The Next Stage

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 given access to an array of leading artists in 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. The Next Stage also creates valuable opportunities for enriching engagement with visiting artists, with past programmes sparking successful artistic collaborations.


Applications are invited from anyone working professionally in theatre and the performing arts. Theatre artists and makers at an early career stage as well as more established and experienced professionals are invited to apply. It’s important that each group is a diverse one for participants to get the most of the programme. Note a change to the eligibility criteria from previous years which means practitioners who have previously participated in the Next Stage can apply again to do the programme.


Each year, participants are selected by a panel made up of Dublin Theatre Festival and Theatre Forum representatives as well as the programme facilitator. The panel reviews all applications received and the following selection criteria are applied:

  • Applicant’s artistic ethos and goals
  • Applicant’s artistic output to date
  • Applicant’s likely role and fit with the group
  • The overall group dynamic and its diversity
  • The potential for future collaboration within the group

Programme participants are required to confirm their availability to attend all sessions as well as performances most evenings for the duration of the Festival. Sundays will mostly be free.


For selected participants, the fee to confirm a Next Stage place is €100 per participant. This fee covers all of the programme workshops and events and all Festival tickets.

Next Stage 2019 Application

Participation in the Next Stage programme is by application only. You can complete this online application form from July 25 for Next Stage 2019 (deadline is 5pm Friday 16 August).


26 Sept—13 Oct 2019