14th IDGTF 2017: Celebrating Our History and Facing Our Future Together

Contemporary stories of LGBT life in Ireland and abroad will be celebrated on Dublin City centre stages for two weeks opening May bank holiday.

Reaching its 4000th performance this year, plays covering a range of topical issues; from being a gay Traveller boxing champion, to lesbian gangsters in East end London, and Mormon missionaries, are packed into a most innovative programme of theatre that makes Dublin the leading international centre in the world.

Launched by Senator David Norris, and award-winning actor Mark O’Halloran, a capacity audience including the Ambassadors of Chile, Norway, and the US charge d’affaires, flocked to the announcement of a programme not hosted in any other global city.

Joni Mitchell, leaving certificate students, inter racial love, a diverse group of queers, high school students from NYC, Calamity Jane, contemporary HIV and transgender stories, gay escorts, older community members, a Mexican confessional, lesbian artist models in the 1920s, a macabre reunion between an estranged father and his son, a man with a wife and a boyfriend, a modern exploration of masculinity separating the emotional from the physical self, and a closing night of a long established gay venue, are all topics of new and emerging playwrights who find a voice and a stage in Dublin each May make up this year’s accessible programme of diverse theatre for the 14th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

Carefully curated from over 100 submissions from every corner of the globe, five venues across Dublin city will become home to the best international gay theatre the world has to offer, providing a unique opportunity to see LGBT culture (9 performances each night) presented by theatre companies from Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Mexico & Scotland.

“Dublin will once again host the world’s biggest and most diverse LGBT Theatre Festival, in a year when the City Council decided to cut the already small grant being made available to this unique theatrical event that attracts worldwide attention” said Founder Brian Merriman.

“I suppose if you give so freely to your city, its often taken for granted and this cut of over 10% shocked the LGBT theatrical community, who recognise our work to give the city this valuable label as the world centre for the genre. This is our fourteenth year staging new and diverse theatre, welcoming artists and audiences regardless of their sexual identity. Everyone is welcome in this unique festival of theatre, and if the city wants to reduce its small support sobeit.”

said founder Brian Merriman.

Having recently attended the US tour of a festival production, New York City Councillor Daniel Dromm endorsed the festival for the positive impact it has had on LGBT people of Irish descent.

“Our visiting companies make great sacrifices to come to Dublin. We rely on the support of the Irish and international LGBT community to provide them with a platform – to have their stories be heard and affirm their theatre – a point the City Council who have always led the way in support should refresh”,

said Merriman in his launch speech.

“Given the political and media landscape we have endured over the last 12 months, it is important to provide a platform for minority communities to present new voices and quality theatre, now more than ever” said Conor Molloy, Public Relations Director.

“The theatre has historically been used to speak out about injustice, to challenge convention and to push boundaries. Theatre, like all art, has the power to change the world. But to do that, we must be able to speak out about our shared ideas, dreams, hopes, fears, and experiences. Our festival provides a safe space to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so and we appreciate the fact that Dublin has opened its heart to such artistic expression.”

Speaking at the programme launch, Senator and life-long LGBT activist, David Norris, congratulated Brian Merriman:

“Heartiest congratulations to Brian Merriman in once again bringing a vital and important theatre festival to Ireland. The Dublin Gay Theatre Festival reaches out beyond the gay community to the general public. I wish it every success.”

Founded in 2004 with the aim to create new opportunities for visibility & affirmation of emerging LGBT artists, and celebrating positive LGBT identity through theatre, the festival has grown to become the largest event of its kind. Join us as we celebrate our history and unite to face our future together in the 14th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

Secure online booking on www.gaytheatre.ie.

Tickets are priced at €15 per show (€13 Concession/€10 matinee). Nightly Venue tickets; two plays in the same venue (7.30pm/9.00pm), available at €25. Matinees are on Bank Holiday Monday (May 1st) and each Saturday (May 6th/13th).

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