The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival comes of age in 2021. We want to celebrate our 18th birthday, but as we have no stages available to us during the pandemic, our much-anticipated festival cannot go on. However, we are determined to continue to support artists and LGBTQ+ theatre at this challenging time. Thanks to the Arts Council and generous donors who continue to reach out to us in these challenging times, we are excited to renew our very successful 2020 Bursary opportunities to mark our coming-of-age year. We are delighted to announce a new opportunity for you to get writing (and acting) again!
The Festival is welcoming submissions of new plays. A few things to keep in mind:
Details of each bursary can be found below as well as general terms. You will also find more information on the individuals and organisations who our bursaries honour.
Plays must be written since 2020. They can be of any length. Deadline for submissions is 5.00pm (GMT+1) Bank Holiday Monday, May 3rd, 2021 (the day our 18th Festival should open).
This Bursary was kindly supported in 2020 by the family of the late Gerry Sinnott, former owner of the Olympia Theatre where LGBT artist were always welcome. This year the family of the late Amy Dalton, whose generosity in volunteering to help many Festivals, including ours, ensured our viability, continued their generous support for the Festival and we are proud to create this new award in her honour.
These two bursaries are for new LGBT-themed one- or two-act plays. Each bursary is to the value of €500, which we hope will assist you to present the play in our 2022 Festival.
Your work will be included and published in an anthology of plays being edited by the Festival to mark its 18th year. You retain the copyright to your work.
Recipients will be considered for additional support to rehearse and digitally record your work in conjunction with our proposed Pride online broadcasts in June 2021.
A Bursary in honour of our late patron Terrence McNally will be awarded to a value of €500 plus publication in our book as follows:
This is for a new short play of a duration of no more than 30 minutes. These plays may be recorded by you as a reading or socially distanced staging (optional). Actors who work on the performance project must share in the bursary awarded by agreement between the writer and actor(s).
Terrence McNally (November 3, 1938 – March 24, 2020) was a multi-award winning gay American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. He died of Covid-related complications last year and was a Patron of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.
This Bursary will celebrate identity and may be awarded to more than one writer (with up to a total fund of €1000) plus a place in our book and in the 2022 programme. The successful plays will be the ‘Dublin LGBTQ Pride Identity 2021 Bursary recipient’ to honour this Pride month and our capacity to overcome adversity. We acknowledge the support we received from Dublin LGBT Pride to assist in the digital presentation of some of the winners, especially small cast or solo performances.
If you would like to sponsor a prize or donate – please do! All funds received will be awarded to the writer, on condition it is shared with the actors and any crew involved in its presentation. Funds will also support the creation of a publication of LGBTQ+ playwriting called ‘The Plays Inside’. For more, contact email@example.com.
State clearly your name, address and contact number and that you qualify for our definition of ‘Irish’ LGBTQ+’ theatre as set out above.
Clarify the duration of your work and when it was written.
Bursaries where possible can be used to stage a production of your play in the 19th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival May 1st – 15th 2022.
If you choose to work with actor(s) by social distancing and want to record the play being read or performed, actors must be awarded a share from the Bursary granted. Please confirm this commitment in your application.
Submissions are open to all. Less represented people from the LGBTQ+ community are especially encouraged to write.
In order to support artists whose work opportunities in Ireland have been hugely impacted by Covid-19, eligible writers must be either Irish born or resident or hold an Irish passport.
Plays must be written by an Irish (as defined) writer and have an LGBTQ+ principal character, theme or relevance to the community such as feminism, masculinity, equality or identity.
You may record a reading or performance of your play, but it is NOT essential to qualify for a Bursary. We will consider digital performances for an online broadcast in conjunction with Pride in June to mark our 18th year onto our social media platforms.
If successful, you agree to the one-off publication of the work in an anthology of LGBTQ+ plays by the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.
The decision of the Festival’s Artistic Director is final in all recipients of Bursaries.
Canvassing will disqualify.
Closing date for submissions will be 5pm (GMT+1) on Bank Holiday Monday, May 3rd 2021.
All submissions should be emailed in a Word document or an accessible format to firstname.lastname@example.org. PDF files are not accepted.
The Festival wishes to sincerely thank our generous donors who have made this possible.
We are very conscious as this pandemic deepened, that it is hurting opportunities for minority arts very badly. We hope our Bursaries will help to encourage artists back to work.
Please share this information and get back to work!
Supported by the Arts Council and Festival friends.
We are delighted to announce that IDGTF has been selected as a finalist in the 2020 National Lottery Good Causes Awards out of hundreds of applicants.
A big thank you to all of our volunteers, participants and audiences who are a big part of what we do.
The Plays Inside – Irish LGBTQ+ plays from a time of isolation is on-sale now via our secure online booking system.
This new anthology features 22 new Irish plays written during a time of Covid-19 when theatres were dark but diverse voices continued to produce exciting new works of theatre.
It features recipients of our 2020 New Irish Writing Bursaries as part of our effort to support artists at a challenging time as well as plays from our 17th Festival.
Curated by Festival founder and Artistic Director Brian Merriman and featuring drama and comedy from across Ireland from Derry to Kerry to the Irish LGBTQ diaspora.
An ideal Christmas present it costs €15 + €5 postage to Ireland and overseas.
To purchase a copy via our secure online booking system, click on the image below or here.
We are happy to announce the recipients of our bursaries!
As we were unable to hold the 17th edition of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, we opened our first Bursary Programme. We received 39 applications! We would like to thank all of the playwrights for sending in their work.
Details of recipients and supporters of the scheme can be found here.
Update: This initiative is now closed. €3,500 was paid to recipients of our New Irish Writing Bursaries, resulting in the publication of a new anthology of Irish LGBTQ Plays. We would like to congratulate all applicants and the generous support of donors and grant bodies who made it possible in this very challenging year for theatre.
Five New Bursaries for LGBTQ Theatre to the value of €2,500 announced.
The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has no stages or income to share with our playwrights and actors, as our 17th festival in 2020 could not go on. However, we are determined to continue to support artists and LGBTQ+ theatre at this challenging time and as we mark Pride Month.
Huge thanks to some of our great supporters who have now become our generous ‘Angels’ – we are delighted to announce a new opportunity for you to get writing (and acting) again!
Bursaries to the value of €2,500 will be awarded for new Irish LGBTQ themed writing.
The Festival is welcoming submissions of new plays:
There are Five Bursaries available – and if more donors come through, this may increase further.
Details of each bursary can be found below as well as general terms. You will also find more information on the individuals and organisations who our bursaries honour below.
Two Bursaries, named after our late patron Terrence McNally who died of Covid – each will be of a value of €500 plus a place in the 2021 Festival programme as follows:
The next Bursary of €300 will honour the late playwright ‘Larry Kramer’:
The next Bursary will celebrate identity and is of €200 plus a place in our 2021 programme will be the ‘Dublin LGBTQ Pride 2020 Bursary’ to honour this month and our capacity to overcome adversity and to acknowledge the support we received this year from Dublin LGBTQ Pride.
This short play can be of any duration up to 3minutes. Once again, these plays if recorded may be shown on our social media.
This new Bursary has been kindly supported by the family of the late Gerry Sinnott, former owner of the Olympia Theatre.
The Festival wishes to sincerely thank our generous donors who have made this possible. We are very conscious as this pandemic deepened, that it is hurting opportunities for minority arts very badly. We hope our Bursaries will help to encourage artists back to work.
Please share this information and get back to work!
Supported by the Arts Council supporting Festivals.
With our bursaries we pay tribute to the individuals and groups below who have made extraordinary contributions to the worlds of theatre and the LGBTQ Community.
Described as “the bard of American theatre” and “one of the greatest contemporary playwrights the theatre world has yet produced,” McNally was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1996. He received the 2019 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the highest recognition of artistic merit in the United States.
He received the Tony Award for Best Play for Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, as well as the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. His other accolades included an Emmy Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, four Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, two Obie Awards, and three Hull-Warriner Awards.
His career spanned six decades, and his plays, musicals, and operas were routinely performed all over the world. He also wrote screenplays, teleplays, and a memoir. Active in the regional and off-Broadway theatre movements as well as on Broadway, he was one of the few playwrights of his generation to have successfully passed from the avant-garde to mainstream acclaim. His work centered on the difficulties of and urgent need for human connection. He was vice-president of the Council of the Dramatists Guild from 1981 to 2001.
He died of complications from COVID-19 on March 24, 2020, at a hospital in Florida.
Laurence David Kramer (June 25, 1935 – May 27, 2020) was an American playwright, author, film producer, public health advocate, and LGBT rights activist. He began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for the film Women in Love (1969) and received an Academy Award nomination for his work.
In 1978, Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his novel Faggots, which earned mixed reviews and emphatic denunciations from elements within the gay community for Kramer’s portrayal of what he characterized as shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.
Kramer witnessed the spread of the disease later known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) among his friends in 1980. He co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), which has become the world’s largest private organization assisting people living with AIDS. Kramer grew frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis, and wished to engage in further action than the social services GMHC provided. He expressed his frustration by writing a play titled The Normal Heart, produced at The Public Theater in New York City in 1985.
His political activism continued with the founding of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987, an influential direct action protest organization with the aim of gaining more public action to fight the AIDS crisis. ACT UP has been widely credited with changing public health policy and the perception of people living with AIDS, and with raising awareness of HIV and AIDS-related diseases.
We’re In This Together, so let’s be in it together.
We want you in our Virtual Pride Parade on Sunday June 28th. Even though we won’t be together on O’Connell Street this year we know that won’t stop us all coming together to support our community. Dublin Pride is the largest fundraising event of the year for many LGBTI+ community organisations and charities in Ireland, so, we’re still going to see you in June, and you’ll definitely see us, as we host the first Digital Dublin Pride Festival with a fully interactive virtual Pride Parade and a Pride Concert. Buildings will still light up for Pride, flags will be flying high across the city and our community will still be there to support each other. Pride isn’t cancelled, we’re just bringing it home.
The parade will be a mix of pre-recorded and live elements with hosts, Paul Ryder and Eddie McGuinness. The Virtual Parade will be led out by the Lord Mayor of Dublin and front line workers from across the city. It will include community organisations our sponsors and partners and of course LGBTI+ people, their friends and allies. Your submission could be as simple as a video of you with Pride flags marching around your house or garden, footage of previous years’ parade entries, or if you’re ambitious you could make a float out of Lego. The deadline for submissions is June 18th. The Virtual Parade will be broadcast live from 2.00pm on Sunday June 28th. You can watch through our social media channels or by going to www.dublinpride.ie/live
Dublin Pride Concert – 7.00pm Sunday June 28th
Tune in as we bring our traditional post parade main stage concert direct to your own couch. We have some special guest performers ready to entertain you.
A celebratory night was held at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre in May 2014, devised and directed by Brian Merriman to honour its former owner, Gerry Sinnott, The Irish Times reported: “President Michael D Higgins, in a special message and with his usual verbal acuity, summarised Sinnott’s achievement succinctly: “Gerry has shown enormous commitment and dedication to the artistic community,” he said, recording his admiration for the impresario’s “skill, professionalism, perseverance and hard work.
Sinnott, who has died aged 78 (on October 10th 2019), fluent in Irish, he made such a mark in a play at the All-Ireland Gaelic Drama Festival in Thurles, aged 20, that the adjudicator compared him favourably with the great Abbey Theatre actor FJ McCormick. He appeared a year later at An Taibhdhearc in Galway, where he was spotted by Ernest Blythe, the Abbey’s long-serving director, who cast him in a play at the theatre with, among others, a young Donal McCann.
‘Found my niche’
He was discouraged by its director, Frank Dermody, from pursuing any further professional career on the stage, as he told Maev Kennedy in an interview with this newspaper in 1984: “It was shattering at the time, but in retrospect it was a good thing, because now I think I’ve found my niche.”
Indeed he had, as a producer. Sinnott was being interviewed shortly after he had taken over as managing director of the Olympia, having previously made his mark very gradually in amateur theatre in Dublin, where he ran a printing business, Aungier Print. Remarkably, throughout his professional theatrical producing career, he continued to run this business.
Sinnott proved he was not afraid to court controversy”. In 1993, weeks after the decriminalisation of homosexuality, he saw the Irish premier of the musical ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ directed and starring Brian Merriman. Gerry immediately invited it to be staged in the Olympia, a remarkable statement of support in those hostile times. Equally he welcomed LGBT artists and events to the Olympia (later the home of the Alternative Miss Ireland) to be staged there and facilitated bucket collections for HIV/AIDs when few venues allowed access to such charities. ‘La Cage’ packed out and played to a nightly standing ovation in Irish mainstream theatre. He also stood firm and swiftly against an inverted homophobic attack on one of his colleagues designed to destroy a career. He needed no persuasion of its evil intent and ejected the accusers.
Gerry took dramatic risks too, “notably staging Jane Martin’s Keely and Du, a play with the theme of abortion, for the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1993, which memorably starred Louise Fletcher, who had created the nightmare matron, Nurse Ratched, in the film ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. In 1998, he became the first Irish producer to cast two young black Irish actors, Peter Smith and Samantha Mumba, as the leads in a show, the Christmas pantomime for that season” directed by Brian Merriman.
“Sinnott could be said to have saved – or at the very least revived – the Olympia, after a difficult period in the 1970s following the collapse of the proscenium arch in 1974 and the theatre’s prolonged closure for repairs thereafter, necessitating its takeover by Dublin City Council”. Gerry Sinnott was a true LGBT ally long before many others began to stand with us.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, sadly, the Festival Executive formally announces its decision not to hold the 17th edition of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival as planned. It is with heavy heart that we have made the difficult decision of postponing our festival to next year. We are very proud that our festival has run uninterruptedly for 16 years, and we assure you that we have exhausted all possible options. However, we act to ensure the safety of our participants, volunteers, and our audience, and to respect the limitations we are all now living with, which prevent the festival from going ahead in May.
We wish to thank all the companies, our Artistic Director and our committee for their devotion and hard work that has gone into preparing two weeks filled with amazing theatre. We would like to take this opportunity instead to show you the 2020 programme to honour this great work. All of the 2020 companies are automatically offered a place in the 2021 programme – so you may yet get to see the live performances! Please have a look at the programme on our website here to see what we had in store for 2020!
We understand how difficult the current situation is for all of our participating companies and artists in general. Cultural events worldwide are being cancelled, and the artists are now more than ever in need of your support! We’d like to give a shout-out to our new sponsor Dublin LGBTQ Pride, and long-term supporters, Dublin City Council’s Arts Office, and Events Office and the Arts Council for continuing their support for our festival this year. We will continue our hard work to support the lgbtq+ and arts communities for our 18th edition. #SupportArtists
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