Profile on Playwriting: Female Graduates Lead the Way in the Industry

Lir graduate Clare McMahon (MFA Playwriting 2018) is one of the Fishamble Theatre Company's Play for Ireland writers. Her most recent play is I Am Maura: "a light-hearted and deft look at the life changing decisions we all face in our teenage years and how we're woefully ill-equipped to deal with them.".

I Am Maura opens this May at The Lyric, Belfast. It is a one-woman show also performed by Clare.

Clare McMahon
MFA Playwriting Graduate at The Lir Academy

Clare is not the only Lir Graduate whose work will open on The Lyric stage. Erica Murray (MFA Playwriting 2016) is an artist in residence at The Lyric, where she will showcase her new play, All Mod Cons. Erica is also the recipient of the prestigious Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Bursary. Her play, The Cat's Mother won the Fishamble New Writing Award at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2018.

Erica Murray
MFA Playwriting Graduate at The Lir Academy

Graduate on the MFA Playwriting 2015, Bevin Dooley is going to be the 2019 Fresh AiR Artist in Residence at the Found Festival in Canada, where she will bring her immersive play, In Camera to the stage.

Bevin Dooley
MFA Playwriting Graduate of The Lir Academy

Meadhbh McHugh wrote the adaptation for the stage of the acclaimed play Asking for It - Winner of the Audience Award at the Irish Times Theatre Award. Meadhbh collaborated with Lir Tutor Annabelle Comyn (who also directed the play) to create the script and bring this story to the stage.

Meadhbh McHugh
MFA Playwriting Graduate of The Lir Academy

Cristín Kehoe's play, Shelter had a successful debut during the Galway International Theatre Festival 2018. Cristín started writing Shelter as part of her MFA at The Lir Academy.

"There is no better feeling in the world than seeing your own work on stage. It's the stuff dreams are made of" - Cristín, talking about Shelter in an interview for

Cristin Kehoe
MFA Playwriting Graduate of The Lir Academy

Caitríona Daly has written highly -praised work that is making a mark in Irish theatre: Normal (Dublin Fringe Festival 2017), Panned - a show that made a successful return to the stage at Project Arts Centre in 2018, and Belly - her most recent work that opened during Scene and Heard 2019 where Caitríona took to the stage as a performer for the first time!

Catriona Daly
MFA Playwriting Graduate of The Lir Academy

2013 Graduate Gillian Greer was the Vault Festival head of theatre programming this year. You can read more about her career as a playwright, from being a script reader in theatres in Ireland and the UK, to programming for the Vault Festival, here. Her busy schedule didn’t keep her from writing her own work. MEAT, an exploration of the aftermath of sexual assault, was shortlisted for the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award.

Gillian Greer
MFA Playwriting Graduate of The Lir Academy

Other playwriting graduates include Vittoria Caffola who is the festival manager for the Belfast Film Festival and was shortlisted for Fishamble's A Play for Ireland 2018, Lauren-Shannon Jones - writer of Viva Voce (Dublin Fringe Festival 2018) and Player (Scene and Heard 2019), Nadine Flynn who is currently working as Assistant Script Editor at RTÉ and Jo Egan who started her own production company, Macha Productions and has produced plays across Northern Ireland.