Also known as the National Theatre of Ireland, was founded in 1904 by W. B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory. Its precursors were the Irish Literary Theatre and Frank and Willie Fay’s National Dramatic Society. With patronage from Miss Annie Horniman, premises were purchased on Old Abbey Street and on December 27th 1904, the Abbey Theatre opened its doors for the first time.
The Abbey produces an annual programme of diverse, engaging, innovative Irish and international theatre and invests in and promotes new Irish writers and artists.
We do this by placing the writer and theatre-maker at the heart of all that we do, commissioning and producing exciting new work and creating discourse and debate on the political, cultural and social issues of the day. Our aim is to present great theatre art in a national context so that the stories told on stage have a resonance with artists and audiences alike.
Over the years, the Abbey Theatre has nurtured and premiered the work of major playwrights such as J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey as well as contemporary classics from the likes of Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr, Bernard Farrell, Brian Friel, Frank McGuinness, Thomas Kilroy, Tom Mac Intyre, Tom Murphy, Mark O’Rowe, Billy Roche and Sam Shepard. We continue to support new Irish writing at the Abbey through our unsolicited script process, our writer development workshops, our Playwrights’ Hub, Pop-Ups, Scratch Nights and our commissioning process.