Conversations on a Playwright 2021: Open Call for Writers

Conversations on a Playwright is a biennial, week-long series of masterclasses, talks and discussions and a showing of work for an audience, at The Lir Academy. The event is focused on the work of Tom Murphy, one of the most significant playwrights of 20th-century Irish theatre. Conversations on a Playwright is an opportunity for intensive actor-to-actor professional development, allowing a detailed study of the work, and the unique voice and musicality of the playwright.  This will be the second iteration of COAP, following its first successful outing in 2019.

A new feature for 2021 is the addition of two early or mid-career writers to participate in the week.

Project Arts Centre is delighted to join COAP as a partner and we now invite applications from early/mid-career writers to take part in this paid opportunity.

Writers will have the chance to meet and discuss the work of Tom Murphy with some of our leading writers including Sonya Kelly, Abbie Spallen, Phillip McMahon, Stuart Carolan and Dylan Coburn Gray.

The writers will also get to observe the senior actors working with participant actors and attend a series of guest lectures and talks which will illuminate the work of Tom Murphy further.

WHEN: 1-5 November 2021

WHERE: The Lir Academy, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin

Participants will be offered a fee of €400

Applicants must be available in-person from 10am-6pm on 1-5th November, plus one evening event on 5th November.

We welcome applications from early & mid-career playwrights and would like to encourage applications by artists from a diversity of national, ethnic or cultural groups (including, but not limited to Asian, Black, Traveller and minority ethnic, refugees, people with disabilities, working-class and LGBTQI+ artists). We are committed to accessibility and want to make sure that our opportunities are accessible to all artists.  If any additional supports are required to enable you to take up this opportunity, please include the details in your application.  We will work with you to see how we can help remove any barriers, within our limited budget.

COAP will follow all prevailing public health guidelines and the programme is subject to change.


In order to apply please send a copy of your CV or a bio (max 500 words), a 10-page sample of your writing along with an answer to the following questions:

How would a deep dive into the work of Tom Murphy advance your work as a playwright? (max 250 words)

We would also like you to name 2 artists whose work is inspiring you at the moment.

Please mark your application COAP Writers and send all queries and applications to

The final deadline for applications is 6pm on 6th October 2021

Conversations on a Playwright 2021 is funded by The Arts Council under its Theatre Resource and Development Scheme. The Lir Academy wishes to acknowledge support for this initiative from Jim and Janet Curley, patrons of playwriting at The Lir Academy.

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