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Mar 30 2021

Galway Theatre Festival returns with a digital theatre and performance festival!

Galway Theatre Festival is delighted to present Festival 2021, coming straight to you wherever you are! We have a really exciting programme of theatre, works-in-progress, workshops and talks streaming live into living rooms, home offices and bedrooms around the country. Where and how we create, present and experience theatre and performance has changed dramatically in the past 12 months. This year’s programme explores this new relationship with creativity and space.

Some of the artists from the cancelled 2020 Festival are back, with re-imagined productions of their shows - from the award-winning audio play, GirlPlay by the Rampant Collective to Dragon, Fizz and Chips Theatre’s musical theatre piece about toxic masculinity and Tinder. Oxbo Theatre will lead a workshop about the making of theatre based on a true story, based on the making of their play Waterford Crystal.

Also programmed is new work created for, in, and about our experiences of the pandemic, like Spontaneous Theatre People’s Sweet Rock Cáll, a multi-lingual, multi-media international improv theatre piece, exploring what happens when truth, technology and hackers collide.

Take a break in your day and carve out a 15 minute oasis of art with Embodying Glass, a music and dance theatre collaboration between Contempo Quartet, Galway Music Residency and dancer/actor Jérémie Cyr-Cooke, responding to the music of Phillip Glass The Made In Galway strand will focus on work currently under development, allowing audiences to become part of the devising process, with three very different and exciting new works.

Eileen Gibbons invites readers to get involved, to participate, to read, to perform, to comment or simply to observe, in The Common Good. Beluga Theatre and international collaborators Hyemin Han and Bright Ong, present Borders, an exploration of borders in our lives, visible and invisible, in a work-in-progress piece for audiences ages 8+. Meanwhile, one man’s struggle with alcohol forms the basis of Kevin Murphy’s work-in-progress Shakes

Mona, a GTF commission, is a work-in-progress by Mairead Ni Chronin and James Riordan, a meditation on the changing nature of business, our passion for human connection, and how our actions as consumers are transforming our shopping experiences and informing where we might go next.

GTF’s Galway2020 project InterAction returns in part, with two artists presenting the next phase of their digital work. Genre.ReWork by Tara Jaye Burke is an interactive blog based experience questioning our relationship with technology and media as consumers, while Eszter Nemethi invites audience members, and theatre practitioners to discuss what it means to be an audience member in our own homes, with Asking the Audience.

There’s plenty of opportunity for audiences to get involved in workshops and talks, from a hands-on Lighting Design workshop, to a panel discussion on theatre as Gaeilge.

Choosing to work in the arts and be a creative professional is choosing a life of adventure, unpredictability, fulfilment, risk and chaos. Psychologist and musician with The Blizzards, Louize Carroll will lead a session about creativity, vulnerability and how to better look after our mental health.

Despite the restrictions on travel, Cathal McGuire will bring an international element to the programme, in Writing for Objects, a conversation with Canadian theatre maker Francis Monty.

GTF is delighted to announce its new Dramaturgy Programme, funded by the Arts Council. This year, three Festival dramaturgs - Claire Mullane, Sarah Hoover and Marina Ní Dhubhain will work with the artists programmed in Festival 2021. The Festival Dramaturgs will receive mentorship from Gavin Kostick, Literary Manager with Fishamble: The New Play Company and will each be paired with a Mentor - established directors and dramaturgs working throughout the country. The Mentors are: Maisie Lee, Davey Kelleher and Pamela McQueen.

In the opening event of the Festival, Discovering Dramaturgy the Festival Dramaturgs and Mentor Dramaturgs will discuss this new project, and their work with the 2021 festival artists. As part of the dramaturgy programme, Gavin Kostick will lead Dramaturgy Masterclasses, a wonderful opportunity to learn from an internationally acclaimed, award-winning playwright.

All of the work in the 2021 programme has been imagined and reimagined with our audience in mind - distanced physically from each other, but eager and hungry for creativity and connection nonetheless. For the full Festival line-up and online ticket sales check out

Tickets on sale on and Eventbrite