Curtain Comes Down on Another Succesful Scripts Festival in Birr

Wexford’s Imelda Carroll was crowned the overall winning playwright at SCRIPTS Ireland’s Playwriting Festival at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre last Saturday night.


The Wexford playwright was one of three writers specially selected to travel to Birr for a week of mentoring with top writer Eugene O’Brien. Her play Tiger was selected by the Offaly man and Literary Manager at The Abbey Theatre, Jessica Traynor.

Curtain Comes Down on Another Succesful Scripts Festival in Birr

winner Jessica Traynor: And the winner is: Jessica Traynor, Literary Manager at The Abbey Theatre, announcing Wexford’s Imelda Carroll as the winning playwright at this year’s SCRIPTS Ireland’s Playwriting Festival at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre last Saturday night
WTF SCRIPTS BIRR: #WakingTheFeminists comes to Birr: Panel members at the Changing The Ink event at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre last Thursday including Sonya Kelly, Mary Kenny, Pom Boyd, Dr Brendan Donohue, Clare Barrett & SCRIPTS organisers.

Speaking on the night, Imelda said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to be chosen as the winner this year. It was fantastic to be selected as one of the finalists. To spend a week in Birr being mentored by Eugene O’Brien was a unique opportunity.  It was a steep learning curve! But Eugene generously and patiently gave us the benefit of his experience as a writer. This resulted in three great plays being performed by excellent actors on the night.’

The cream of Irish acting talent took to the stage with professional actors Clare Barrett, Charlie Bonner, Jane McGrath and Rob Earley all delivering memorable performances.

Imelda will now be invited to The Abbey Theatre for a private consultation and scripts analysis. Not only that, she will also secure a place on The Abbey’s Playwriting Pop Up Masterclass in Galway later this month and a space on The Introduction to Playwriting with Michelle Read at The Irish Writers Centre. Tiger will also represent SCRIPTS at Offaly Culture Night in September.


One of the many highlight of SCRIPTS took place at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre last Thursday night. Changing The Ink, a public discussion on the Waking The Feminists (WTF) movement and its implications for writers in Ireland today saw the likes of renowned journalist Mary Kenny, theatre professionals Sonya Kelly, Pom Boyd, Clare Barrett and researcher Dr Brenda Donohue come together in the Offaly town for a lively discussion on gender equality in Irish theatre.


Speaking on the night, Mary Kenny said: “I was thrilled to be involved with the Waking the Feminists evening at the fabulous Birr Theatre. I thought it was fizzing with ideas, broad in its range, very stimulating and terrifically good-humoured. Congratulations to all those who organised it and helped to make it work so effectively.”


The week also saw Pop Up Plays performed in The Stables, Kelly’s Bar and Emma’s Café. The first ever reading of another specially selected play for SCRIPTS 2016, In Goodness Grow, by Dublin writer Mollie Molumby also took place in The Loft Café last Monday. The performance included actors from Offaly Youth theatre and a talkback session with the audience. A children’s playwriting workshop was also held in Birr Library, with Pauline McNamee teaching young budding playwrights all the tricks of the trade.

Angela Ryan Whyte, Festival Co-Director said: “This year’s festival was a huge leap forward in so many ways. The addition of Arts Council funding allowed us to expand our programme & include many new events such as a dedicated development session with Offaly Youth Theatre, a children’s playwriting workshop and of course what was for many, the highlight of the week; the public discussion with #Waking The Feminists committee members. The level of media interest was also unprecedented with the festival being covered by documentary makers Them’s The Breaks & featuring on Irish TV. Increased funding allowed us to provide a better overall experience for the writers who were mentored this past week and we really felt this was reflected in the quality of the finished work at the Festival Finale.”

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