The public health events of this year means that the Abbey Theatre’s planned plays and public events relating to the War of Independence and Civil War are now being developed in a changed world. Those same events have had a huge impact on our wider community. With this in mind, the Abbey Theatre is now creating fourteen bursaries for theatre artists to spend time thinking, questioning and developing a piece of work provoked by this period of our history, artistically and culturally engaging with this period to create new pieces of performance which also speak to now.

We are naming them in honour of the fourteen people killed in the Croke Park Massacre on 21st November 1920. For many years, their place in Irish history was not fully acknowledged as a crucial part of the story of modern Ireland. These bursaries aim to allow artists the space to explore stories and figures from the War of Independence and Civil War period which have been sidelined by the dominant historical narrative, or those which remain underexplored on stage. The bursaries, named after the dead, acknowledge the debt we all owe to those voices in history who have been ignored or unheard.

These bursaries will each cover an artist’s stipend of €7,000, a research budget of €1,000 and a €2,000 budget for some development time on the first draft of a new piece of work. The successful artists will have access to support from the Abbey Theatre’s New Work Department and wider artistic team as they develop this work.

At least two of the bursaries have been ringfenced for work developed, intended to be presented in, or engaging on a fundamental level with the Irish Language.


There are nine proposed areas as well as the opportunity to propose your own focus for exploration from this period of time (1919-1923).

  • The Burning of Cork, December 1920
  • Land and the Local in the War of Independence and Civil War
  • Cumann na mBan at War
  • Young people’s role in the period 1919-23
  • The co-operative movement, creameries and the War of Independence
  • The destruction of Custom House, May 1921
  • Cultural Organisations, Cultural Resistance
  • Views of the conflict from a distance
  • Policing, (in)justice and Punishment
  • Other events or persons within the period 1919-1923 (please detail)

Due to the Abbey’s existing commitments to work in development, there are subjects and people we will not be able to support artists to explore with these bursaries. Please contact us if you would like to check if your proposed topic is one of these exceptions before submitting an application.


The application process is deliberately brief. The bulk of the application is a short statement telling us about the event that has inspired the idea, what you find interesting about exploring it for this medium, what you would aim to do with the time and resource, and any sense you have of the form the output might take, as well as anything else you think it’s important to mention. We do not expect artists to necessarily have a fully formed sense of the output at the application stage.

You can submit your application in writing (maximum 500 words) or by video (maximum 4 minutes). We can accept submissions in Irish, English, ISL or BSL. Your written statement can be uploaded using Google Forms; please contact us to arrange the transfer of a video file if this method of delivery is preferable to you.

Please also provide us with links to three extant pieces of your work that you believe are representative of your style and approach to theatre-making. They should each be at least 15 minutes in length and at least one of these should be a professional production. This may be text or a link to a recording.


  • You should have an interest in using this period of time in Ireland’s history as the catalyst for a new piece of work, alongside having some experience of making work professionally.
  • You do not need to have existing in-depth knowledge of this period of history to apply.
  • The resultant work need not necessarily naturalistically represent historical events.
  • You might define yourself as a playwright, a writer, a theatre-maker or a live artist; this list is not exhaustive. However, the output of this process should be the start of a piece of work either designed for live performance or as a piece of digital theatre.
  • Your application is welcome whether you’ve never worked with the Abbey Theatre before or have done so in the past.
  • You must be resident in Ireland, or Irish and living elsewhere, to apply.
  • For these bursaries, we can only accept applications from sole authors or two authors working together, and not from collectives or theatre companies who devise their work together. If you are a collective or a theatre company who would like to submit a proposal for a piece of work to us, you are welcome to send it to our Ideas portal.
  • We are not looking for plays which have already been written for this bursary, though you are welcome to submit these to us through our scripts portal.


The closing date for applications is Friday 8th January 2021.

A shortlist of applicants will be invited to digitally meet with the selection panel to further discuss their proposal. Shortlisted writers will be notified by 29h January 2021.


The timeline for work will be responsive to the successful applicants’ other commitments but you should be able to formally begin work in some capacity by 28th February 2021.

Additional support for artists who have access needs, caring responsibilities or whose lives contain other factors that might otherwise hinder their access to this opportunity will be provided; the nature of this support will be discussed with shortlisted writers on a case by case basis.

We particularly welcome applications by artists from communities historically underrepresented in Irish theatre.

More Information

Abbey Theatre Dramaturg Louise Stephens sat down with Irish Theatre Institutes Jane Daly to answer some questions on the application process.


What’s the link to Croke Park?

The bursaries aren’t necessarily intended for people to explore the Croke Park Massacre as a topic: the families of those killed that day have agreed that we can name the bursaries after their family member as a way to honour them. No other link in terms of content is necessary, though we would like to provide the families with an update on how the bursaries went at the end of the process.

I have Irish ancestry: can I apply?

As the National Theatre of Ireland, we aim to support artists from Ireland or those who live here with this opportunity. We will be unlikely to progress with applications from those with an ancestral connection to the island, though you are always welcome to send any work to us via our scripts and ideas portal.

Will the successful applicants have their plays produced?

The process is one which will be complete in itself; it would be our hope that work could emerge from the process which will have a further life with the Abbey Theatre or elsewhere, but it’s not the primary object of the bursary.

I’ve been involved in professional productions as a performer and I have an idea. Can I apply?

Part of the aim of the bursaries is to give artists freedom to explore and expand their professional practice. Artists who have been part of professional processes and have an idea for generating a new piece are welcome to apply, no matter their role. If you’re not sure whether you meet the criteria or not, get in touch and ask us.

Do I need to be able to come to the Abbey to work if I want to apply?

We anticipate the bursaries being undertaken remotely so you can be based anywhere. Unfortunately there won’t be any dedicated space available to the bursary holders within our building.

Is there an advantage to picking one of your topics rather than suggesting my own?

No – what’s important is your interest and your idea of how to explore the topic.

Who will be on the panel?

The selection panel will be members of the artistic team of the Abbey Theatre and invited guests who will be practicing artists.

Please direct any further questions to Jesse Weaver, New Work Associate:

De bharr cúrsaí sláinte poiblí i mbliana, ciallaíonn sé go bhfuil na drámaí agus na himeachtaí poiblí a bhaineann le Cogadh na Saoirse agus Cogadh na gCarad, a bhí beartaithe ag Amharclann na Mainistreach, á bhforbairt anois i ndomhan athraithe. Bhí tionchar ollmhór ag na cúrsaí sin ar ár bpobal i gcoitinne. Agus muid ag cuimhneamh ar an méid sin, tá ceithre sparánacht déag á gcruthú ag Amharclann na Mainistreach chun maoiniú a chur ar fáil d’ealaíontóirí amharclannaíochta le ham a chaitheamh ag machnamh, ag ceistiú agus ag forbairt saothair a bheidh faoi spreagadh na tréimhse staire seo, agus iad ag dul i ngleic go healaíonta agus go cultúrtha leis an tréimhse seo, chun píosaí nua taibhléirithe a chruthú a bheidh ábhartha don lá atá inniu ann.

Táimid á n-ainmniú in ómós agus i gcuimhne an cheathrar duine dhéag a maraíodh ag Sléacht Pháirc an Chrócaigh ar an 21 Samhain 1920. Ar feadh blianta fada, níor tugadh aitheantas iomlán dóibh i stair na hÉireann mar chuid ríthábhachtach de scéal na hÉireann nua-aimseartha. Tá sé mar aidhm ag na sparánachtaí seo spás a thabhairt d’ealaíontóirí na scéalta agus na pearsana seo ó Chogadh na Saoirse agus ó Chogadh na gCarad a iniúchadh agus spreagadh a fháil uathu. Scéalta agus pearsana iad seo a cuireadh ar leataobh de bharr na bpríomhscéalta stairiúla, nó nach ndearnadh mórán iniúchta orthu ar stáitse go dtí seo. Tugann na sparánachtaí, atá ainmnithe i gcuimhne na marbh, aitheantas don mhéid a bhfuilimid faoi chomaoin ag na glórtha seo sa stair ar tugadh neamhaird orthu nó nár chualathas iad.

Clúdóidh na sparánachtaí seo stipinn ealaíontóra €7,000, buiséad taighde €1,000 agus buiséad €2,000 chun roinnt ama a chaitheamh ar an gcéad dréacht den saothar nua seo a fhorbairt. Beidh rochtain ag na healaíontóirí rathúla ar thacaíocht ó Rannóg Saothair Nua Amharclann na Mainistreach agus ón bhfoireann ealaíne i gcoitinne agus an saothar seo á fhorbairt acu.

Tá ar a laghad dhá cheann de na sparánachtaí imfhálaithe le haghaidh saothair a dhéanfar a fhorbairt i nGaeilge, a bhfuil sé beartaithe bheith léirithe i nGaeilge, nó a rachaidh i ngleic ag bunleibhéal leis an nGaeilge.

Na hÁbhair

Tá naoi n-ábhar molta againn, ach tá deis agat do rogha ábhair féin don iniúchadh a mholadh ón tréimhse ama seo (1919-1923).

  • Loscadh Chorcaí, Mí na Nollag 1920
  • An Talamh agus an Duine Áitiúil i gCogadh na Saoirse agus i gCogadh na gCarad
  • Cumann na mBan i mbun cogaidh
  • Ról daoine óga sa tréimhse 1919-23
  • Gluaiseacht na gcomharchumann, uachtarlanna agus Cogadh na Saoirse
  • Scrios Theach an Chustaim, Bealtaine 1921
  • Eagraíochtaí Cultúrtha, Frithbheartaíocht Chultúrtha
  • Frontaí Eile: léargais ar an gcoimhlint i bhfad uaithi
  • An Phóilíneacht, Cóir (éagóir) agus Pionós
  • Imeachtaí nó daoine eile sa tréimhse 1919-1923 (sonraigh iad)

Mar gheall ar na gealltanais atá ag Amharclann na Mainistreach cheana féin maidir le saothair atá á fhorbairt, tá ábhair agus daoine nach mbeimid in ann tacú le healaíontóirí iad a iniúchadh leis na sparánachtaí seo.  Déan teagmháil linn más mian leat a sheiceáil má bhaineann d’ábhar beartaithe le ceann de na heisceachtaí seo sula gcuireann tú iarratas isteach.


Is próiseas iarratais gearr atá ann d’aon turas. Is é an chuid is mór den iarratas ná ráiteas gearr ag insint dúinn faoin ócáid a thug spreagadh don smaoineamh atá agat, cad a cheapann tú atá suimiúil faoi iniúchadh a dhéanamh air sa mheán seo, cad atá beartaithe agat a dhéanamh leis an am agus leis na hacmhainní, agus aon tuairim atá agat maidir leis an gcruth a bheidh ar an toradh, mar aon le rud ar bith eile a gceapann tú atá tábhachtach le lua.  Nílimid ag súil go bhfuil cruth iomlán an tsaothair forbartha ag ealaíontóirí ag céim an iarratais.

Féadfaidh tú d’iarratas a chur isteach i scríbhinn (500 focal ar a mhéad) nó trí fhíseán (4 nóiméad ar a mhéad). Is féidir linn glacadh le hiarratais i nGaeilge, i mBéarla, i dTeanga Chomharthaíochta na hÉireann nó BSL. Is féidir do ráiteas scríofa a uaslódáil trí Google Forms: déan teagmháil linn chun socrú a dhéanamh maidir le comhad físeáin a aistriú más fearr leat an modh seachadta sin.

Tabhair dúinn naisc chuig trí phíosa de do shaothar atá ar marthain a gcreideann tú a léiríonn do stíl agus do chur chuige i leith na hamharclannaíochta. Ba cheart gur phíosaí iad atá ar a laghad 15 nóiméad ar fad an ceann, agus ba cheart go mbeadh ar a laghad ceann amháin acu ina léiriú gairmiúil. D’fhéadfadh sé seo bheith ina théacs nó nasc chuig taifeadadh.

Na Critéir

  • Ba cheart go mbeadh suim agat an tréimhse ama seo i stair na hÉireann a úsáid mar spreagadh do phíosa nua oibre, mar aon le taithí bheith agat ag cruthú saothair ar bhonn gairmiúil.
  • Ní gá go mbeadh eolas domhain agat cheana féin ar an tréimhse staire seo chun iarratas a chur isteach.
  • Ní gá go léireodh an saothar a bheidh mar thoradh ar an bpróiseas na himeachtaí stairiúla go nádúraíoch.
  • D’fhéadfá cur síos a dhéanamh ort féin mar dhrámadóir, mar scríbhneoir, mar amharclannóir nó mar ealaíontóir beo; ní liosta uileghabhálach é seo. Ach ba cheart go mbeadh toradh an phróisis seo mar thús saothair a bheidh deartha do thaibhléiriú beo nó mar phíosa digiteach amharclannaíochta.
  • Cuirfear fáilte roimh d’iarratas cibé acu ar oibrigh nó nár oibrigh tú le hAmharclann na Mainistreach roimhe seo.
  • Ní mór duit bheith i do chónaí in Éirinn, nó bheith Éireannach agus tú i do chónaí áit éigin eile, chun iarratas a chur isteach.
  • Le haghaidh na sparánachtaí seo, ní féidir linn ach iarratais a ghlacadh ó údair aonair nó ó bheirt údar atá ag obair le chéile, agus ní ó chomharghrúpaí ná ó chompántais amharclannaíochta a chruthaíonn saothar le chéile. Más comharghrúpa nó compántas amharclannaíochta sibh ar mhaith libh togra a chur isteach maidir le saothar ealaíne, tá míle fáilte romhaibh é a sheoladh chuig Tairseach na Smaointe.
  • Nílimid ag lorg drámaí atá scríofa cheana féin don sparánacht seo, cé go bhfuil fáilte romhat iad a chur isteach trí ie/scripteanna-agus-smaointe/.


Is é an spriocdháta le haghaidh iarratas ná Dé hAoine, an 8 Eanáir 2021.

Tabharfar cuireadh do ghearrliosta iarratasóirí bualadh go fíorúil leis an bpainéal roghnúcháin chun a dtogra a phlé níos mó.  Cuirfear na scríbhneoirí ar an ngearrliosta ar an eolas faoin 29 Eanáir 2021.


Beidh an amlíne don saothar ag brath ar ghealltanais eile na n-iarratasóirí rathúla, ach ba cheart go mbeifeá in ann tabhairt faoin obair go foirmeálta ar bhealach éigin faoin 28 Feabhra 2021.

Cuirfear tacaíocht bhreise ar fáil d’ealaíontóirí a bhfuil riachtanais inrochtana nó freagrachtaí cúraim acu, nó a bhfuil fachtóirí eile ina saolta a d’fhéadfadh bheith ina bhac ar a rochtain ar an deis seo; déanfar an tacaíocht seo a phlé leis na scríbhneoirí ar an ngearrliosta cás ar chás.

Cuirimid fáilte shonrach roimh iarratais ó ealaíontóirí ó phobail a raibh tearcionadaíocht acu go stairiúil in amharclannaíocht na hÉireann.

Ceisteanna Coitianta

Cén nasc atá le Páirc an Chrócaigh?

Ní gá go mbeadh na sparánachtaí ag díriú ar dhaoine ar mian leo iniúchadh a dhéanamh ar Shléacht Pháirc an Chrócaigh mar ábhar: tá sé comhaontaithe le muintir na ndaoine a fuair bás ar an lá sin go n-ainmneofar na sparánachtaí as a mball teaghlaigh mar bhealach le hómós a léiriú dóibh. Níl aon nasc eile ó thaobh ábhair de riachtanach, cé gur mhaith linn nuashonrú a thabhairt do na teaghlaigh maidir leis an gcaoi ar éirigh leis an sparánacht ag deireadh an phróisis.

Is de shíolrach Éireannach mé: an féidir liom iarratas a chur isteach?

Mar Amharclann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, tá sé mar aidhm againn leis an deis seo tacú le healaíontóirí as Éirinn ó dhúchas, nó iad siúd atá in gcónaí anseo. Tá drochsheans ann go leanfaimid ar aghaidh le hiarratais uathu siúd a bhfuil nasc sinsearach acu leis an oileán, cé go bhfuil fáilte romhat i gcónaí saothar ar bith a sheoladh chugainn trí

An léireofar drámaí na n-iarratasóirí rathúla?

Is próiseas atá ann a bheidh curtha i gcrích ann féin; bheadh sé mar dhóchas againn go n-eascródh saothar as an bpróiseas a bheidh saol níos leithne aige le hAmharclann na Mainistreach nó in áit éigin eile, ach ní shin é príomhchuspóir na sparánachta.

Bhí baint agam le léirithe gairmiúla mar thaibheoir agus tá smaoineamh agam. An féidir liom iarratas a chur isteach?

Cuid den aidhm a bhaineann leis na sparánachtaí ná saoirse a thabhairt d’ealaíontóirí chun taiscéaladh a dhéanamh agus a gcleachtas gairmiúil a fhorbairt. Cuirtear fáilte roimh iarratais ó ealaíontóirí a bhí páirteach i bpróisis ghairmiúla agus a bhfuil smaoineamh acu chun píosa nua a ghiniúint, is cuma cén ról a bhí acu. Mura bhfuil tú cinnte an gcomhlíonann nó nach gcomhlíonann tú na critéir, déan teagmháil linn agus cuir ceist orainn.

An gá dom teacht chuig Amharclann na Mainistreach le tabhairt faoin obair má theastaíonn uaim iarratas a chur isteach?

Samhlaímid go dtabharfar faoi na sparánachtaí i gcéin agus mar sin féadfaidh tú bheith lonnaithe áit ar bith. Ar an drochuair, ní bheidh aon spás faoi leith curtha ar fáil dóibh siúd a ghnóthaíonn sparánacht laistigh dár bhfoirgneamh.

An bhfuil buntáiste ag baint le ceann de na hábhair atá agaibh a roghnú seachas mo cheann féin a mholadh?

Níl – is é an rud atá tábhachtach ná an tsuim atá agat agus an smaoineamh atá agat maidir leis an gcaoi leis an ábhar a iniúchadh.

Cé a bheidh ar an bpainéal?

Beidh an painéal roghnúcháin comhdhéanta de bhaill na foirne ealaíne in Amharclann na Mainistreach agus aíonna speisialta a bheidh ina n-ealaíontóirí a bhíonn ag cleachtadh a gceirde.

Má tá ceist ar bith eile agat, déan teagmháil le Jesse Weaver, Comhlach Saothair Nua: