Five new bursaries announced for Irish LGBT+ theatre

The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has announced five new bursaries to help playwrights this Pride month who have been affected by the pandemic.

An actor applies makeup in a dressing room mirror

Five new bursaries for LGBT+ theatre were announced last weekend by the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (IDGTF).

This comes a few months after the postponing of the 17th edition of the IDGTF until May 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Despite that, the IDGTF said: “We are determined to continue to support artists and LGBTQ+ theatre at this challenging time and as we mark Pride month.”

There are currently five bursaries to the combined value of €2,500 that will be awarded for new Irish LGBT+ themed writing. However, if more donors come forward, the number of bursaries available could also increase.

In order to be eligible, the play must have either an LGBT+ theme, character or relevance – such as identity, feminism or masculinity – and be by Irish born and/or resident playwrights. The play must also be an original work and recently written.

Two of the theatre bursaries are named after famous playwright Terrence McNally, who unfortunately passed away from COVID-19 complications in March. McNally had an incredibly accomplished career spanning six decades, in which he won two Tonys and an Emmy.

Another of the bursaries is named after American playwright Larry Kramer, who also died this year. Kramer is well known for his AIDS activism as one of the founders of ACT UP- a grassroots organisation that tries to get better healthcare and right for people with HIV and AIDS.

In order to be eligible for the €300 bursary named in his honour, the submission should be a short play of up to 15 minutes in duration.

Dublin LGBTQ Pride also has a bursary in its name – a short play of up to three minutes needs to be submitted for the €200.

The final bursary is named after Gerry Sinnott, the former owner of the Olympia theatre. Sinnott was not afraid to push boundaries, and put on the Irish premier of the La Cage Aux Folles (The Birdcage) only a week after homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland.

More information about the rules and eligibility of the bursaries can be found here.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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