Five New Bursaries for LGBTQ+ Theatre | Resources | Getting Published | Submission Opportunities
Gay Theatre

Applications deadline: 3rd May 2021

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!

Bursaries to the value of €2,500 will be awarded for new Irish LGBTQ themed writing.

The Festival is welcoming submissions of new plays. A few things to keep in mind:

We accept plays with either an LGBTQ+ theme, character or relevance such as identity, feminism or masculinity, by Irish born and/or resident playwrights.

The plays should be original works and recently written (i.e. since 2000).

Following the publication of ‘The Plays Inside’ our anthology of new plays last year, we intend to publish the successful works in a new anthology marking our 18th anniversary. You retain the copyright to your work.

Plays should be written either by Irish artists, any artist who is resident or working on the Island of Ireland, and/or those who have an Irish passport, but are resident abroad are eligible for these Bursaries.

In association with Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride we hope to support the digital production of some of the Bursary winners for broadcast in June 2021. This will assist you to present the play in an online mini 18th Festival in June.

All you need to do to qualify for consideration is to email a written script to
By submitting your play, you agree to the Festival publishing the play, if awarded a bursary.

There are five Bursaries available. Details of each bursary can be found below as well as general terms.

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).

The Amy Dalton and Gerry Sinnott (LGBT Ally) Bursaries

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.

The Terrence Mc Nally Bursary

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.

The Dublin LGBTQ Pride 2021 Bursary

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.

Additional Submission Details (All Bursaries)


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 19thInternational 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 PDF files are not accepted.

See here for further details.

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