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Sceál Nua Origin
Emerging Playwright's Lab

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This winter, Origin Theatre Company, in association with Irish Arts Center, launches Scéal Nua, a new playwriting program led by accomplished Irish writer and actor Sarah Street. The program, which runs from January 22nd - April 2024, is designed to nurture and elevate emerging voices.


Scéal Nua was created specifically with New York-based Irish writers and writers of the Irish diaspora in mind. The aim of the program is to facilitate early career artists of any age, i.e., playwrights who have had little to no opportunity to have their plays seen by industry professionals and/or in a performance setting. We especially encourage historically underrepresented voices to apply.


Playwrights will be selected by a committee of incredible Irish writers, including playwright/producer Deirdre Kinahan (The Saviour); playwright, poet, and author Jaki McCarrick (The Naturalists); and playwright Honor Molloy (Crackskull Row), and will meet weekly, in person, every Monday from 2-5pm. The conclusion of the program will include a public presentation of each playwright's work 


As Origin Artistic Director Mick Mellamphy puts it, “Scéal Nua" is further confirmation of Origin’s commitment to nurturing the very best of emerging Irish theatre here in New York City.”


To apply for Scéal Nua, please complete the submission process below. We are so excited to read and review your work!



  1. Please submit either your writing resume, or a written (1 page max) or video statement (2 mins max) detailing your playwriting journey so far.

  2. If you have any social media or websites you want to share with us, please put them in the box below. 

  3. Artist Statement: In one page, describe your interests and specialities as an artist. What kind of theatre inspires you to create plays of your own? Who are some of your favorite playwrights? Use this statement to give us an idea of who you are not only as an artist, but as a person. We invite you to steer clear of “grant speak” and to instead write in a style that best reflects you. 

  4. What makes you an Irish writer?

  5. Impact: What kind of impact would this opportunity have on your career? How best could you be supported as an emerging playwright? Describe your answer in a paragraph. 

  6. Which area in the craft of playwriting do you feel need most help with (dialogue, character development, etc.). Describe your answer in a paragraph.

  7. If you have a play in mind for this program, please provide a synopsis of the play you’d like to develop as part of Scéal Nua. This can be working on editing/revising an existing work, or starting a new play from scratch. Note: Playwrights will not be held to developing the script that is pitched in this application. We understand that part of this program means making discoveries along the way, which could entail changing the script that is developed in Scéal Nua.

  8. If you don’t yet have a play in mind for this program, please elaborate on possible ideas and stories you wish to explore and develop as a part of Scéal Nua? 

  9. If you have one, please provide a character breakdown for the play you’d like to develop as part of Scéal Nua.

  10. Writing Sample: Please submit 10-20 pages of a writing sample that you feel best represents your work (this can either be from the project you wish to develop at Sceál Nua, or it can be a previous work). This should be 10-20 consecutive pages. We are providing a broader range as we understand that some playwrights might primarily have shorter plays or one acts. Whatever you submit and however long the sample is, what we want to see most is your voice as a playwright. 

  11. There is a $25 application fee. Payable at the button above.


Submission window is open from December 4-December 22.

All applications will be reviewed by an outside selection committee. Select participants will be requested for an interview, and finalists will be announced on January 12th. At this time, Scéal Nua is only able to accept a limited number of participants. Our aim is for this to become an annual program, and to grow the number of playwrights we are able to support each year. At this time, we unfortunately do not have the bandwidth to provide feedback to submissions. 

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