In their mission statement the two newly appointed directors of the Abbey Theatre have expressed a willingness to turn the National Theatre into a theatre of the whole nation, bringing the Abbey’s work to the local level. As 2016 is the point of change when their tenure will officially begin, it would seem an opportune moment to open the debate on how regional ventures have allowed the development of Irish theatre, a fact too often overlooked by the scholarly focus on the Abbey.

The panel will investigate the work of local theatre companies that have been locally and nationally influential but that do not usually perform in the capital. For instance, Druid took on McDonagh at an early stage in his career and certainly shaped his early work as well as bringing him to public attention; Tinderbox have been actively engaged in developing new writers and in staging their work. Other companies of interest may be (but not restricted to) Corcadorca, Blue Raincoat, Red Kettle, Big Telly, or Prime Cut. The panel will explore the work these companies have produced, and how that work has impacted on the theatrical landscape locally, nationally, or internationally.

Deadline for abstract submission: 31 January 2016.

Please send your abstracts (no longer than 300 words) and a brief biography (50 words including affiliation) to the panel’s convenors: Dr. Anne Etienne (a.etienne@ucc.ie) and Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick (l.fitzpatrick@ulster.ac.uk)

Individual papers should be no more than 20 minutes in duration.