30 plays chosen to move to next stage of A Play For Ireland process

Project seeks subjects that ‘capture the zeitgeist’ of the country

Theatre company Fishamble has announced the 30 projects selected to move to the next stage of its project, A Play For Ireland. The two-year process aims to encourage the citizens of Ireland, and non-Irish citizens living on the island of Ireland, to write plays, engaging people aged 18 and over from all communities, throughout the country.

The initiative will mentor playwrights throughout the island of Ireland, and result in the production of a very special new play.

Fishamble is seeking to find “one, big, ambitious play, that bursts with humanity and tackles a subject about which the playwright feels passionate... that captures the zeitgeist of the country, that demands to be produced.”

The 30 chosen projects include stories on political change and tension, rural communities, gap years, tourism and heritage, relationships with history, facing adulthood, Storm Ophelia, DNA testing, drunken walks home, the changing workplace and relationships within it, adoption and foster care, family crisis, alcoholic parents, health care reform, nursing homes, small business owners, humanity and community, Irish independence, republicanism and nationalism, the Irish language, rap music, donut chains, government departments, eviction, the concept of home, prophecy, broken hearts, and theatre.


A Play For Ireland is run in partnership with six venues across the country, in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast. Five projects will be chosen to take part in the initiative in each venue, making a total of 30 plays, to mark Fishamble's 30th birthday this year.

The writers of the 30 chosen plays (33 playwrights involved) were announced on Thursday, five per venue, are:


Mike Finn

Joanne Ryan

Ann Blake

Michael Hilliard Mulcahy

Brendan Griffin

DRAÍOCHT, Blanchardstown

Ian Toner

Alice Murphy

Barry McStay

Jeda De Brí & Finbarr Doyle

Caitríona Daly


Noelle Brown & Karen Cogan

Bridgid Galvin

John Doran

Margaret McAuliffe

Lisa Carroll


Michael Patrick & Oisín Kearney

Shannon Yee

Vittoria Cafolla

Seamus Collins

Clare McMahon


David Horan

Shay Linehan

Jody O’Neill

Lee Stafford

Ciara Elizabeth Smyth


Marina Ní Dhubháin

Neasa O’Callaghan

Hugh Travers

Janet Moran

Fionn Foley

The playwrights will gather for the first workshop in Dublin on Saturday, April 28th. They will take part in four workshops in their respective venues, with one-on-one workshops at the end of the year for final notes on their draft script. Six projects will then go through to Phase 2 in 2019.

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan is an Irish Times writer and Duty Editor. He also presents the weekly Inside Politics podcast