What We Do

The festival programme incorporates theatre, music, dance and family events, as well as artist talks, public discussions and artist development programmes, with performances taking place in venues and locations across the city and the greater Dublin area.

Present Excellent Irish and International Theatre

We present a wide range of theatre in venues large and small, classic drama by celebrated artists and companies, alongside work by exciting, emerging theatre-makers from home and abroad.

Theatre for Children

Dublin Theatre Festival and The Ark, a cultural centre for children, collaborate to present a programme of fresh and engaging shows created for children that adults will also delight in.


Festival+ is a series of free events, open to the public, comprising interviews with artists and creatives that enrich festivity and public’s experience of the festival.

Artistic Development

Dublin Theatre Festival is committed to the development and support of artists and their work. Through artist development programmes, presenting in development works and engaging with international networks, the festival supports both Irish and international projects aimed at inspiring, cultivating and celebrating emerging and established artists.

Dublin Theatre Festival is committed to supporting Irish artists in creating ambitious and high-quality new work. Our In Development programme offers theatre-makers a platform to stage their works-in-progress at a key moment in the process. Artists use the space to try out new ideas, while audiences have an opportunity to see projects at a critical phase in their development.

Past In Development presentations have gone on to enjoy success as part of Dublin Theatre Festival and have toured at home and abroad to critical and public acclaim.

Presented in partnership with Theatre Forum, the Next Stage is the artist development strand of Dublin Theatre Festival. Over the 18 days of the festival, participants are immersed in the programme and have a packed schedule of talks, interviews, group time and workshops. The Next Stage has been lauded by alumni as ‘a rare amount of inspiration’ and ‘career changing’.

Past speakers and workshop leaders include Tim Crouch, Garry Hynes, Michael Keegan- Dolan, Ruth Little, Mikel Murfi, Thomas Ostermeier, Vivi Tellas and Enda Walsh.

Participation in the 2020 programme is by application only. Further details of the programme will published in summer 2020.

Audience Engagement

Be SpectACTive! is a large-scale European cooperation project – co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union – which operates in performing arts through artistic productions and participatory practices aimed at involving the citizens and spectators in creative and organisational processes. Its members are European festivals, theatres, cultural organisations, universities and a research centre.

Starting in December 2018, it continues to work on audience engagement, while fostering experimentation in the European arena through the following actions:

  • the production of 15 new theatre and dance shows
  • the creation of 50 local groups of active spectators involved in co-programming and co-managing activities (1500 participants will select more than 350 shows in 4 years) the European Art Commissioners
  • a site-specific project connecting 8 local communities with the aim to commission artistic works
  • 4 European Spectators Day, a community based event connecting citizens through Facebook
  • the implementation of the research project evaluating the different effects of the practices activated
  • 4 International Conference dedicated to the dissemination of the findings

Dublin Theatre Festival have engaged a group of fifteen active spectators between the ages of 18-25. The group meets on a monthly basis to discuss what theatre they have seen and what theatre they would like to see as part of Dublin Theatre Festival. The group will decide one production of the festival programme in 2020.

Talking Theatre is a series of post-show discussions with cast and creatives of Dublin Theatre Festival shows moderated by Thomas Conway. Audience members can ask the creators and performers questions about the piece and can gain insight into their creative process.