Posts Tagged ‘Abbey Theatre’

Abbey’s Artistic Directors Stepping Down

12th August 2020 by admin

On Tuesday, 28th July 2020, it was announced that Graham McLaren and Neil Murray are to step down from their roles in July 2021. The press release noted: “In view of the challenges and opportunities in the coming years, and following consideration of its strategy and its leadership requirements for that period, the board has decided that this new leadership structure is in the best interests of the national theatre”.

Their tenure was problematic, causing an outcry among theatre practitioners and provoking a highly effective campaign, of which WGI member Joe O’Byrne was at the forefront. Of particular concern to the WGI was the abolition of the position of Literary Manager and its replacement with the new role of Dramaturg, which the Guild feels diminishes the independence and status of the previous position, the importation of productions previously presented by theatre companies elsewhere and, most alarmingly, the radical reduction of the number of new, full-length plays by Irish writers actually produced and staged by the Abbey.

Attempts to get the management to address the substantive issues foundered and the temperature of the exchanges grew white hot. The Guild published a letter declaring no confidence in the Abbey Board and campaigned directly to the Arts Council and the Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage where it became clear there was a considerable sympathy with our point of view.

The Writers Guild of Ireland share the Abbey’s concern for the best interests of the national theatre, and wish the Abbey board every success in the hunt for a new director/s.

Writing for the Abbey Theatre

17th October 2019 by admin

Members are invited to meet with Louise Stephens, Dramaturg at the Abbey Theatre. This informational meeting will focus on writing plays for the Abbey Theatre and will take place on Tuesday, 29th October at 2pm at a Dublin city centre venue which will be confirmed to members who are attending.

Louise will cover the Abbey Theatre’s processes around working with writers from unsolicited work to commissioned plays, using practical examples from recent work and with input and discussion from the Abbey’s Associate Playwrights, followed by some time for questions.

Louise Stephens is a script reader and dramaturg specialising in the development of new plays. She was the Literary Officer at the Traverse Theatre and, most recently, Deputy Literary Manager of the Royal Court Theatre. As a freelancer, she has worked on plays and read scripts for theatre companies, competitions and prizes throughout the UK and Ireland and worked on a number of award-winning theatre pieces with both playwrights and writer-performers. She has a PhD focusing on rehearsal room processes from the University of St Andrews.

Members who wish to attend this meeting should email: with ‘Abbey Theatre meeting’ in the subject line. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Information on writing plays for the Abbey Theatre can also be found on their website: