A letter from Brian Merriman, Artistic Director of the IDGTF to the Irish Times regarding the controversy about the level of female representation in the Abbey’s 1916 Centenary Programme.
Sir, – The “grant cake” that too many depend on is too small. Creativity today is about conforming to pre-established criteria and frameworks designed by committee.
We’ve a question for #wakingthefeminists, which we support, how many of you have engaged with our unique International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, which has staged and supported 3,000 performances of new works that prioritise feminism, identity (and masculinity) since 2004?
We identified that there was a paucity of women writers and opportunities for their work to be seen, so we worked on it. We mentored, fundraised, risked knowing audiences would be small, but created a valuable space. In total, after 12 years of identifying and supporting this vital work, we get combined (arts and tourism) grants of €71 to stage each performance and to run the festival. Has anyone ever raised an eyebrow, bought a ticket or during this debate referred to our achievements in this field long before it began trending on social media? The real debate should be about why people are excluded from theatre and accessing resources when they are doing what theatre should be doing. If all the feminists and their supporters turned up at our exceptional programme of feminist theatre staged in Dublin this year, we wouldn’t have had so many empty seats and so many female artists left in debt.
It’s cool to fill the Abbey Theatre when the cameras are there – it’s more valuable to support theatre when it’s being created and performed at bargain prices, in the hope that authentic voices can be heard in a sector crying out for invigoration and relevance. – Yours, etc,
Gay Theatre Festival,
We will at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 14th to 19th August and if you have have a production we might be interested in we’d like to hear from you. We have taken productions from every Fringe for the past 10 years and we hope that 2014 will be no exception.
Click here to find out about what we are looking for.
Click here to find out about submitting to our 2015 Festival.
For more information, to get in touch or tell us about your production please contact our Artistic Director Brian Merriman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally if you are looking for Festival tips with an LGBT relevance follow us on Twitter: @GayTheatre
The nominees and winners of our Festival Awards were announced at the closing Gala Night and Awards in the Sugar Club on Sunday May 18th in front of our audience, guests and companies.
Again this year it was challenging to choose just one winner in each category and we congratulate all of our winners and nominees.
Micheál Mac Liammóir Award for best Male Performer
Nick Atkins – A Boy and a Bean
Matt Tedford – Margaret Thatcher, Queen of Soho
Zion Ashkenazi – Jean Genet
Rob Ward – Away from Home
David Leeper – At the Flash
WINNER: Matt Tedford
Oscar Wilde award for Best new Writing:
Nick Atkins – A Boy and a Bean (Australia)
David Leeper and Sean Chandler – At the Flash (USA)
Hilary McColum – Lesbian Style (Northern Ireland)
Rob Ward and Martin Jameson,- Away from Home (UK)
Zion Ashkenazi – Jean Genet Son of a Bitch (Israel)
Nicholas Spagnoletti – Civil Parting (South Africa)
WINNER: Jean Genet, Son of a Bitch
Doric Wilson Award for Inter-Cultural Dialogue:
My Dorian (USA) for university collaboration
Aunty Ben (Ireland) for bridging the generation gap
Acting Out with Tits Up (Ireland) for Community Drama
Away From Home (UK) for tackling homophobia in sport
For The Trumpets Shall Sound for presenting the experiences of war and the trenches
WINNER: Aunty Ben!
Eva Gore Booth Award for Best Female Performance:
Kayleigh Hawkins as Nora in For the Trumpets Shall Sound (UK)
Therese Prendiville as Grace in Grace and Maggie (Ireland)
Amy Flood as Tracey in Aunty Ben (Ireland)
Sarah MacDonnell from Two from Provincetown (USA)
The Ensemble from Lesbian Style (Northern Ireland)
WINNER: Lesbian Style: Michelle Wiggins, Abby Oliviera, Claire Dooher, Mel Bradley!
Patrick Murray Award for Outstanding contribution to Irish Gay Theatre
WINNER: Annick Thijs, Director of Volunteers IDGTF
for outstanding dedication to the Festival
Many of our closing Saturday performances are selling fast. To avoid disappointment we strongly recommend pre-booking either online or through our Box Office.
Shows with very limited availability include:
Tickets still available but pre-booking recommended for the following performances:
Don’t forget our Saturday matinee performances with tickets only €10 !
Due to strong demand an additional performance of Aunty Ben has been added for Friday May 16th at 6pm in the Teacher’s Club.
Please note that there are a limited number of tickets still available for the Saturday matinee performance so online booking is strongly advised.
Our Festival Box Office is now open in the Arlington Hotel Temple Bar.
Drop in if you’ve any queries about the Festival or to book tickets for any of our shows.
You can also call us on 085 871 9466 (Mon – Sat: 12-3pm until May 17th)
See our Box Office page for more information.
The 11th International Dublin Gay Theatre was launched in style at the Mansion House Dublin this evening by Festival Artistic Director Brian Merriman with guests of honour Oisín Quinn, Lord Mayor of Dublin and renowned Tony-award winning director Patrick Mason.
Secure online booking is now available here.
You can download the 2014 brochure (PDF) here.
The Festival will take place from May 5th to May 18th at various locations around Dublin and present plays from abroad – USA, Canada, South Africa, Israel and Australia as well as plays from closer to home from Northern Ireland and Britain.
This year’s Festival will also feature a record number of plays by Irish playwrights and gladly supports the growing interest in LGBT issues and the gay community at home.
During the two weeks in May the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy drama, comedy, music and cabaret at accessible prices, as well as a range of free events.
As we put the finishing touches on our 2014 programme and it’s time for our annual fund-raiser table quiz.
Join us at the Front Lounge at 8pm on Wednesday March 12th!
Our quiz master for the evening is the fantastic Scott De Buitléir
It’s €40 per team of four people.
To pre-book a table sign-up using our online registration form
Prizes to be announced soon.
The IDGTF has been short-listed for the Irish Arts & Literature category of the 2014 GALAS LGBT Awards. The ceremony takes place on March 1st in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.
The IDGTF has been proudly telling the stories, past and present, of the LGBT community for 11 years. We will soon announce our exciting 2014 programme. We thank our volunteers, participants and audience for your continued support.
We’re at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013 looking for relevant productions for Festival 2014.
If you have a show we might be interested in please contact us at email@example.com
For more details check out our Submissions page.
Brian Merriman – Artistic Director – IDGTF
The book “Wilde Stages in Dublin – a Decade of Gay Theatre” by Festival Artistic Director Brian Merriman is now availble.
The book explores the context and background to the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival as well as providing an invaluable compendium of the last ten years of theatre from the world’s largest festival of gay theatre.
‘Wilde Stages in Dublin’ is now available for purchase:
About the author:
Brian Merriman was born in Dublin and grew up in Wexford and Waterford. He returned to Dublin to study journalism which led him into a life of political engagement through civil service, as Vice President of the National Youth Council of Ireland and as the youngest person ever appointed to the Board of a State Body in 1983. His love of theatre was first developed as a boy soprano and later in attending the Opera Festivals in the Theatre Royals of Wexford and Waterford. Brian studied singing at the College of Music, Dublin, for many years with Daphne M. Clifford. He was cast in leading roles in musical theatre and was a prize-winner at Feis Ceoil. He began his award winning directorial career of over 300 productions and events in the 1980s. Brian founded the innovative DAYMS (later the Musical Company) in 1984,that staged award winning premiere productions for twenty five years. His professional theatre career accelerated, bringing his work to the theatres of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales and the Isle of Man. He began an association with the Olympia Theatre, Dublin in the 1990s that lasted a decade. Simultaneously, he was working in the fields of equality and human rights. He graduated with a Master’s Degree from University College Dublin in Equality Studies in 2003 and continues to work in this field today, including raising funds to support people living with HIV/Aids, and visibility of gay life in rural Ireland.
Brian’s love of theatre and his egalitarianism, combined to create ‘The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival’ in Dublin in 2004. As Artistic Director, he has dramaturged over 1,000 new plays about gay life and culture from Irish and International playwrights. The Festival has presented over 2,000 performances of the successfully selected plays in Dublin in the past decade. He has had his work broadcast and televised and has written a series of short gay themed plays including “The Gentleman Caller”, “Tumbling Down”, “Seventy”, “Pieter’s Coming Out” and “Poets’ Cornered” and has written and produced his short film “No Evidence”. This is his first book.
Newsletter: March 20 2013
It’s here! After many months of preparation the 2013 IDGTF programme is finally available with secure online booking at www.gaytheatre.ie.
From Argentina to Africa and Australia, from S&M to quantum physics and opera, we celebrate diverse stories of LGBT people, sexuality and gender through over 35 productions of drama, comedy, music and free events. 2013 sees our most diverse programme ever. In it you will find soldiers, footballers, lesbians, bisexuals, Mormons, Latinos, gay icons, composers, fetishists, physicists, poets, strippers, teenagers, drag-queens, major historical figures and much more!
Judy, A Tribute
PROGRAMME QUICK PREVIEW
We make a little bit of history with our tenth anniversary Festival! To celebrate we celebrate gay history by looking at the lives of major historical figures – revolutionaries, playwrights, artists, composers. Beware, as we show you some historical figures as you have never seen them before!
You will find many musical treats in the 2013 programme including opera, 60’s gay musical icons and more ranging from Debussy and Liszt to Dusty Springfield, Lulu and Judy Garland.
Shout! The Mod Musical
The Francis Bacon Opera
There is no shortage of comedy in the 2013 programme from around the world from Latino LGBTQ comedy shorts to the exploits of a gay Dutchman. Of course there is a wide range of drama from dark tales of teenage love to soldiers to Mormons. Don’t miss our selection of new Irish drama and our largest ever programme of short plays featuring drama and comedy. We also explore gender identity from communist Poland and Shakespeare with a twist, to the mysteries of nature. This year also sees a series of plays exploring sex, fetish and more. With both dark and comic themes these productions are strictly for adults only..! Don’t miss our extensive women‘s programme of comedy, short plays and drama from lesbian trail-blazer Eva Gore-Booth to a comic story of a teenage tomboy. Finally don’t miss our largest ever programme of free events including play readings, a series of audiences with gay community figures and our tenth anniversary gay theatre seminar.
If you have any queries about online booking or our programme contact our box office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone booking and our box office will be available from late April.
Are you part of a group of society and want a night out at the theatre? Note that we offer discounts for groups of 6 or more. Book now while seats are still available for all performances. For more contact our box office.
A big thank you to everyone who supported our Festival Table Quiz last week. Congratulations to the prize-winners and a big thank you to our sponsors and supporters not least Panti, our fabulous Quiz Mistress! And… there is still time to become a Festival volunteer. Contact email@example.com. A big thank you to everyone who supported our Festival Table Quiz last week. Congratulations to the prize-winners and a big thank you to our sponsors and supporters not least Panti, our fabulous Quiz Mistress! And… there is still time to become a Festival volunteer. Contact Dermot at firstname.lastname@example.org.