Grant Aid for Abbey Theatre

By Colin Murphy, Contributor
April / May 2006

Ireland’s Arts Council has announced that it will award the largest single grant in its history to the Abbey Theatre. The grant of 25.7 million euros (about $31.2 million) will be distributed over three years, and represents an increase of 43 percent in the theatre’s funding. Fiach Mac Conghail, the Director of the Abbey, called the grant “a substantial endorsement of the artistic policy and change process within the organization. It is a radical move that will facilitate better planning and help us work more effectively with Irish and international theatre artists.”

The Abbey Theatre in Dublin serves as the Irish National Theatre and was started by W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory in 1903. The theatre became the first in the English-speaking world to be subsidized by the state in 1925, when it received its first grant from the Irish government. The Abbey will use the money to continue promotion and development of an increasing repertoire of Irish Theatre. The theatre also aims to protect the current repertoire by regularly performing existing Irish works, and to support and train new generations of Irish artists. ♦

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