The Next Stage takes place each year during Dublin Theatre Festival. Applications open at the end of July each year and are announced on our website and Dublin Theatre Festival and widely on social media.


Applications are invited from anyone working professionally in theatre and the performing arts. Theatre artists and makers at an early career stage as well as more established and experienced professionals are invited to apply. It’s important that each group is a diverse one for participants to get the most of the programme.  Note a change to the eligibility criteria from previous years which means practitioners who have previously participated in the Next Stage can apply again to do the programme.

Next Stage 2019 Application

The 2019 Next Stage starts on 26 September and runs to 12 October.Participation in the Next Stage programme is by application only.  You can complete this  online application form from July 25 for Next Stage 2019 (deadline is 5pm Friday 16 August).

Any questions: email Theatre Forum on or call +353 1 6778779.


Each year, participants are selected by a panel made up of Dublin Theatre Festival and Theatre Forum representatives as well as the programme facilitator. The panel reviews all applications received and the following selection criteria are applied:

  • Applicant’s artistic ethos and goals
  • Applicant’s artistic output to date
  • Applicant’s likely role and fit with the group
  • The overall group dynamic and its diversity
  • The potential for future collaboration within the group

Programme participants are required to confirm their availability to attend all sessions as well as performances most evenings for the duration of the Festival.. Sundays will mostly be free.


For selected participants, the fee to confirm a Next Stage place is €100 per participant. This fee covers all of the programme workshops and events and all Festival tickets.


Please contact us with any questions.