23 October 2020

Dublin Theatre Festival is inviting theatre makers based in Ireland to apply for awards to fund the development of new ideas for performance that respond to our contemporary moment and that navigate the challenges to presenting live work during a pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis continues to have a far a reaching personal, political and environmental impact and has made precarious the encounter between artists and the public that is fundamental to liveness. It has also amplified existing inequalities and revealed the fragility of many of our systems, including the performing arts ecology.

At the same time, we believe that there is an urgent need for artistic responses to the situation we find ourselves in; to ask critical questions, to foster solidarity and to dare to be joyful and hopeful. With Assemble, we want to give artists and their collaborators the resources to access to time, space and materials to develop ideas, with a view to works in progress being shared in spring 2021.

Application is open to organisations or individual artists. We invite you to consider what stories need to be told now and also to ask who is not currently part of the cultural conversation, including maybe you. You can assume that the audience for the work will be 50 people or less or that it can be delivered digitally or both.

An award of up to €20,000 is available for each project supported but you should only apply for as much as you need. If you make work and have never been funded before but think you have a good idea, talk to us before applying, we may be able to help. We are eager to support a diverse range of artists and ideas and that at least one project will be a work for young people.

Dublin Theatre Festival will take an active role in facilitating the delivery of the works in progress, according to their needs, and will engage with artists in a supportive way throughout the process. Priority will be given to applications that show clear objectives, and a realistic plan, along with the capacity to manage the budget applied for, which must observe best practice with regard to payment of artists and all involved in the project.

The selection process will have two stages. First, applicants should send a description of the project they would like to work on (1000 words maximum), accompanied by CVs or biographies of the principal collaborators and an outline budget to You can include links to video or other documentation in the project description but only send as much information as you need to get your idea across. In the second stage of the process, we will work with the shortlisted projects to finalise and agree budgets and schedules.

Enquiries to Our office is closed from 28-30 October so we will be able to reply from 2 November. We will also be holding an information session on Assemble via Zoom on Tuesday, 3 November at 11 am. Register via this link.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Monday 9 November. Submissions will be assessed by Artistic Director Willie White and a panel of Irish and international performing arts presenters. We anticipate that successful applicants will be notified in the week of 16 November.