October 2018

We are thrilled to welcome four new writers as Associate Playwrights. Amy Conroy, Jimmy McAleavey, Darren Murphy and Lisa Tierney-Keogh will be working with us to develop new plays over the next eighteen months.

Over the course of the next eighteen months, the four playwrights will each develop a play. Also as part of their associateship, each playwright will be engaged for two days a month with the New Work Department to represent the interests of, advocate for and deliver useful tools to playwrights. This work will include curating and contributing to public events and working with the selected participants of Abbey Begins and Abbey Works.

Amy Conroy is an actor, playwright and Artistic Director of HotForTheatre. Her first radio play, Hold This, was broadcast on RTÉ Radio One. Her first stage play, I Alice I, had runs in Dublin, New York, Iceland, Glasgow, Brisbane, Australia, Auckland, New Zealand, Tasmania, Croatia, Paris and Belfast. It won the Fishamble Award for New Writing at Dublin Fringe Festival 2010, has been translated and performed in Poland, Italy and Iceland and is published by Oberon. Her second play, Eternal Rising of the Sun, won the Best Female Performer Award at Dublin Fringe Festival 2011. Amy presented Break in 2013, which combined spoken word, music and text. Set in an Irish secondary school it exposed and interrogated the failures and triumphs of our education system. Luck Just Kissed You Hello premiered as part of the Galway International Arts Festival in 2015 and had a sell-out run at the Dublin Theatre Festival. It was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play and toured nationally. Amy has performed in countless production over the years and received a Best Actress nomination in the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2011. Amy is a Six in the Attic Alumni and is currently Writer in Residence with Rough Magic Theatre Company.

Jimmy McAleavey was born in Belfast. He has had numerous radio plays produced by the BBC and stage plays by Tinderbox Theatre Company, the Abbey Theatre and others.  Awards include the Stewart Parker Major Bursary and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Major Individual Artist Award.  He is currently under commission by the Abbey Theatre and the National Theatre, London, and is working on his first feature film.  He teaches scriptwriting at Queen’s University Belfast.

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Darren Murphy is a Belfast-based playwright who has been produced in the West End, Off-Broadway, Dublin, Derry, and Edinburgh. He was previously part of the New Playwrights Programme at the Abbey. He has taught playwriting at all levels at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Belfast, in conjunction with the Irish Writers Centre, and for MCC and LAByrinth (both New York) amongst others. He has previously been commissioned by Derry UK City of Culture and is currently under commission to the Abbey Theatre. Plays include: Bunny’s Vendetta (Blue Eagle Productions); Irish Blood, English Heart (Trafalgar Studios/Union Theatre); Tabloid Caligula (Arcola/59E59, NY – Brits Off-Broadway season); the Westminster prize-winning A Road In Winter (Soho Theatre/Dublin Fringe/Union/Flatlake Festival); the Verity Bargate-shortlisted The Flats (Chelsea Theatre); This Just In (Old Red Lion); The Derelicts (BAC); Charlatan (5065 Lift/Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh); Bag Of Monkeys (International Bar, Dublin). Tabloid Caligula and Irish Blood, English Heart are published by Oberon.

Lisa Tierney-Keogh was born in Dublin and recently returned home after ten years living in New York. Her plays have been performed in Dublin, New York, London, Belfast and Mexico City. Lisa’s latest play This Beautiful Village premiered on the Abbey Stage in September 2019. It will return to the Abbey in June 2020 before embarking on a national tour. Lisa’s critically acclaimed play Four Last Things has been translated and performed internationally, and will receive its US West coast premiere in 2019. Her work has received many public readings internationally. Lisa has won the Irish Times Theatre Awards Bursary and has been nominated for the Stewart Parker Trust Award, the BBC Tony Doyle Television Award, and the Dublin Fringe Festival Awards (Best New Play, Best Production, Judges’ Special Award for Four Last Things). She was a member of the inaugural New Playwrights Programme at the Abbey Theatre. Lisa was a core member of #WakingTheFeminists and is a co-founder of Irish Stand, a grassroots movement that supports and raises money for immigrants in vulnerable communities. In 2016, Lisa accepted the first International Lilly Award for #WakingTheFeminists at the annual Lilly Awards in New York. Lisa is co-host of the Irish Stand podcast with Senator Aodhán O’ Ríordáin. She has written for radio and print media and since 2017, she has been writing regularly for The Irish Times about living in the US and her return home to Ireland.