriate.


  • Excellent reading and writing skills
  • Deep knowledge of theatre
  • The ability to manage and prioritise the work of the New Playwrights Programme
  • The administrative ability and approach to contribute to the broader activities of a busy Literary Department


  • Experience of critical and creative reading
  • A track record in working with playwrights
  • Minimum of four years experience of working in professional theatre

The closing date for applications is midday on Wednesday 8th December 2010.

More information on how to apply is available on the website.

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