Lyric Announces 2018 New Playwrights Programme

The Lyric Theatre’s mission is to produce high-quality professional theatre that is alive to our complex cultural experience, and to use the power of live theatre to empower, inspire, engage and educate. We’re always on the lookout for exciting new work to produce, and we’re passionate about supporting and developing emerging talent.

In Spring 2017, the Lyric launched its inaugural New Playwrights Programme.  Over 70 submissions were received, out of which four writers – Andy Doherty, Erica Murray, Seamus Collins & Vittoria Cafolla – were selected to take part in the programme, developing new work with the support of the Lyric’s Literary Manager Rebecca Mairs.  The six month programme culminated in a showcase with professional 11 actors, enabling audiences to see their new work for the first time.  In addition, two of the playwrights were selected to showcase their work in New York in January 2018.


Writers participating in our 2017 programme commented:

Vittoria Cafolla

“The New Playwrights Programme was a great experience. Not only because we had exposure to great theatre -makers, but also because with Rebecca, you knew your script was in good hands. She was excellent at providing support, great advice and best of all, skilfully guided me towards making my play the best that it could be for the reading.”

Seamus Collins

“Being part of the Lyric’s New Playwrights Programme not only gave me the chance to meet and learn from some of the best writers, directors and producers working in theatre, it also gave me the opportunity to develop my craft in a more practical sense. Developing the play over a series of drafts with Rebecca and having it staged in the Naughton by a great team was one of the most valuable and rewarding writing experiences I’ve ever had. I now write with more confidence and belief as a result.”

Andy Doherty

“Fantastic opportunity to learn and develop your skills headed by an exceptional curator.”

Erica Murray

“The New Playwrights Programme felt like the ideal next step for me in my writing career and working closely with the Lyric has made me feel much more confident about my writing.  Having the resources the Lyric provided us with; professional actors to read your first draft, guidance from sought after directors and the endless support of Rebecca Mairs was invaluable in the process of writing this play. I wouldn’t have the script I am so proud of now without the Lyric’s guidance and dedication.”


Now as part of our 50th celebrations and building on the success of last year’s inaugural programme, we’re accepting script submissions for our New Playwrights Programme 2018.  Aimed at new and emerging playwrights, this six month programme will provide intensive, hands-on development support for four writers, with an opportunity to showcase new work in the Naughton Studio in October 2018 as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival, showcasing four of the most exciting new voices in Irish theatre.

To find out more about New Writing at the Lyric click here.

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