Today, An Chomhairle Ealaíon announces the new Irish-language Theatre Production and Touring Award 2024, which will support the creation and touring of an exceptional theatre production in the Irish language. This award, with additional support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, marks a significant milestone in each Arts Council’s commitment to supporting the use of the Irish language in the arts.

The award is the single largest award for theatre ever offered on a once-off basis by either Arts Council. The successful applicant will receive €400,000 to deliver an Irish language theatre production. The successful applicant will work closely with an evaluator as part of the project, enabling the Arts Council to measure the outcomes of the scheme and refine the approach in the long term. The Arts Council is committed to running this award for three years and will invite applications again in 2025 and 2026.

The Irish-language Theatre Production and Touring Award will serve as a catalyst for advancing the development, production, and presentation of large-scale theatre productions in the Irish language, providing enriching cultural experiences for audiences nationwide. The Arts Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland are dedicated to supporting and promoting Irish language arts and providing people across the shared island with access to high-quality theatre experiences.

Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, said:

“I welcome today’s announcement of the Irish-language Theatre Production and Touring Award, which represents a significant step forward for language-based arts, ensuring their enduring vitality and relevance in our cultural landscape. My department recently announced an investment of €10 million to implement the Strategy for the Language-Based Arts, and the introduction of this award aligns closely with the vision of that strategy.”

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council, said:

“We are thrilled to launch the Irish-language Theatre Production and Touring Award 2024. This initiative underscores our firm commitment to nurturing artistic expression in the Irish language, fostering creativity, and providing rich cultural experiences for all. I look forward to the exciting and transformative work that will be produced and toured through this award.”

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said,

“We are delighted to partner with An Chomhairle EalaĂ­on in funding and delivering this groundbreaking initiative. The Irish-language Theatre Production and Touring Award demonstrates our shared commitment to supporting artistic endeavours that transcend borders, uniting communities through the universal language of the arts.”

Applications will open on 7 May and the deadline to apply is 5:30pm, Thursday 6 June 2024.

Apply here