The New Work Department supports the Directors of the Abbey Theatre to develop, programme and deliver the artistic work of the theatre.

The Abbey Theatre produces its own work and plays, as well as showcasing world-class work by other theatre companies and artists. As part of our self-produced work, we commission and produce new plays as well as reviving plays from the canon. We get to know the work of writers we commission by reading and seeing their work; if you would like to send us a play, there is more information about our unsolicited script stream here.

We also get to know writers and theatre makers through attending work in venues and festivals across Ireland and internationally. If you would like to let us know about an upcoming production of your work and invite us to attend, please email

The Head of Producing, working closely with the Directors and CEOs, produces the shows that are performed both at the Abbey Theatre, on its Abbey and Peacock stages, as well as touring shows out of the Abbey. They also foster the relationships that lead to the co-production of work.

The Senior Producer, works closely with the Head of Producing in the effective delivery of the Abbey Theatre’s artistic vision by leading and providing producing support across all productions. They are a key member of the New Work Department and work with a range of theatre makers including, but not limited to, writers, directors, designers, actors and musicians.

The Producing Assistant works with the Head of Producing and Senior Producer, to provide producing & administrative support across all Abbey Productions, either in the building or on tour.

The Producers are responsible for new theatre work, touring work and the productions of existing plays.

The Casting Director is responsible for casting all in-house productions. This process can vary from show to show depending on cast sizes and the specific needs of each individual production.

The Dramaturg looks after the commissioning and artistic development of plays and productions at the Abbey Theatre, as well as projects and relationships with writers.

The New Work Assistant administratively supports all the work of the department.

A team of approximately ten freelance readers contribute to the New Work Department by reading unsolicited play submissions.

Associate Playwrights represent the interests of playwrights at the Abbey Theatre while also working on new plays for its Abbey and Peacock stages.

Who We Are 

Head of Producing 
Jen Coppinger

Senior Producer
Craig Flaherty

Assistant Producer
Clara Purcell

Casting Director
Sarah Jones

Acting Dramaturg
Jesse Weaver

New Work Associate
Rían Smith

New Work Assistant
Selina O’Reilly

Script Associate
Tanya Dean

To contact us, email

Our Work with Writers 

Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, the Abbey has worked with over 70 writers, often in new and unexpected ways. This included commissioning work from writers of diverse backgrounds and career stages for projects like Dear Ireland and Fourteen Voices from the Bloodied Field. We will continue to find imaginative ways to foster and support the work of writers in 2021. Keep an eye out for more details. Subscribe to our industry newsletter or follow us on social media to hear about these.

Associate Playwrights 

In 2019, we welcomed four new Associate Playwrights to the Abbey Theatre – Amy Conroy, Jimmy McAleavey, Darren Murphy and Lisa Tierney-Keogh – who have worked with us to represent the interests of playwrights and on new plays. You can read more about our Associate Playwrights here.

New Writing Programmes 

Abbey Begins is a series of workshops for anyone who is interested in pursuing playwriting and is eager to find out more about the challenge of writing a full-length play.

Over eight sessions, ten selected participants for this intake of Abbey Begins will have access to a smörgåsbord of techniques, exercises and relationships with other writers that will encourage and arm them with the tools they need to write their first full play.

Applications for Abbey Begins open on Wednesday, 30 June, 2021, and will close Friday, 23 July, 2021.

Find out more here.

We will announce more new writing programmes for 2021 soon. Subscribe to our industry newsletter or follow us on social media to hear about these.

Scripts & Ideas 

You can submit work to us in two ways: with a finished script or with an idea (a new piece of theatre, a proposal for a co-production, a piece of dance theatre…)

Visit our Scripts & Ideas page for more information on our submission processes.


The Casting Director is responsible for casting all in-house productions. The process varies from show to show depending on cast sizes.

If you would like to submit a CV and headshot for an upcoming production, please send them to You can also send any show invites to this address. The Casting Director is committed to seeing as many shows as possible.

Open Auditions are run periodically throughout the year. Subscribe to our industry newsletter or follow us on social media for updates and application details.