Next Stage

Theatre Forum and Dublin Theatre Festival are delighted to announce the Next Stage 2023 group: Mark Ball, Clare Barrett, Marty Breen, Choy-Ping Clarke-Ng 吳彩萍, Emma Coen, Pea Dinneen (Dublin Fringe Festival WildCard), John Doran, Esosa Ighodaro, Fiona Keller, Medb Lambert, Matthew Malone, Alan Mooney, Ursula McGinn, David McGovern, Dominic O’Brien, Jade O’Connor, Liv O’Donoghue, John O’Donovan, Áine O’Hara, Ryan O’Neill (Dance Ireland Bursary)

Next Stage 2023 Participants

  • Mark Ball Headshotbystemurray Mark Ball

    Mark Ball

    I’m a theatre-maker (directing, dramaturgy and facilitation), and Artistic Director of Super Paua, a company making theatre and art for young people who think it’s not for them. I make contemporary performances that are often multilingual and multidisciplinary and involve audience engagement in the making. I love playing with form and humour. Shame, and what stories we tell about ourselves or others that limit us, is an interest in my work. I create art with a range of collaborators- artists, scientists, public, young people, etc.! I’m a curator for Schöne Aussicht 2024, an international arts festival for young people. Previous Projects: Facilitation Training with Riverbank Arts Centre; Super Paua Stories, a multilingual audio podcast for children; and Whodunnit? The Great Art Robbery!, an online multilingual whodunnit for kids with Dublin and Melbourne Fringe 2022. I’m delighted to learn, explore, eat and spend time with the other artists at the festival!

  • Headshot Colour Clare Barrett

    Clare Barrett

    Clare Barrett is a Dublin based Actor and Theatre Maker. She trained at the Conservatoire T.U. Dublin and graduated with distinction in 2003. Since then she has worked with many theatre companies both performing and creating and developing new work in Ireland and Internationally. Writing credits: ‘Chance’ for the Home Theatre Project/ Draíocht and Dublin Theatre Festival directed by Louise Lowe. ‘Crude Mechanicals’ with Karl Quinn for Bewley’s Café Theatre. Recent acting credits: Every Brilliant Thing (Decadent/GIAF); Gold in the Water (Project Arts Centre/Mermaid); Toy Show Musical (RTÉ); Medicine (Landmark,GIAF, St. Ann’s Warehouse); Wild Horses (Fishamble) Trad (Livin Dred/National Tour); Much Ado About Nothing (Rough Magic/K.A.F/ National tour)-nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the I.T.T.A; The Unmangeable Sisters (Abbey Theatre); The Train (Rough Magic/Abbey Theatre/Tour) – nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the I.T.T.A; The Dead (Performance Corporation-Project/National Tour); Fréamhacha(Doubleband productions )Good Grief (Netflix); SisterS (Peer Pressure); She also plays Bronagh in RTE’s Fair City.

  • Marthabreenhighres 3 M Breen

    Marty (Martha) Breen

    Marty (Martha) Breen is a theatremaker, performer & facilitator. Recent credits include: Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, dir: Emma Jordan at Lyric Theatre Belfast; The Tempest by Rough Magic, dir: Lynne Parker at Kilkenny Arts Festival (nominated for Irish Times Theatre Award Best Supporting Actress 2023); Window a World by Choy Ping Clarke Ng at Dublin Theatre Festival; Once Before I Go by Philly McMahon, dir: Selina Cartmell at Gate Theatre; Lúminaria by Fionnuala Gygax dir: Masie Lee on national tour. Marty’s screen credits include the soon to be released Baltimore (Samson Films), Doctors (BBC), Hecuba (Areaman Films), Valhalla (Netflix), The Doireann Project (RTE). She is a founding member of Broad Strokes, an all-women improv troupe, performing Edinburgh Fringe & Dublin Fringe 2023. She has been Artistic Director of Mr. Sands Youth Theatre, Bray’s youth theatre, since 2020. She was an Arts Council Next Generation award recipient 2022-23 to study movement & intimacy practices for performers.

  • Cpcnheadshot2023 Choy Ping Clarke Ng

    Choy-Ping Clarke-Ng 吳彩萍

    Choy-Ping Clarke-Ng 吳彩萍 (they / she) is a Hong Kong-Irish theatre maker and designer of set, costume and video. Ping was born and raised in Enniskerry, Wicklow. They won a Linbury Prize after graduating from MA Performance Design at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (2021). They have designed for venues including the Abbey Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and Singapore Repertory Theatre. Ping also writes, directs, designs and often performs their own work. They are primarily inspired by their heritage, cross-cultural experiences and examining colonialism. Their most recent piece WINDOW A WORLD was co-produced by Dublin Theatre Festival and BUDA Belgium through the EU’s Be SpectACTive! project (2022).

  • Emma Coen Headshot August23 Emma Coen

    Emma Coen

    Emma is a producer based in Ireland who works in theatre, performance art, contemporary dance and film.

    With Pan Pan, Emma has produced world premieres and toured existing work to some of the world’s most prestigious festivals and theatres. Other recent work includes You’re Needy (sounds frustrating) with tasteinyourmouth at Dublin Fringe Festival and multiple projects with field:arts and their associated companies. Prior to joining Pan Pan, Emma was a member of the producing team at the Gate theatre, Dublin, where she worked on productions both in house and on tour.

    Emma is producing Frank Sweeney’s upcoming feature film, A Few Can See, which will premiere at EVA International 2023. Her previous film work includes the Mespil in the Dark series and Gina Moxley’s The Application.

  • Peashot Pea Dinneen

    Pea Dinneen

    Pea Dinneen is a theatre maker and cabaret artist from Dublin. In 2023, she was awarded the Next Generation Artist award from the Arts Council of Ireland. Pea’s work discusses transgender issues in a contemporary Irish context. Currently, she is developing her play Cool Suburban Mam with Rough Magic Theatre Company and her solo cabaret play Pea Dinneen: Raising Her Voice with support from The Arts Council of Ireland, The Abbey Theatre and Project Arts Centre. When she’s not writing plays, Pea is the co-founder and co-host of Dublin’s spiciest DIY queer cabaret night EGG.

  • Image John Doran

    John Doran

    John is an Actor. In theatre he has performed at The Abbey, The Gate, The Dublin Theatre Festival, Edinburgh Summerhall. He’s worked with companies such as Theatre Lovett, Dan Colley, Malaprop, Fishamble, Corcadorca and many more. John currently does the voice of Sean in ‘The Winged Freaks’ for Adventureverse and will next appear on television in Northern Lights (Lionsgate) this November. Other screen work includes Virgin Media’s Unhinged (2023), The Third Person (2024), Tell Me Where You Are (2024) and his upcoming Screen Ireland commission – The Assassination of MDH (2024). He’s also got a really funny Instagram (@dohnjoran)

  • Esosa Ighodaro

    Esosa Igodaro

    Esosa is a writer, director and performer. She is an Axis Arts Centre resident artist 2023, where she is developing 3 short pieces featuring artists of colour. Her work uses humour and aims to highlight Black talent and tell more varied stories of Black experiences in Ireland.

  • Fiona Keller Headshot Fiona Keller

    Fiona Keller

    Fiona is a collaborative stage manager who has worked with some of Ireland’s leading theatre companies. Her passion lies in the world of multidisciplinary and collaborative art forms. Her credits include: “The Patient Gloria” (Gina Moxley and Pan Pan at the Abbey Theatre), “Night Dances” and “Birdboy” (United Fall), “WAKE” and “Where We Live 2018” (THISISPOPBABY), “Medea” (Oonagh Murph, Gate Theatre), “It was easy (in the end)” (THEATREclub and Abbey Theatre), “Chekhov’s First Play” and “Lippy” (Dead Centre). She collaborated extensively with ANU Productions, contributing to a series of remarkable shows including “The Lost O’Casey,” “Sunder,” “Vardo,” “Thirteen,” “Boys of Foley Street,” and “These Rooms” (CoisCéim and ANU). Fiona is currently working with Selective Memory, a Dublin based music promotor and with Beyond The Pale Festival.

  • Medb Head23 Medb Lambert

    Medb Lambert

    As Co-Artistic Director of Asylum Productions, her work has been presented nationally and internationally. Recent Asylum work includes The Local co-written with Clare Monnelly and Emma O’Grady, in partnership with Kilkenny Arts Festival, Once Off and The Watergate Theatre; Everything Must Go! By Aideen Wylde and Donal Gallagher, a coproduction with Clonmel Junction Festival exploring an empty supermarket in the centre of the town with the people of the town and Roderick Ford’s dark, dangerous and strangely beautiful Daughter of God at UCC/Granary Theatre in association with Cork Opera House and Once Off Productions. Recent freelance work includes Found by Aideen Wylde (Broken Crow/Everyman); Country and Irish by Pat McCabe (Fight to Flight). What I (Don’t) Know About Autism by Jody O’Neill at the Abbey Theatre (2020/21). She was Artistic Coordinator of Equinox Theatre Company at KCAT Arts Centre in Callan 2006 – 2022). She is Artist in Residence at The Watergate Theatre 2023 with Donal Gallagher.

  • Matthew M 1 Small Crop Matthew Malone

    Matthew Malone

    Matthew is an actor and theatre-maker. He recently played leading roles in An Old Song Half Forgotten at the Abbey Theatre and in the new Irish musical Gold in the Water. He has been nominated by the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for his roles in Once Before I Go (The Gate), Faultline (ANU), and Tarry Flynn (Livin’ Dred), and received a best debut nomination from the BBC Audio Drama Awards. Other credits include The Boy Who Never Was (Brokentalkers), Embargo (Fishamble), and Susie and the Story Shredder (Bombinate). Screen credits include Frank Sweeney’s new film A Few Can See (EVA International), Miss Scarlet and The Duke (PBS), Dad (RTÉ), and Valhalla (Netflix). Matthew is interested in collaborative processes, contemporary performance in all forms, and the role of the actor as a creative. He trained in acting at The Lir and holds a degree in Drama & English from Trinity College Dublin.

  • Alan Mooney Headshot Alan Mooney

    Alan Mooney

    Originally from Cork, Alan is a collaborative lighting artist who works principally in live performance including theatre, dance and opera. His core artistic drive lies in crafting a visual language to help both tell and augment story. Recent design work includes Breathwork (Irish National Opera), Something Different and A Thought for Your Pennies (Tinderbox Theatre Company), Nobody / Somebody (NI Opera), The History of the Troubles [accordin’ to my Da] (GBL Productions @Grand Opera House and Tour), Conversations on a Crosstown Algorithm (National Sculpture Factory), Tkuir (Outburst Queer Arts Festival), Julius Caesar (TU Dublin Conservatoire), The Half Moon (Green Shoot Productions), The Revolution Will Be Streamed, We Like It Here and Assembly Required (Headrush, Ireland). Other credits include Associate Lighting Mavra / Pierrot Lunaire (Royal Opera & Jette Parker), Assistant Lighting & Relighter How To Be A Dancer in Seventy-Two Thousand Easy Lessons. Select Relighter credits include Dances Like A Bomb (Junk Ensemble), The New Electric Ballroom (The Gate) and Solar Bones (Rough Magic). He invites you to view more of his work at

  • D7fb0b07 4d9a 4e75 92e3 Fd0589e397fb Ursula Mcginn

    Ursula McGinn

    Ursula McGinn is a theatre-maker, working as a director and facilitator, producing theatre for all ages, but specialising in work for teenagers and young audiences. Storytelling, collaborative practice and finding magic in the mundane are at the core of her practise. She enjoys live art experiences that  incorporate puppetry & object manipulation, comedy, and that play with scale.Ursula is Artistic Director of Bombinate Theatre, an award-winning theatre company, creating plays and workshops for families and young audiences.Ursula’s recent directing credits include Variations by Katie Himms (Backstage Youth Theatre, September 2023), Dog Shit by Bellaray Bertrand-Webb (Dublin Fringe Festival 2023), Scenes with Girls by Miriam Battye (Studio Two, Lir Academy 2022), HUNT (The Lyric Belfast as part of NT Connections 2022), Goodnight Egg (Bombinate Theatre, Carlow Arts Festival 2023, DCC Tour 2022) and The Windstealers (Dublin Youth Theatre, 2021). Ursula is a 2023-2024 recipient of the Irish Arts Council’s Next Generation Award. Ursula has a MFA in Theatre Directing from the Lir Academy and a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin. She is an alumna of Dublin Youth Theatre.

  • Headshot Dm David Mcgovern

    David McGovern

    David McGovern (he/they) is an artist, writer and educator. He works with moving image, text and performance to create space for self-enquiry and reflection. Themes in his work include creative block, masculinity, the internet, care, and queer futures. His background in future forecasting brings a speculative sensibility to his work. David is currently developing a social imaginary entitled HARDCARE. The participatory project celebrates unconventional experiences of care, posing provocative questions about how we look after ourselves in hidden and deviant ways. David has been invited to a number of residencies internationally, including in Kyushu, Japan and Andalusia, Spain. Mentors for his work have included visual artist Emma Wolf-Haugh, theatre-maker Tom Creed and writer Seán Hewitt. In 2022 he was awarded the Arts Council’s Next Generation Artist Award to continue developing his multidisciplinary practice.

  • Alt2 Dominic O'brien

    Dominic O'Brien

    Dominic O’Brien is a theatre-maker from Dublin. He studied Drama and Classics at Trinity College, graduating in 2020, and has recently participated in Rough Magic’s SEEDS programme. He enjoys working collaboratively to make theatre that questions the cultural legacies we’ve inherited. Dominic’s directing credits include Horse Play (Glass Mask Theatre), DOLL (Scene + Heard Festival), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Beckett Theatre), and Beat. (Dublin Fringe Festival). He has been the assistant-director for productions from Opera Collective Ireland, Rough Magic, and Sugarglass Theatre. He is currently developing his new play Echo, which was staged as a work-in-progress in Scene + Heard earlier this year. The full production will be premiering in Dublin early next year.

  • Sm 1005 0229 Bw Jade O Connor

    Jade O'Connor

    Jade is an actor, singer, multidisciplinary performer & theatre artist and an associate artist at The Solstice Theatre. She collaborates with various directors, artists, musicians and theatre companies both nationally & Internationally. As an actor she has most recently played roles in Harry Wild starring Jane Seymour, Joyride starring Olivia Coleman and she plays ‘Gunn’ in the MGM / Netflix Show – Vikings: Valhalla. She is part of THISISPOPBABY’s show WAKE. As a music artist she performs under the name JADE O. She has released 3 commercial singles. Jade is a recipient of the Next Generation Award 23’. And a Commissions Award Artist – Arts Council Ireland. Jade is one half of the award winning duo FemmeBizarre. Shows include: CAGED 18’, Mrs. Cellophane 20’ and HAUS OF FASH HUN – Dublin Fringe 23’.

  • Portrait By Lorna Fitzsimons

    Liv O'Donoghue

    Liv O’Donoghue is an actor based in Dublin. Over the past 15 years, she has worked predominantly as a performer for the stage, working across dance, theatre and opera, touring throughout Europe, the USA, China and Australia. Most recently, Liv has just completed an international tour of Dead Centre’s ‘Good Sex’, in a role for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at this year’s Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. Other notable recent work includes Gina Moxley’s ‘The Patient Gloria’, a show which won multiple awards during its Edinburgh Fringe run and was selected as a New York Times Critic’s Pick when it played St Ann’s Warehouse, NYC in 2022. Latest film work includes ‘The Last Harvest’ directed by Maeve Stone (Athrach Films), ‘Mycelium’ directed by Maria-Elena Doyle (South Wind Blows), and ‘Closer, Näher’ directed by Alan Gilsenan and Liz Roche.

  • Image 6487327 John O'donovan

    John O'Donovan

    John O’Donovan is an award-winning writer whose plays have been produced internationally to critical acclaim. He writes socially engaged, formally inventive drama, focusing on working-class characters in heightened states of reality. In 2022 he won the ITI/Phelim Donlon Bursary, the Abbey/CCI Paris residency and was placed on the ITI’s Virtual Six in the Attic. FLIGHTS (2020) toured Ireland & London to great reviews. Between 2016–18 his debut play IF WE GOT SOME MORE COCAINE I COULD SHOW YOU HOW I LOVE YOU won the BBC/Stewart Parker (2019), IARA for best playwright, and special commendation at Vault London. Residencies include CCI/Abbey Theatre (2022), ITI/Phelim Donlon (2022), the Old Vic 12 and Orange Tree Writers’ Collective (2017). Other plays include SINK (DFF, 2019) and HY BRASIL (Old Vic). He is currently working on several projects, including a version of the Children of Lir retold as a play about contemporary foster care, and an original piece about disconnection and community in rural suburbia.

  • Aheadshotinsta Áine O'hara

    Áine O'Hara

    Áine O’Hara is an award winning visual artist, theatre maker and facilitator focused on creating exciting and vulnerable work for and with people who are often left out of traditional art and performance spaces. Áines work spans mediums and is interested in community building, accessibility and care. Áine wants to create work which uplifts and supports disabled and chronically ill artists and audiences. In 2020 they were the recipient of A4 Sounds ‘We Only Want the Earth Project’ award which culminated in a solo show ‘The Patient will see you now’ December 2020. Áine was awarded the Next Generation Award in 2022 and the Radical Spirit Fringe Festival Award for “The Rest Rooms” a programme and space that celebrated disabled joy and rest as resistance. Áine is a proud member of A4 sounds artists studios and is the Equity and Access officer for Praxis the artists union of Ireland.

  • Ryan O'neill Ryan O'neill

    Ryan O'Neill

    Ryan achieved a first class honours degree in Dance from the Ulster University and studied his Masters in Dance Performance at Laban as part of a professional post graduate company Transitions. Since then Ryan has worked with Maiden Voyage Dance, Off The Rails, ponydance, Tinderbox, Primecut, Oona Doherty Works (NI) Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Junk Ensemble, Panpan, Company Philip Connaughton, Coisceim, Liz Roche Company, Emma Martin/United fall, Luke Murphy/Attic Projects and This is pop Baby (IRL) Gwyn Emberton Dance (UK) and Punchdrunk’s immersive show Sleep No More in Shanghai and The Burnt City, London. In 2011 Ryan was selected by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham palace for recognition of his achievements as a young person in the Arts.