Rough Magic Theatre Company
Rough Magic Theatre Company was founded in 1984 and has established itself as one of the leading independent theatre companies in Ireland. Based in Dublin, the company regularly performs at Project Arts Centre and tours its work in Ireland, the UK and beyond.
Since its foundation Rough Magic has built an organization based on three core values; artistic excellence, an egalitarian approach to the creative ensemble and an ethic based on pluralism. The company has evolved around the principle that we are part of a world culture that can celebrate Irish identity diverse in its nature and outward looking in its vision.
Rough Magic is committed to developing and producing new Irish work for the stage, commissioned from leading and emerging playwrights and theatre artists. We also present the best of contemporary international writing and innovative productions from the classical repertoire. Rough Magic’s unusually broad spectrum of work includes over 40 Irish premieres and the professional debuts of many Irish writers. Our productions have garnered many awards, both at home and abroad.
In addition we are active in the development of new theatre artists. Our pioneering SEEDS programme is now the benchmark for professional development in Irish theatre and remains the only one of its kind. This year we launched a parallel programme for established artists, ADVANCE, which acknowledges the need for ongoing training across all branches of theatre-making. Rough Magic is an enabler for the work of many individual artists and emerging companies, through mentoring, resource-sharing and production and administrative support.
Through these strategic initiatives, the richness of its artistic ambition and its national and international reach Rough Magic is connected across the full spectrum of theatre activity, experience and creative practice.
The SEEDS Programme is a pioneering development initiative to seek out, enable, encourage, develop and stage the work of a new generation of theatre talent. Since 2002 the SEEDS Programme has introduced a emerging theatre-makers to the professional Irish theatre. Participants have the opportunity to observe and contribute to Rough Magic’s work and to gain exposure to the working methods of international artists through mentoring and placements.
A remarkable number of graduates of the SEEDS programme have gone on to make a significant contribution to the professional theatre sector. We are delighted that our Associate Producer Cian O’Brien is the new Artistic Director of Project Arts Centre, while former Associate Director Tom Creed has become Director of Cork Midsummer Festival. Sophie Motley joins Matt Torney as one of our current Associate Directors; both will be remounting Plaza Suite, along with Aoife Spillane-Hinks and Sarah Jane Sheils for its national tour and transfer to the Gaiety theatre. And recent SEEDS graduate Marty Moore turned his placement at the National Theatre in London into a full-time position there, as Deputy Production Manager. Meanwhile ex-Seeds continue to make work with the most dynamic companies around, such as Anu, The Company, Then.This and Wilfredd. These are just some of the successes springing directly from the programme.
Funded by the Arts Council, the SEEDS Programme is individually curated to provide the artists with the support they need to develop their craft and advance their careers. Mentoring by established and highly experienced artists lies at the heart of the process, as well as international research trips, an international placement with a leading practitioner and hands-on experience assisting on Rough Magic productions.
The current participants are:
Zia Holly (designer)
Rosemary McKenna (director)
Ronan Phelan (director)
Matthew Smyth (producer)
Hugh Travers (writer)