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Abbey Theatre Announces Open Call For Commemorative Artist Bursaries


Applications open on Monday 23 November 2020.

Abbey Theatre Announces Open Call For Commemorative Artist Bursaries

Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, Directors of the Abbey Theatre, today announced a series of artist bursaries, which will allow 14 theatre-makers to develop new work relating to the Irish War of Independence and Civil War. These bursaries have been created to fund artists to spend time thinking, questioning and developing a piece of work provoked by this period of Ireland's history - artistically and culturally engaging with this period to create new pieces of theatre which also speak to now.

Graham McLaren and Neil Murray said: " We have created these bursaries to allow artists the space to explore and be inspired by those stories and figures from the War of Independence and Civil War period that have been sidelined by the dominant historical narrative, or those which remain underexplored on stage. This chimes with our ongoing aim to make the Abbey truly accessible and to give a voice to the voiceless. The bursaries acknowledge the debt we all owe to those voices in history who have been ignored or unheard. We are proud to announce that, with permission from their families, each bursary will be named for a person who, tragically, had their lives cut short at Croke Park on Bloody Sunday 1920."

Jane Boyle, James Burke, Daniel Carroll, Michael Feery, Tom Hogan, Michael Hogan, James Matthews, Patrick O'Dowd, Jerome O'Leary, William (Perry) Robinson, Thomas Ryan, John William (Billy) Scott, James Teehan and Joe Traynor went to a GAA match on 21st November 1920 and never returned home. The Abbey Theatre commemorative project 14 Voices from the Bloodied Field, which honours those who lost their lives in Croke Park, will be streamed from 7pm this evening and will remain online until 23.59pm on Sunday.

Continuing the exploration of this historic time in Ireland, there are eight proposed areas for artists to explore in their applications for these new bursaries:

  • The Burning of Cork, December 1920
  • Land and the Local in the War of Independence and Civil War
  • Cumann na mBan at War
  • Young people's role in the period 1919-23
  • The co-operative movement, creameries and the War of Independence
  • The destruction of Custom House, May 1921
  • Cultural Organisations, Cultural Resistance
  • Other Fronts: views of the conflict from a distance

Artists can also propose their own focus for exploration from this period of time (1919-1923).

The bursaries will each cover an artist's stipend of €7,000, a research budget of €1,000 and a €2,000 budget for development time on the first draft of a new piece of work. The successful artists will have support from the Abbey Theatre's New Work Department and wider artistic team as they develop this work.

At least two of the bursaries have been ring-fenced for work developed, intended to be presented in, or engaging on a fundamental level with the Irish Language. The closing date for applications is Friday 8th January 2021. Applications open on Monday 23 November 2020:

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