Yearly Archive 2022

ByIDGTF

2023 Production Bursary Scheme Launched

IDGTF are excited to announce the opening of our 2023 Production Bursary Scheme.  The deadline for submissions is October 1st 2022.

This Bursary opportunity, enabled by the Department of Arts new funding, invites applications from professional production companies to stage works in our 20th Festival.

Full details are available here: IDGTF Bursary Scheme

 

Supported by:

ByIDGTF

Paid Work Opportunities with IDGTF

We are delighted to announce some paid work opportunities to strengthen our infrastructure thanks to the Minister’s support.

In order to apply for these projects, you will need (1) an up to date tax clearance certificate and (2) can complete the task by October 20th 2022.
Apply now (or further details) in confidence to info@gaytheatre.ie

1. Marketing and Design Opportunity
We are seeking professional support to refresh our inclusive image for our 20th anniversary in 2023! We are in need of a graphic designer to design advertisements for placement in international publications this autumn. This new fresh and inclusive design will also be replicated in advertisements for our 20th anniversary year in publications, on Dublin Bus and on our website. How and where do we strategically advertise to engage new audiences?

2. Public Relations and Marketing Strategy
How do we expand our audience in 2023? How do we get people to see a unique festival of LGBT+ theatre as being of interest to them at home and abroad? How do we sharpen our message and reach out to welcome more allies in our theatre? The Festival, armed with information from our audience response forms and academic study, needs a marketing and public relations strategy to embrace new artists, audience and partners to raise the awareness, profile and participation in our unique events as it celebrates its 20th anniversary next May.

3. Website Development Opportunity.
We need to get our website to work harder. We want to develop it as a news and research resource for LGBT+ theatre and artists worldwide. We have lots of information and theatre reviews to upload and we want to establish a virtual ‘Roll of Honour’ for writers, artists and practitioners worldwide who contribute or have contributed to the development of ‘gay’ theatre at home and abroad in this 20th anniversary celebratory year? We need to maximise its potential as our virtual box-office and to link this with our social media work.
Have you any other ideas? We also want to hear these.

Contact us for more information: info@gaytheatre.ie

ByIDGTF

IDGTF ‘A Great Success’ – Minister Catherine Martin TD Announces Grant

Brilliant News: Minister Martin announces funding for the IDGTF

Minister Catherine Martin TD announced ‘the approval of a special support allocation of €23,000 towards the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (IDGTF) on June 23rd. This will help strengthen the organisational capabilities of the project, help in promoting the Festival internationally and enhance overall programming, booking and commissioning for future years‘.

Minister Martin said: “The IDGTF has been a great success over many years. This has been achieved through community effort. The commitment and support from performers, producers, venue operators, and a range of service providers has also been of utmost importance in providing artwork, printing and production skills. I am pleased to assist the organisers in securing a bright future and enabling them to take the necessary steps to grow and engage a wider audience in the years ahead“.

 

IDGTF Founder and Artistic Director, Brian Merriman, said:
“The Minister’s significant and fulsome endorsement is a vital shot in the arm for the incredible voluntary work that has created and sustained our first two decades of unique identity theatre. After a very difficult period to keep our inclusive LGBT+ theatre viable, this crucial level of support will greatly assist us in reaching our 20th anniversary in 2023.
It will finally allow us to develop and innovate and hopefully will encourage more private sponsorship, so that this unique theatre event can reach its full potential.

In addition to our exciting, curated programme, we will now share this vital support with artistic partners through a new production Bursary opportunity. An Irish and international panel of qualified assessors will select three successful Bursary applicants for an additional direct financial support to bring their work ‘from page to stage’ in our 2023 Festival programme. Thanks to this affirming support by the Minister and her Department today, we can finally look forward to our next decade of enabling writers and artists to have their LGBT+ stories seen and heard by all in Dublin next May”.

“The goal is to assist the IDGTF to become a stronger platform for their future programmes, providing opportunities for writers, performers and all those involved in theatrical production. The Festival intends to re-establish its international connections and networking in the aftermath of COVID, to strengthen marketing and advertising strategies to engage wider audiences and to enhance visibility online with information about programmes and activities.”


Please give your support for this great support by sending a message to the Department via
Twitter: @DeptCultureIrl,
Facebook: Department of Tourism Culture Arts Gaeltacht Sport and Media.
Instagram: Tourism.Culture.Gaeltacht

ByIDGTF

2022 Award Winners Announced

Our Gala Awards Night took place on May 15th 2022 in the Teacher’s Club Main Hall.
Here are the nominees and winners of our 2022 Awards, celebrating excellence in LGBTQ+ theatre.

We would like to congratulate all nominees, award-winners and all of our participants who took part in Festival 2022.

Oscar Wilde Award Best Writing
Nominations: ‘Curiosity’ by Amanda Brunker IRL
‘Babies and Bathwater‘ by Amy Garner Buchanan AUS
‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ by James Hindman USA
‘The Silver Bell’ by Alan Flanagan IRL
Winner: Natalie Meisner for ‘Legislating Love’ CAN

Amy Dalton Award for Best Volunteer
Winner: David Eden, volunteer, CAN

Eva Gore Booth Award for Best performance in a Female identifying role
Nominations: Alix Bailey in ‘Who Pays The Bill?’ IRL
Amy Garner Buchanan in ‘Babies and Bathwater’ AUS
Joanne Callum Powers in ‘Miss Delta Township’ USA
Rachel Fayne, ‘Suzanne’, ‘The Death of Me’ IRL
Winner: Sorcha Furlong as ‘Martha’ in ‘Curiosity’ IRL

Micheál Mac Liammóir Award for Best performance in a male identifying role
Nominations: Les Kurkendall Barrett, ‘The Real Black Swann’ USA
James Hindman in ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ USA
Joe Mac Dougall, various ‘Quickies from Provincetown’ USA
Jordan Payne Rhu in ‘333’ CAN
Winner: Brendan O’Rourke and Alan Flanagan, ‘The Silver Bell’ IRL/UK

Hilton Edwards Award for Best Aspect of Production
Nominations: ‘Miss Delta Township’ use of soundtrack USA
Gilly Pardy, Lighting ‘The Silver Bell’ IRL/UK
‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ – production values USA
‘Quickies from Provincetown’ Production values USA
Winner: Production, Performance, Lighting and Design ‘The Death of Me’ IRL

Sean Meehan Award for Identity Theatre
Nominations: Amanda Brunker bisexuality in ‘Curiosity’
Les Kurkendall Barrett race ‘The Real Black Swann’
Theatre Outre – lgbt history in ‘333’
Wallace Norman ‘Brother’s Keeper’ voice for the abused
Aerach Aiteach Gaelach LGBT+ themes in Irish language
Winner: Amy Garner Buchanan ‘Babies and Bathwater’ religion, patriarchy and control.

Patrick Murray Award for Best Contribution to Irish LGBT+ Theatre
Winner: ‘Street 66’ hosting, box-office facilities and always saying ‘yes’ to us! IRL

The Doric Wilson Award for Intercultural Dialogue
Nominations: Amanda Brunker ‘Curiosity’, female sexuality IRL
Lynda Sturner, ‘Look What You Made Me Do?’ Quickies from Provinceton, female domestic abuse USA
Alan Flanagan ‘The Silver Bell’, themes of loss IRL/UK
Wallace Norman, ‘Brother’s Keeper’, religious abuse USA
Winner: Les Kurkendall-Barrett – ‘The Real Black Swann’ racial histories USA

Congratulations all! And a big thank you to all of our 2022 participants.

ByIDGTF

2022 REVIEW: MISS DELTA TOWNSHIP

Written and performed by Joanne Powers
Review by Kerric Harvey

From a shocking opening that grabs both your attention and your nervous system from the moment the stage lights come up, “Miss Delta Township” locks on and never lets go, kicking off in the 1960’s and then moving at warp speed through several decades of life and longing in a “typical” suburban American family . Except that this family, as it turns out, is anything but typical, although there are times during the show that ring eerie bells for almost anyone who came of age in that awkward and often cruelly conventional era.
Joanne Powers’ exuberantly creative and energetically delivered performance is, fundamentally, a romp through childhood trauma and the special people who bring it to you. It’s funny, fast moving, articulate, incisive, and over-the-top in the best way possible. Peppered with apt cultural references that lend a good dose of political subtext to the non-stop comedic action, there’s not a wasted word in this tightly woven collection of scenes from the author’s life. Unlike many “rememberies” pieces, however, there’s not a shred of insularity or self-absorption in Powers’ long solo show.

On the contrary, “Miss Delta Township” exudes such an exquisite sense of shared humanity, both the enormous strength and the shattering frailties of this Earth-bound journey, that it invites audience self-reflection even at some of its funniest moments. Humour disarms the ego, and Powers makes brilliant use of that principle as she shepherds us through her wince-worthy childhood and adolescence into an even darker adulthood.

Stuffed with emotional misery wrapped in belly laughter, this feels like a longer one-act than the 70 minutes it occupies on the clock. In fact, I wonder if it might be even better as a two-act play, still short, but with enough breathing space for the two sets of narrative material – childhood and grown-up years – to settle more fully into their respective story arcs. Then, too, the sheer amount of stamina it must take for the actor to maintain the play’s rolling boil is staggering. One act or two, however, “Miss Delta Township” is also a pitch-perfect showcase for Powers, whose wide range of performance talent is both elastic and impressive. She dances, she marches, she prays; she performs classical theatre as an adjunct to high drag. And we are all the better for it.
Most of all, she transforms everyday household objects into the stuff of imagined Hollywood glamour, and mundane places like grocery stores into high drama performance venues. In doing so, she raises oddly-shaped but nonetheless critical questions about cruelty and love, disappointment and hope, illusion and reality, compassion, hypocrisy, and unexpected grace. And she keeps you laughing, all the way through.

“Miss Delta Township” may sound like a narrated tour through someone else’s family photo album, but it’s really a poignant and vivid reminder of the connectedness of all things, and the impossible paradox of being yourself in the noisy company of those who love you. See it. You won’t be sorry.

ByIDGTF

2022 REVIEW: THE REAL BLACK SWANN

Written and performed by Les Kurdendall
Review by Kerric Harvey

It’s not easy, being Queen.
It’s especially not easy if you’re a gay, Black, male born into slavery in the 19th century American South.
And if you like to give parties for everyone you can find who might be, well, more than a little bit like you, life actually becomes quite difficult. Downright dangerous, really, because those “parties” are really nothing less than political actions, even if the people attending them are extraordinarily well dressed. And you, yourself, become a living, breathing, walking threat to the status quo, just by being yourself. And that can get you killed. Certainly, it can get you jailed.
Over, and over, and over again.
But it cannot stop you, if you have decided to be unstoppable. A lesson from the 1800’s, as relevant and as needful today as it ever was, then…especially if you’re a Black, gay male, born into the 21st century’s lingering and lethal systematic racism.
This is the deftly told story of William Dorsey Swann, also known as “The Queen,” who presided over Washington, D.C.’s gay “party scene” in the aftermath of the Civil War. By creating a space in which gender fluidity could be expressed and explored in a period when most forms of sexual variety were against one law or another, Swann also became a role model, an inspiration, and quite possibly the first American gay activist of record for LGBTQ+ people of all races and varieties during a time of turbulent social transition in the nation’s capital. It is also the story of the writer/performer’s personal and political unfolding, based on some remarkable experiences during an unexpected surgical procedure.

It’s not easy being Queen, and it’s not easy telling the Queen’s story in a 60-minute one-person show, either. A play this ambitious could easily slide into glib superficiality on the one hand, or pedanticism, on the other. But, instead, Kurdendall has created an engaging, approachable, forceful and fascinating tale that feels intimate while still addressing epic historical events and illustrating their relevance for social justice movements today. “The Real Black Swann” is that rarest of all things: A history lesson that feels like it actually happened to real human beings, superbly wrought into a story that makes us realize that “history” just means “today,” only earlier.
It’s the storytelling that’s the dominant gene in this potent and important mix, which is exactly as it should be. Kurdendall’s work has a defined and robust dramatic arc, in which he coaxes both of his characters (the contemporary “him” and the Queen as encountered in a time-travelling, drug-induced form) through a classic three-act structure in such an artful fashion that the structure itself becomes invisible.
But it’s there, guiding the characters through their respective hero’s journeys, and bringing us, the audience, along with them so that we leave the theatre as slightly different people than when we entered it. Along the way, we revisit some of the racial tragedies – and outrages – of our own time, as well as getting an introduction to antebellum pioneers in the gay rights movement — who would have been shocked to hear themselves described as such.

They were just trying to live their lives, as authentically as they could. They were just trying to live, period, to survive the hate that so often flared into physical violence.
Over and over and over again.

Which brings us back to the dramatic brilliance and the social urgency of Kurdendall’s play.
Partly an express lane education in several hundred years of gay activism, partly a re-exploration of contemporary racial violence in today’s United States, partly an exuberant homage to the narrative tradition of snapshot visits to life’s unexpectedly pivotal moments, reminiscent of “A Christmas Carol,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “The Wizard of Oz,” but most of all, a rattling good story, “The Real Black Swann” is a real gem.

Urgent, important, innovative, engaging, and superbly executed by an able and talented artist. Everybody should see it.  I hope to see it again.

ByIDGTF

FESTIVAL REVIEW: TAKE DESIRE AWAY

Take Desire Away,
Venue: Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street Dublin 2.
Time: 7.30pm and Saturday matinee up to May 7th.

AE Housman’s ‘The Shropshire Lad’ emotes in ‘Is My Team Ploughing?’ (a poem set to music by George Butterworth and Vaughan Williams), “Is my friend hearty, Now I am thin and pine, And has he found to sleep in, A better bed than mine?” This was published in 1896 – a year after the sensational scandal of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. How brave. How courageous. How honest.

‘Pride Poets’ would do well to hear his words in the modern era in ‘Take Desire Away’. Mansel David (Yes, Minister etc) digs deep into the gentle texts of Housman’s prose and poetry to illuminate what he could and couldn’t say in more hostile times. Imagine a poet and writer being silenced by society who were only willing to publish, read and hear what they predetermined to be ‘acceptable’?
To navigate such censorship with truth is a rare thing indeed and Housman did what all writers must do…tell their own truth.

David’s diction and delivery is reminiscent of those hushed times. It is full of respect. He is ‘careful’ as was required by those times and yet he finds the honesty and integrity of what the writer was brave enough to hint at, validate and imply in wider society, where ruin awaited any openly, or detected gay person.
Housman’s writing and David’s collation of this material shows an admirable grasp of Housman’s literary constraints which dogged many a gay contemporary in his life and times. David’s calm delivery is intelligent and authentic.

We all stand on braver shoulders today. It is good when we are reminded of that and this is good theatre. This was the time of ‘the love that dare not speak it’s name’ and Housman and now David continue to speak truthfully and eloquently. A lovely night of quality theatre and warm remembrance.

ByIDGTF

2022 REVIEW: STRAIGHT ACTING

Written by Brian Merriman
Starring Colin Malone and Jeremie Cyr-Cooke
Review by Kerric Harvey

 

Veteran playwright Brian Merriman has done it again.

 

His new one act, “Straight Acting,” is thoughtful, engaging, articulate, funny, and exquisitely well-crafted in the tradition of “situational comic drama,” which brings to mind “comedies of manners” like “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Pygmalion,” and quite possibly the entire first season of “Downton Abbey” if you don’t take all the bed-hopping and the clothes-changing too seriously. Underscoring the humour in the “situational” genres, however, lurks vast opportunity for mounting challenges to the social status quo that produced those “situations” in the first place, with the concomitant invitation for the author to make a fair bit of serious political commentary.
Merriman’s new work, while deeply entertaining, takes every single advantage of every single one of those subtle and sometimes subterranean opportunities to gleefully disrupt the heteronormative narrative of what it means to be “a man” in today’s society, breaking open gender stereotypes on both sides of the gay/straight divide…which, as it turns out, is not such a wide chasm, after all.
Merriman’s classical education in dramatic structure is a sometimes surprising ally in achieving this mental upheaval. “Situational comedic drama” depends on devising plausible plot developments in unexpected ways and places for a set of fundamentally contrasting characters – it rests of the writer’s ability to being able to make improbable events seem not just possible, but actually inevitable. A kind of carefully choreographed free-fall lands people who have no business being in the same room together into an enforced proximity, which is when the fun really starts….

 

…and “Straight Acting” is fun, make no mistake. It’s cast perfectly, with two superb actors who rise to the challenge of playing two actors easily and gracefully. Strong performances by both Malone and Cyr-Cooke make the core and crucial implausibility of the epically awkward situation in which their characters find themselves not just “believable,” but empathetic in a way that has the audience rooting for both of them. Deft directing and the simple, yet evocative set, lighting, and audio design complete the sense of storytelling satisfaction this play promises, and then delivers in spades, leaving the opening night audience applauding wildly and this reviewer realizing that I didn’t have any notes to work from because I literally could not tear my eyes away from the stage long enough to write them.
Complementing “Straight Acting’s” stylistic romp, however, is that underground river of social commentary, pushing for change in cultural constructions of masculinity, which bubbles up and across the surface of the narrative action at key moments. As the two characters struggle and lurch and grope (occasionally literally) towards their common goal, approaching it from what seems like the opposite ends of the Earth, each of their separate odysseys provokes different questions about love and friendship, sex and intimacy, achievement and ambition, desire and solitude. And, yes, about women, too. This is a play for men of all intimate preferences; it’s about recognizing the community of emotional resources that are theoretically available to all, but which men, as Merriman’s actors explore, so often deny themselves.

 

To the detriment of all, this play reminds us, including the women in men’s lives, no matter what role they may occupy. This a play for everyone, not just for men, although clearly that is the main focus. No matter what your orientation, see this play and bring friends who may not share it. It’ll make for a great conversation at the after-party…and food for thought, for a very long time.

 

Merriman set out to write a true comedy, in the style of high and intelligent social farce, and he did. “Straight Acting” is 50 minutes of sheer delight.   But it’s also an incisive and eloquent statement about “what could be,” for his characters, and for us all.
ByIDGTF

REVIEW 2022: HALF OF NOTHING and PORN

‘Half of Nothing’ and ‘Porn’, at Pennylane Bar, free play reading May 1st.
Ella Skolimowski is a Playwright worth watching. She likes to turn things on their head which makes us re-examine our norms and notions of ‘logic’. We were told in the introduction that she won the ‘Amy Dalton Bursary ‘ organised by the Gay Theatre Festival during lockdown and that the play reading was often the penultimate step before a full production.

Half of Nothing‘ should be produced. We found ourselves in 2067, not sure where but mono-sexuality no longer exists. Ever human has both male and female sexual organs and hence are self sufficient. Their is no patriarchy in relationships, because there are no longer traditional roles to be fulfilled, especially around childbirth and rearing that long economically disadvantaged women in existing societies. A dilemma arises when a person faces inevitable duosexial puberty rebels and wants a single mono sexual identity instead. The impact on self, family and a insistent society are stories long known to our Trans family. Skolimowski is a political writer, gender politics, social norms, insisted identity, all end up on their heads. Yet her characters still face the dilemma of a (new) society that still imposes gender identity and norms. This lense of opposites is used in lgbt+ writing and her treatment is fresh and revealing. Her talented cast read well and the audience response in discussion must encourage her to complete this challenging plot.

Porn is her short play that reached the ‘Scene and Heard’ stage earlier this year. This was a great opportunity to hear the text of a play that unravels our relationship with porn, from soft to hardcore, from spectator to participant, entrapped or age exploited. Her treatment and the reading of the underage role was particularly effective. Skolimowski doesn’t pull her punches. She shines a light on behaviour and issues that exist…the reason they aren’t acknowledged more in society as real debate is often drowned out by ‘moral outrage’. Theatre at least silences that so we can all listen. The audience in Pennylane did listen and learned from the fearless pen of Ella Skolimowski and we can look forward to a lot more challenging theatre in her future. What a great festival opener and it augurs well for the rest of the diverse programme.

ByIDGTF

Venue Tickets: See More For Less!

Save €5 on evening tickets by booking a Venue Ticket.  This allows you to see both shows in the same venue on the same evening.

How does it work?

  • Go to “Book Now” as normal
  • On the booking page you will see a link at the end of the page
  • Or simply click here

then:

  • You will be able to see both shows in the venue on a given evening for €25 (instead of the regular price of €30)

Note: this offer is online only.

ByIDGTF

Festival 2022 Launched In Style!

A large crowd of old friends and new attended our 19th Festival launch by Labour Senator Annie Hoey in Street 66 on Monday April 11th. A theatre graduate and bisexual member of the Oireachtas, Senator Hoey remarked that she was the first bisexual to launch the programme. In a speech full of validation for LGBT identity in the artform she committed to fully supporting the Festival in its search for funding and promised to attend as many plays as she could.  Our Full Programme is available on www.gaytheatre.ie

The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival returns to the stage (and bars) for its 19th year in Dublin from May 2-15. After an online festival last year, and Covid cancellation in 2020, we replaced live theatre by two Bursary opportunities and we published two new books of Irish LGBTQIA plays in 2020 and 2021. 27 new LGBT+ plays return to live theatre and free events in LGBT friendly venues and bars for two weeks in May.

“It is great to be back! Covid has badly hit theatre and especially the younger generation of artists deprived of opportunities to perform for over two years. The 19th Festival continues our mission of premiering new and inclusive LGBTQIA+ stories on stage for all Irish and International audiences. We are voluntary led and every cent we earn is ploughed into artists, writer, and practical supports for their theatre productions while celebrating our arts identity” said Festival Founder Brian Merriman at the launch.

“Senator Hoey raised our predicament in Seanad Eireann when she learned that during Covid, the Arts Council, awash with money, decided to first cut our small grant by 50% (which we were dispersing to (unemployed) artists in 2020 and 2021. Despite that, our friends rallied. We created two bursary opportunities with cash awards, which inspired 65 new Irish LGBT+ plays to be written during lockdown. We published the best of them in two new books (‘The Plays Inside’ and ‘18 & Coming of Age – The Director’s Cut’) over the two lockdown years. We then did our first ever digital Festival of 12 plays in conjunction with Dublin LGTB+ Pride, creating employment for Covid isolated artists.”

He added.

“The cash rich Arts Council decided to cut our grant altogether, in this year of recovery, completely denying us any funds for LGBT+ Theatre and artists. This singling out of LGBT artists and punishing them at a time of recovery is indefensible. All Festival personnel donate their time to this artform, so it is only recovering artists and their theatre who suffer this brutal cut. Such unusual and unwelcome treatment is unchallengeable in their limited appeals process. But the best answer we can give to that ‘special treatment’ is not only to survive, but to continue to create theatre opportunities for Irish LGBT+ artists and allies and to welcome international friends to the Capital of Gay Theatre – Dublin!” continued Brian Merriman.

 

    

ByIDGTF

The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is back LIVE May 1-15 2022

PRESS RELEASE
27 Irish and international new plays and events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Brian Merriman pr@gaytheatre.ie

DUBLIN—The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival returns to the stage (and bar) for its 19th year in Dublin from May 2-15. This follows an online festival in 2021 and cancellation in 2020, replaced by two Bursary opportunities and two new books of Irish LGBTQ+ plays.

“It is great to be back! Covid has badly hit the younger generation of artists deprived of opportunities to perform for over two years. The 19th Festival continues our mission of premiering new and inclusive LGBTQ+ stories on stage for Irish and International audiences. We are voluntary led and every cent we earn is ploughed into artist fees, supports for their theatre productions and celebrating our arts identity”, said Festival Founder Brian Merriman at a launch in Street 66, at 6pm on Monday April 11th by Senator Annie Hoey.

“Senator Hoey raised our predicament in Seanad Eireann when she learned that during Covid, the Arts Council, awash with money, decided to first cut our small grants by 50% (which we were dispersing to artists, unemployed due to Covid). Despite that, our friends rallied. We created two bursary opportunities with cash awards, which inspired 65 new Irish LGBTQ+ plays. We published the best of them in two new books and then did our first ever digital festival of 12 plays in conjunction with Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride, creating employment for isolated artists.”

He added:
“The cash rich Council decided to cut our grant in this year of recovery completely, denying us any funds for LGBTQ+ Theatre. This is singling out LGBTQ+ artists and punishing them at a time of recovery, as all Festival personnel donate their time to this artform. Such unusual and unwelcome treatment is unappealable in their limited, self determined, appeals’ process. But the best answer we can give to that ‘special treatment’ is not only to survive, but to continue to create theatre opportunities for Irish LGBTQ+ artists and allies and to welcome international friends to the Capital of Gay Theatre – Dublin! We are truly inspired by the productions and the generosity of friends who value the unique service we provide to an incusive arts community and audience”.

This year’s festival offers a total of 23 productions, 4 free readings and other events in venues throughout Central Dublin, including The Teacher’s Club, Players Theatre Trinity, The Ireland Institute/The Pearse Centre, Street 66 bar, and Pennylane Bar.

Patrons can see two shows per night (four on matinee days!) with different programmes the first and second weeks.

The 2022 Programme

The Festival leads off on May 1 with a free reading of two one-act plays, “Half of Nothing” and “Porn!” by Irish playwright Ella Skolimowski at Pennylane Bar.

The rest of the week includes an exciting first for the fest: “Oíche Léite Drámaí (Scratch Night)” a free presentation of five Irish-language short plays from the queer Irish-language arts collective AerachAiteachGaelach, at Players Theatre, Trinity College on May 7 at 16:00.

Award winning writer, Amanda Brunker makes her Festival debut with “Curiousity” a sexually-fluid story starring Fair City’s Sorcha Furlong and Annete Flynn in Players Theatre. This is coupled with an Irish/Australian double bill from young women writers “Trolley’d/Who Pays the Bill and Baby and the Bathwater”.

Two Irish one-act plays, “Quarantine”, written and directed by Brian Quinn, and “Three Queens Stuck in Dublin City” by Tadgh Dolan are presented as a double-bill at The Teachers Club.

“Who’ll be the Mammy?” written and directed by Blue Heart Theatre Company’s Brian Higgins (IDGTF Best Actor, 2015) is about a married couple deciding whether they want to be two Daddies. It runs at the Ireland Institute/The Pearse Centre.
Brian Merriman’s “Straight Acting,” a comic drama runs from May 2-7 at The Teacher’s Club Studio, starring Dane O’Sullivan and Colin Malone. Do you have to be gay to play gay?

American Les Kurkendall returns to the festival with a “The Real Black Swann: Confessions of America’s First Black Drag Queen” at the mainstage of The Teacher’s Club. The play tells the true story of William Dorsey Swann, a former slave who became Queen of Drag in Washington DC in the late 1800s.

Joanne Callum Powers comes to Dublin from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her solo show “Miss Delta Township,” which will run at The Teachers Club Studio.

SQUAD Productions, “a socially conscious theatre company” from Ireland will present a free staged reading of their work-in-progress “Shame is the Name of the Game,” by Robert Downes at Street 66 bar on May 8.
Take Desire Away the award winning story of the writings of A.E. Housman stars Mansel David in The Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street.

In Week 2, the entire programme changes. Tony Award-winning producer Adam Weinstock returns with ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ about an awakening after a near death experience.

Canada’s award-winning Theatre Outre, returns to Dublin to present “333” by Jay Whitehead, a play about the 1981 raids on several bathhouses in Toronto at Players Theatre at Trinity College.

The Covid pandemic has inspired LGBTQ+ playwrights to write about the forgotten pandemic of the 1980s. Quilt (with a G in the middle) tells the stories of AIDS in Ireland and abroad using true testimony at the Teacher’s Club. Audience members are welcome to have the name of any loved one lost to AIDS remembered on stage, by giving their name to the cast before each performance.

Acting Out, Dublin’s LGBTQ+ community drama group brings “The Death of Me” to The Ireland Institute, a new play featuring Rachel Fayne, written by Sean Denyer, who penned festival favourites “The Decriminalisation Monologues” and “The Ref.”

Another long-time festival participant, Provincetown Dramatic Arts from Massachusetts, brings four short plays, “Quickies” to the Teachers Club. Their LGBTQ+ short play menu includes “Madame Executrix” by Doug Asher-Best, “Look What You Made Me Do” by award-winning playwright/actor Lynda Sturner, “The Black Eye” by Jim Dalglish and “Pulse” by Margaret van Sant.

Wallace Norman, artistic director of the Woodstock (NY) Fringe, brings his solo show, “Brother’s Keeper”, which he wrote and performs to The Ireland Institute. Wallace’s play is about the growing up and coming out of a Catholic boy who has a “special interest” taken in him by a priest.

Theatre Outre joins with Route One Productions to bring “Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story” by Natalie Meisner to Players Theatre. Everett Klipper was the last person to be tried, convicted and jailed for homosexuality in Canada before it was decriminalised. The play features Kathy Zaborsky, a previous winner of the Festival’s Eva Gore Booth Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress.

“The Silver Bell”, written by Hollyoaks writer and starring Alan Flanagan, with Brendan O’Rourke, is a new play about love and loss, with a touch of magical realism. It’s presented at The Teacher’s Club.

The Festival’s free annual panel discussion/seminar is on May 15 at The Teacher’s Club. This year’s topic is “Queer Theatre and Audiences in Ireland”, which poses the questions: How do artists get LGBTQ+ work on stage in a heteronormative society? Who comes to see it and what are the genres and topics people seek out? The participants include Tony-award winning producer Adam Weinstock, from New York; Kathleen Warnock, Associate Artistic Director (and Ambassador of Love) from TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), New York’s oldest professional LGBTQ+ theatre; actor Les Kurkendall-Barrett and Irish writer Ella Skolimownski. Sarah Busch curates the event.

The Festival finishes up, as always, with its Gala Awards Night on May 15 at The Teachers Club. Participants gather to celebrate the work and the people who made it happen with musical, dramatic and comic performances and the presentation of the “Oscars”: that is, the statue of Oscar Wilde that denotes Outstanding Performances, Writing, Creative Aspect, and Intercultural Dialogue.

Tickets are on sale now for all the events (and registration for the free events). Tickets are €15 for evening shows, €13 concession, and €10 for matinees. Audience members are asked to register in advance for the free events.

For more information, visit gaytheatre.ie or email info@gaytheatre.ie.

//ENDS


Our full 2022 programme can be found here.

ByIDGTF

2022 Programme Preview

The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival returns to the stage for its 19th year in Dublin from May 1-15, after an online festival last year, and cancellation in 2020.

This year’s festival offers a total of 23 productions, 4 free readings and other events in venues throughout Central Dublin, including The Teacher’s Club, Players Theatre Trinity, The Ireland Institute/The Pearse Centre, Street 66 bar, and Pennylane Bar.

Patrons can see two shows per night (four on matinee days!) with different programmes the first and second weeks.

WEEK 1 PREVIEW

The Festival leads off on May 1 with a free reading of two one-act plays, “Half of Nothing” and “Porn!” by IDGTF Bursary winner, Irish playwright Ella Skolimowski at Pennylane Bar.

The week one programme (May 2-7th)  starts with Bank Holiday Monday matinees and includes an exciting first for the fest: “Oíche Léite Drámaí (Scratch Night)” a free presentation of five Irish-language short plays from the queer Irish-language arts collective AerachAiteachGaelach, at Players Theatre, Trinity College on May 7 at 16:00.

Award winning writer, Amanda Brunker makes her Festival debut with ‘Curiosity’ a sexually fluid story starring ‘Fair City’s Sorcha Furlong and Annette Flynn in Players Theatre. This is coupled with an Irish/Australian double bill from young women writers ‘Trolley’d/Who Pays the Bill and Babies and Bathwater’ at 9pm.

Two Irish one-act plays, “Quarantine”, written and directed by Brian Quinn, and “Three Queens Stuck in Dublin City” by Tadgh Dolan are presented as a double-bill at The Teachers Club at 7.30pm

American Les Kurkendall returns to the festival with a “The Real Black Swann: Confessions of America’s First Black Drag Queen” at the mainstage of The Teacher’s Club. The play tells the true story of William Dorsey Swann, a former slave who became Queen of Drag in Washington DC in the late 1800s. 9pm.

Take Desire Away” the award-winning story of the writings of A E Housman, with UK TV actor/writer Mansel David is in The Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street at 7.30pm.

Who’ll be the Mammy?” written and directed by Blue Heart Theatre Company’s Brian Higgins (IDGTF Best Actor, 2015) is about a married couple deciding whether they want to be two Daddies. It runs at the Ireland Institute/The Pearse Centre at 9pm.

Joanne Callum Powers comes to Dublin from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her solo show “Miss Delta Township”, which will run at The Teachers Club Studio at 7.30pm.

Brian Merriman’s “Straight Acting”, a comic drama premiers from May 2-7 at The Teacher’s Club Studio, starring Jeremie Cyr-Cooke and Colin Malone. Do you have to be gay to play gay? 9pm.

SQUAD Productions, “a socially conscious theatre company” from Ireland will present a free staged reading of their work-in-progress “Shame is the Name of the Game” by Robert Downes at Street 66 bar on May 8 finishing up an action-packed first week of new, diverse theatre..

 

WEEK 2 PREVIEW

In Week 2, the entire programme changes. Tony Award-winning producer Adam Weinstock returns from the USA with ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ about an awakening after a near death experience. Teachers Club Studio 9pm.

The Covid pandemic has inspired LGBT playwrights to write about the forgotten pandemic of the 1980s.  “Quilt” (with a G in the middle) tells the stories of AIDS in Ireland and abroad using true testimony at the Teacher’s Club. Audience members are welcome to have the name of any loved one lost to AIDS remembered on stage, by giving their name to the cast before each performance. 7.30pm Teachers Club Studio.

Acting Out – Dublin’s LGBT community drama group brings “The Death of Me” to The Ireland Institute  at 7.30pm. A new play featuring Rachel Fayne, written by Sean Denyer, who penned Festival favourites “The Decriminalisation Monologues” and “The Ref.

Wallace Norman, artistic director of the Woodstock (NY) Fringe, brings his solo show, “Brother’s Keeper”, which he wrote and performs to The Ireland Institute at 9pm. Wallace’s play is about the growing up and coming out of a Catholic boy who has a “special interest” taken in him by a priest.

The Festival renews its long association with Canadian LGBT+ theatre. Theatre Outre joins with Route One Productions to bring “Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story” by Natalie Meisner to Players Theatre.  Everett Klipper was the last person to be tried, convicted and jailed for homosexuality in Canada before it was decliminalised. The play features Kathy Zaborsky, a previous winner of the Festival’s Eva Gore Booth Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress.

Canada’s award-winning Theatre Outre, returns to Dublin to present “333” by Jay Whitehead, a play about the 1981 raids on several bathhouses in Toronto at Players Theatre at Trinity College.

Another long-time festival participant, Provincetown Dramatic Arts from Massachusetts under the direction of US Festival Ambassador Margaret VanSant brings a feast of short plays from the home of US gay theatre – Provincetown.  Four short plays, “Quickies” are at the Teachers Club, 7.30pm. Their LGBTQ+ short play menu includes “Madame Executrix” by Doug Asher-Best, “Look What You Made Me Do,” by award-winning playwright/actor Lynda Sturner, “The Black Eye” by Jim Dalglish, and “Pulse,” by Margaret van Sant.

Hollyoaks award winning Irish writer Alan Flanagan presents “The Silver Bell”, starring Alan Flanagan, with Brendan O’Rourke, is a new play about love and loss, with a touch of magical realism. It’s presented at The Teacher’s Club Main Hall at 9pm.

 

The Festival’s free annual panel discussion/seminar is on May 15 at The Teacher’s Club. This year’s topic is “Queer Theatre and Audiences in Ireland,” which poses the questions: How do artists get LGBTQ work on stage in a heteronormative society?  Who comes to see it and what are the genres and topics people seek out? The participants include Tony-award winning producer Adam Weinstock, from New York; Kathleen Warnock, Associate Artistic Director (and Ambassador of Love) from TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), New York’s oldest professional LGBTQ+ theatre; actor Les Kurkendall-Barrett and Irish writer Ella Skolimownski. Sarah Busch curates the event.

The Festival finishes up, as always, with its Gala Awards Night on May 15 at The Teachers Club. Participants gather to celebrate the work and the people who made it happen with musical, dramatic and comic performances and the presentation of the “Oscars:” that is, the statue of Oscar Wilde that denotes Outstanding Performances, Writing, Creative Aspect, and Intercultural Dialogue.


Tickets are on sale now for all the events (and registration for the free events). Tickets are €15 for evening shows, €13 concession, and €10 for matinees. Audience members are asked to register in advance for the free events.

For more information, visit gaytheatre.ie or email info@gaytheatre.ie.

ByIDGTF

Festival 2022 Programme Now Online!

Booking is now open for Festival 2022.  With over 150 performances of 24 productions, there is something for everyone – drama, comedy, short plays, multiple free events and more.

After 2 years without live theatre we are delighted to be back… and we hope that you can join us.

You can view our full programme here, with secure online booking.

 

Questions? Contact boxoffice@gaytheatre.ie

ByIDGTF

PORN! / HALF OF NOTHING (FREE PLAY-READINGS)

Date/Time: 1 May @ 15:00;
Venue: PENNYLANE BAR Category: Free Events

FREE: PORN! / HALF OF NOTHING (PLAY-READINGS)

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ByIDGTF

FREE: OÍCHE LÉITE DRÁMAÍ (SCRATCH NIGHT – 5 IRISH MINI-PLAYS)

Date/Time: 7 May @ 16:00;
Venue: PLAYERS THEATRE @ TRINITY COLLEGE Category: Free Events

FREE: OÍCHE LÉITE DRÁMAÍ (SCRATCH NIGHT - 5 IRISH MINI-PLAYS)

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ByIDGTF

FREE: SHAME IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

Date/Time: 8 May @ 15:00;
Venue: Pennylane Category: Free Events

FREE: SHAME IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

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ByIDGTF

SEMINAR 2022: QUEER THEATRE AND AUDIENCES IN IRELAND

Date/Time: 15 May @ 15:00;
Venue: THE TEACHERS CLUB (MAIN) Category: Free Events

SEMINAR 2022: QUEER THEATRE AND AUDIENCES IN IRELAND

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ByIDGTF

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU

Date/Time: 14 May @ 14:30 (Matinees); 9-14 May @ 21:00 (Evenings);
Venue: THE TEACHERS CLUB (STUDIO) Category: Comedy Drama

WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU

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ByIDGTF

MISS DELTA TOWNSHIP

Date/Time: 2,7 May @ 16:00 (Matinees); 2-7 May @ 19:30 (Evenings);
Venue: THE TEACHERS CLUB (STUDIO) Category: Comedy Drama

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ByIDGTF

THE REAL BLACK SWANN: CONFESSIONS OF AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK DRAG QUEEN

Date/Time: 2,7 May @ 16:00 (Matinees); 2-7 May @ 21:00 (Evenings);
Venue: THE TEACHERS CLUB (MAIN) Category: Drama

THE REAL BLACK SWANN: CONFESSIONS OF AMERICA'S FIRST BLACK DRAG QUEEN

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ByIDGTF

WHO’LL BE THE MAMMY?

Date/Time: 2,7 May @ 16:00 (Matinees); 2-7 May @ 21:00 (Evenings);
Venue: THE IRELAND INSTITUTE, 27 PEARSE ST Category: Comedy Drama

WHO'LL BE THE MAMMY?

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