Scripts & Ideas
Thanks for paying us a visit. We’re glad you’re here.
Our submission window is currently open.
After examining different submission processes and models, we have decided to introduce a nine-month submission window for scripts and ideas. This will run from 1 February 2023 to 31 October 2023. We have implemented this approach to provide more scope and opportunity to consider the work that writers and artists share with us.
Below you will find out more about:
- Sending us a script
- Sending us an idea
- Our submission guidelines
- Where you can submit your work
- What happens after your work is received
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.
Sending Us Your Script
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. We read plays written 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).
While most of the work we produce is from commission, we have produced scripts sent to us via our open submission system. Also, 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.
What happens after you submit your script?
Once submitted, each play is read by our panel of experienced theatre professionals. For this first read, each play is read anonymously, meaning we get an honest assessment of the play’s potential and theatricality, as well as the play’s suitability for the Abbey Theatre.
After being read by a member of our panel, every play is further considered within the department. 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 send you a letter offering some feedback on your script, and may point you in the direction of other opportunities either at the Abbey Theatre or elsewhere. This can take us up to six months as we receive in excess of three hundred submissions a year and reply to them all.
Sending Us Your Idea
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. 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)
- How do you want to make the show? (100 words max about the ways you might go about making the work)
- 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, extracts of text or other supporting materials.
What happens after you submit your idea?
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. Please have a careful read of them before you consider sending in your work.
- If you submitted your play or idea between 1st November 2022 and 31st January 2023, we ask you to re-submit your work on or after 1st February 2023, as no scripts will be accepted during this time.
- As Ireland’s National Theatre, our commitment is to reading scripts and ideas by writers and artists resident on the island of Ireland, or Irish writers and artists who might live abroad. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to read work that does not match this description.
- When you send in your submission, tell us in your email a little about yourself, why you feel your play or idea would be a good fit for the Abbey, and any experience you have (it’s fine if you have none!).
- We do accept short plays, musicals, and adaptations, but we are not in the position to read work in or intended for mediums other than live theatre. Novels, short stories, screenplays, audio plays, and teleplays will not be read.
- We can only accept plays or ideas written in Irish or English.
- For scripts, we only accept completed plays. Extracts will not be read.
- Unfortunately, we’re not able to re-consider an idea or script that has already been through the process.
- Your script or idea must be clearly typed and formatted; we cannot accept handwritten work or printed hard copies.
- Your script or idea must be 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 the script document.
- We only accept one script or idea at a time.
Where to Send Your Script or Idea
Before submitting, make sure you have read the submission guidelines in full.
To submit your script, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To submit your idea, please email email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like us to come and see your produced play or rehearsed reading, write to us at email@example.com 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.