The Abbey Theatre has great respect for the artists who signed the letter and has taken its content and the concerns raised by this important group of practitioners very seriously.
The report published today follows a process of dialogue with representatives of the signatories of the letter and four official industry bodies SIPTU Irish Equity, Irish Society of Stage and Screen Designers, The Writers Guild of Ireland and the Association of Irish Stage Technicians. It sets out agreed actions resulting from the dialogue process, which the Abbey Theatre has already begun to implement. Also detailed in the report are commitments previously made to the Arts Council on elements of the artistic programme and on rates of pay and conditions for freelance artists.
The Abbey Theatre has learned from this dialogue process and is firmly committed to enhancing the quality of its engagement with all theatre disciplines, by establishing clear, accessible and timely communications.
As stated in the report: “The Abbey Theatre is aware that, as Ireland’s National Theatre, the Theatre should lead by example in setting high benchmarks in the treatment of artists and in theatre practice. It hopes this dialogue process has reassured the sector of the Abbey Theatre’s position as a producing theatre, primarily providing employment and opportunity for Irish and Irish-based practitioners. In line with the Abbey Theatre’s 2019-2023 Strategy, the Theatre intends to continue forging partnerships with artists and companies, enabling work of the highest standard to be supported by the National Theatre and building on the success of existing partnerships.
“As the major beneficiary of public funding for theatre, the Abbey Theatre rightfully comes under the brightest spotlight. The Abbey Theatre welcomes the Government’s commitment to increase funding for the arts and it looks forward to engaging with stakeholders, including the Arts Council, to work alongside fellow theatre-makers to create an environment where great, well-supported theatre can thrive across Ireland.”