New Playwrights Programme 2011

New Playwrights Programme 2011


In this photo: Lydia Prior, Neil Bristow, Clare Dwyer Hogg, Damian Kearney and Tara McKevitt.

NPP 2011 has now come to a close. After completing the workshop phase of the programme, the writers each had a workshop of their play at The Abbey and since then have continued the drafting process with ongoing support from the Abbey’s literary department. They will receive feedback on the final drafts of their plays in early 2013.


A workshop with Sam Shepard.

2011 New Playwrights Programme Participants

Neil Bristow was educated in Dublin and graduated with a degree in English Literature. He is a previous participant in the Rough Magic Seeds Programme, during which his play ‘Snap’ had a staged reading at the Dublin Fringe Festival. His most recent play, ‘Double Bound’, received a rehearsed reading in Berlin in 2010. He also works as a script reader.

Amy Conroy has been a professional actor for over ten years and during that time has worked in a devising, improvisational capacity on several shows. The most recent example of this work is ‘The Blanch’, a satirical buffoon show with Carpet Theatre Company. Amy’s first radio play, ‘Hold This’, was recorded and broadcast on RTE Radio One in September 2010. ‘I (heart) Alice (heart) I’ is her first stage play which she wrote, directed and performed in, winning ‘The Fishamble Award for New Writing’ in the Absolut Fringe Festival 2010.

Clare Dwyer Hogg is an award-winning journalist as well as a playwright. Clare has written two plays currently in planning for productions with Field Day Theatre Company. Clare has written for publications such as The Observer Magazine, NYLON magazine, Intelligent Life, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Telegraph and the Irish Independent.

Damian Kearney is an actor as well as a playwright and his most recent acting credits include Freefall (Project Arts Centre and Abbey Theatre), The Comedy of Errors, The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui (Abbey Theatre) and ‘Peter Pan’ (Source Arts Centre). Film and television credits include The Tudors, The Wind That Shakes the Barley and The Fitz. Damian has also written plays The Flamboyant Bird, Great Little Spike and Dad-Man and Trudy for Percolate Writers’ Group and the Project Arts Centre.

Tara McKevitt is from Moville in Co. Donegal and holds a BA, a Post-Grad in Journalism and an MA in Drama & Theatre Studies. Tara lived in Glasgow for over ten years and worked in TV post production for BBC Scotland. In 2010 she was shortlisted for the Tron Theatre Open Stage Competition for her play ‘junk’. In 2010 she won the RTÉ PJ O’Connor Radio Drama Award for her play Grenades. The stage adaption of ‘Grenades’ is being performed in Ireland and Scotland during 2011 with Mephisto Theatre Company.

Lydia Prior was born in Dublin and grew up there and in Belfast. She read Classics at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in 1996 her play ‘The Call’ was produced at the Royal Court as part of the Young Writers’ Festival. The following year, her second play won the Oxford New Writing Festival and was staged in Oxford and Belfast. She also co-wrote an adaptation of Aristophanes’s ‘The Birds’ for the Oxford Playhouse. In 2000, Lydia went to Los Angeles to do an MFA in Screenwriting, which she completed in 2003. Several film and TV scripts later, she returned to playwriting. Now based in London, she took part in the Next Stage residency at the Dublin Theatre Festival in October 2010. Recent productions include an extract from her new play, ‘Marbles’, at Soho Theatre in London and the devised piece ‘I Dreamt Tom Stoppard’s Email Address’ which she also performed at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin as part of the festival, The Theatre Machine Turns You On Vol. 2.


A workshop with Fiona Shaw.