The Next Stage

Presented by Theatre Forum in partnership with Dublin Theatre Festival, the Next Stage is the artist development strand of Dublin Theatre Festival.

Over the 18 days of the festival, participants are immersed in the programme and given access to an array of leading artists in a curated schedule of talks, interviews, group time and workshops.

The Next Stage has been lauded by alumni as “a rare amount of inspiration” and “career changing”.

Past speakers and workshop leaders include Tim Crouch, Garry Hynes, Michael Keegan Dolan, Ruth Little, Mikel Murfi, Thomas Ostermeier, Vivi Tellas and Enda Walsh. The Next Stage also creates valuable opportunities for enriching engagement with other participants, with past programmes sparking successful artistic collaborations.


Applications are invited from anyone working professionally in theatre and the performing arts. Theatre artists and makers at an early career stage as well as more established and experienced professionals are invited to apply. It’s important that each group is a diverse one for participants to get the most of the programme. Note a change to the eligibility criteria from previous years which means practitioners who have previously participated in the Next Stage can apply again to do the programme.


Each year, participants are selected by a panel made up of Dublin Theatre Festival and Theatre Forum representatives. The panel reviews all applications received and the following selection criteria are applied:

Applicant’s artistic ethos and goals
Applicant’s artistic output to date
Applicant’s likely role and fit with the group
The overall group dynamic and its diversity
The potential for future collaboration within the group

As in previous years, there will be a Dance Ireland bursary and Dublin Fringe Wildcard awarded to two artists.

If you are a Dance Ireland member, make sure to indicate this on your application. If you have any further questions contact Katie at Theatre Forum:

To apply, fill in the application form HERE. The deadline is the 17th of August.

To read more, see HERE.