The Abbey Works playwrights for 2019 are (L-R) Fionn Foley, Ciara Elizabeth Smyth, Lauren-Shannon Jones, Caitríona Daly, Lucy Montague-Moffatt, Michelle Read and Colm Keegan.

Abbey Works is a three-month series of workshops for playwrights who have already had a play professionally produced. The programme is for writers who have some experience writing for the stage, who want to explore their process and develop a new idea with the support of their peers.

The eight sessions will be led by Jimmy McAleavey and Amy Conroy, two of the Abbey Theatre’s Associate Playwrights, with input from visiting artists.

We received over one hundred varied and imaginative applications and look forward to working with the Abbey Works playwrights over the coming months.

Read more about the Abbey Works playwrights below.

Abbey Works 

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Abbey Works Playwrights pictured with Abbey Theatre Dramaturg, Louise Stephens; Head of Producing (New Work), Jen Coppinger; and Associate Playwright, Jimmy McAleavey. Image © Mark Stedman

Caitríona Daly is a playwright from Dublin. She is a graduate from The Lir Academy and the Royal Court’s Young Playwrights Programme and an alumnus of the Irish Theatre Institute’s Six in the Attic initiative. Her plays have been produced both nationally and internationally. Most recently she was nominated for the Fishamble New Writing Award in 2017 and an Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play in 2016. She is currently under commission with Fishamble: The New Play Company.

Fionn Foley is a writer, composer and performer based in Dublin. His multi award-winning solo show Brendan Galileo for Europe tours Ireland and the UK this year with the support of Culture Ireland. Other work includes the award-winning musical FIERCE NOTIONS, Eamonn (from Menswear) and the songs in the award-winning Half Light. Fionn was selected as one of Fishamble Theatre Company’s ‘Play for Ireland’ playwrights as well as one of the actor/writers for Draíocht and Dublin Theatre Festival’s ‘Home:Theatre’ project.

Lauren-Shannon Jones is a writer and theatre maker from Dublin. Theatre work includes Grow (produced under The Virgin Eclectic in 2013), The Assassination of Brian Boru (adapted from Njal’s Saga and commissioned by The New Theatre under UNESCO in 2014), Pygmankentein’s Olympia (an adaptation of E.T.A Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann, 2015), and Pink Milk (in collaboration with Algorithm Dublin, 2016). She wrote and performed Viva Voce, a theatrical lecture about madness, in Dublin Fringe Festival 2018.

Colm Keegan was shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award and won the All Ireland Poetry Slam in 2010. He has released two books of poetry to critical acclaim, Don’t Go There in 2012 and Randomer in 2018. He co-founded Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival. His debut full-length play For Saoirse was staged in Axis Ballymun as part of Dublin Fringe 2018, and was nominated for the Fishamble New Writing award.

Lucy Montague-Moffatt has a Masters in TV & Radio Scriptwriting from the University of Salford. Her radio drama In His Kiss aired on BBC Radio 4 in 2017. Her work has featured in a number of publications including the short story collection 30 Under 30, The Irish Times and on RTÉ Radio One. Her play Hearts was part of Fishamble’s Tiny Plays for Ireland and has gone on to be performed in New York, Washington, Russia and Philadelphia. Lucy was the Writer-in-Residence for Inchicore College Dublin from 2011-2013 and 2018, and The Gaiety School of Acting in 2017-2018. She was shortlisted for the Kudos North Writer’s Prize in 2018. Most recently she was commissioned to write an ensemble play for Backstage Youth Drama which has gone on to be performed by many youth theatres across Ireland this year.

Michelle Read’s writing awards include the Hugh Leonard Bursary, the Eamon Keane Full Length Play Award, the Stewart Parker/BBC Northern Ireland Drama Award and a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival. With READCO/Living Space Theatre (1996 – 2008) she wrote, produced and performed new and experimental work, and has also written plays for the Gaiety School of Acting, Fishamble and was Theatre Artist in Residence at the Civic Theatre. Michelle is currently under commission to The New Theatre and developing new performance work as part of the Pan Pan International Mentorship Programme.

Ciara Elizabeth Smyth is a playwright from Dublin. In 2017 her debut full-length play All honey was presented as part of Dublin Fringe Festival and received the Fishamble New Writing Award. In 2018 her play Pacemaker was shortlisted for Fishamble’s A Play for Ireland initiative and she was awarded Writer in Residence in The New Theatre, where she presented We Can’t Have Monkeys in the House as her residency production. Currently Ciara is participating as playwright on the Rough Magic SEEDS Programme 2018-2020.