The COVID-19 public health crisis and a temporary reduction in personnel during the last several months has increased the time it’s taking us to respond to queries. We will return to full capacity shortly and will still respond to every script and idea we receive, but because of the challenges of the current environment and the multiplicity of projects we’re working on at the moment, there may be a delay in our reply. Please do still send your work to us and thank you for your patience.
You can submit work to us in two ways:
- With a finished script
- With an idea for a new piece of theatre
Chun an leathanach seo a léamh i nGaeilge, cliceáil anseo.
If you are a native ISL or BSL user or if you have additional needs that make it difficult to submit work to us, please contact us at email@example.com to discuss how we can help.
There are two reasons we read plays: to find work we might produce and to get to know writers that we can work with in the future. Most of the work we produce is from commission but we have produced scripts sent to us via our open submission system. Our focus is to engage with writers and theatre-makers who are Irish or resident in Ireland.
Reading and seeing your work gives us the opportunity to get to know which stories excite you, the form you want your ideas to take on stage and what you want to say about the world. The relationships we develop through reading or seeing work can lead to us commissioning a new piece of work in time, even if we don’t produce the first work you send. We read plays written in Irish or English about any subject; as Ireland’s National Theatre, we’re especially interested in work that speaks to this island right now (this doesn’t mean it has to be set here or in the present day).
If you would like us to come and see your produced play or rehearsed reading, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org telling us a bit about you, the play and its stage of development. As a small team, we can’t see everything, but we will come if we can.
What happens next?
The first read of any play sent to us is anonymous; we work closely with our panel of experienced theatre professionals to make sure plays are read for their potential and their theatricality. Reading anonymously at this stage means we get an honest assessment of both of these elements as well as the play’s suitability for the Abbey Theatre. After being read by a reader, every play is further considered within the department.
When we read plays we’ll consider, as part of its context, the general interest of the play in relation to the rest of our programming and how the play might develop from this draft; for this reason, it’s sensible to send us a draft that you’ve taken time to reflect on as we won’t be able to read the same play again.
If we decide not to produce your play, we will provide feedback and may point you in the direction of other opportunities either at the Abbey Theatre or elsewhere. Once read, we will send you a letter offering some feedback on your script. This can take us up to six months as we receive in excess of three hundred submissions a year and reply to them all.
If you have an idea which you can’t really send us as a finished script, you can still let us know about it. It might be a play you want to write that you want to research, a play without words, a piece of dance theatre, an event, a happening or an interdisciplinary work that would be difficult to get a sense of in a script alone. It could also be a proposal for a co-production. The process of submitting an idea is, on purpose, short; we want to get a sense of what excites you about the project and why you need our support to achieve it, rather than asking you to fill out a lengthy application. We will fully consider all of the material you send us to come to a decision.
Your proposed idea should answer these questions.
• What is it you want to make? (50 words max)
• What do you want to happen in the show? (500 words max)
• Why do you want to make it now? (100 words max about why this idea is urgent)
Your idea may be accompanied by links to video, audio, images, text or other supporting materials.
What happens next?
Once you have sent us an email, your idea will be logged. All of the material you send will be considered by the Abbey Theatre’s artistic team in one of our quarterly meetings. You will receive a response by email within six months of your submission.
These submission guidelines refer to both scripts and ideas.
• Your script or idea must be clearly typed and formatted; we cannot accept handwritten work or printed hard copies.
• Your script or idea should be proofread and sent in Word, PDF or other standard formats (such as JPG for photographs) as an attachment.
• Do not include your name or contact information on every page.
• In your email, tell us a little about yourself, your background and any experience you have (it’s fine if you have none!)
• Short, one act plays and adaptations are accepted but we cannot accept screenplays or novels in their original form.
• Please submit one script or idea at a time.
• Unfortunately we’re not able to re-consider an idea or script that has already been through the process.
To submit your script, please email email@example.com.
To submit your idea, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for sharing your work with us. We appreciate your time and creativity.
If you have any questions about the New Work department, please drop us a line at email@example.com.