Next Stage Photo Lucy Nuzum 1 1050x591

Theatre Forum and Dublin Theatre Festival are delighted to announce the Next Stage 2022 group: Áine O’Hara, Anthony Keigher, Bellaray Bertrand-Webb, Caitríona Daly, David Coonan, Emma Coen, Gea Gojak, Gene Rooney, Helen Keenan (Dance Ireland Bursary), Jeda de Brí, John King, Karl Quinn, Kate Finegan, Laura Sheeran, Léann Herlihy (Dublin Fringe Wildcard Bursary), Mariana Marinho, Roseanna Purcell, Shane O’Reilly, Síomha Nee, and Tom Moran.

Next Stage Participants

  • Áine O'hara

    Áine O'Hara

    Áine O’Hara is a multidisciplinary artist, theatre maker and designer. Áine’s work is interested in blurring the lines between community building and art. Áine has presented work nationally and internationally and their work has been supported by Dublin Fringe Festival, A4 sounds studios, Arts and Disability Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland. You can see more about their work at

  • Anthony Keigher

    Anthony Keigher

    Anthony Keigher is an award winning performer, writer and producer making musical theatre, cabaret and club experience under the alter-ego of pop-star XNTHONY. Keigher explores pop culture, social phenomena and community life to create multi-platform performance that is thought provoking, acerbic, clubby and entertaining. The work often focuses on revisiting historical moments or long held cultural traditions as a way to create new conversations. Sometimes it’s just about rehashing a Cher song and having fun.

    Xnthony has undertaken commissions and collaborations for many exemplary organisations including Roundhouse, Dublin Fringe, National Theatre and Southbank Centre. He is funded by Arts Council Ireland and recently received Theatre Presentation funding to premier his ambitious new musical ‘Oliver Cromwell is Really Very Sorry’ which will premier at Dublin Fringe Festival at Project Upstairs in September 2022.

    Keigher’s long term ambitions includes challenging institutional norms to make accessing space and support easier for queer creatives. This line of support includes mentoring LGBTQI+ creative practitioners in Ireland and the UK through his support platform WERK and WERKshop, which have featured at Roundhouse London and Dublin Fringe Festival, respectively.

    Photo Credit : Tyler Kelly

  • Bellaray Bertrand Webb

    Bellaray Bertrand-Webb

    Bellaray Bertrand-Webb is a Writer and Producer. Currently, she is Weft Associate Producer for the Dublin Fringe Festival, working on ‘Hive City Legacy’, ‘The Perfect Immigrant’ and ‘Filmore!’ Before moving to Dublin, Bellaray was Assistant Producer for Nick Starr and Nick Hytner’s Bridge Theatre, London. During this she founded ‘Reading Room’, a workshop and rehearsed reading initiative for new plays. She was also a Young Critic for The Almeida Theatre, London and a participant of StoneCrabs Directors Program.

    In 2021 Bellaray moved to Dublin to start the Playwriting MFA at The Lir, TCD. Bellaray is determined to make work that is ambitious and playful while continuing to learn and experiment as a writer. She is currently under seed commission for the Lyric, Belfast with Cillian Lenaghan.


    Bellaray studied Classical Civilisation at King’s College London, where she co-founded ‘Eye Want Change’, a smartphone film competition addressing social issues. After King’s Bellaray interned at PEN American Centre (NYC), literature and freedom of Speech organisation. Exploring ways to create empathy is key to her work.

  • Caitríona Daly

    Caitríona Daly

    Caitríona Daly is an internationally produced playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include: Duck Duck Goose (Fishamble, 2021 Dublin Theatre Festival, National Tour); Normal (nominated for the Fishamble New Writing Award and First Fortnight Award at Dublin Fringe 2017); and Test Dummy (nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play 2016).  She is currently under commission with The Abbey Theatre. As a screenwriter she has worked on television dramas with RTÉ and the BBC and currently has film scripts in development with Banjoman and Alfonso Films.

  • David Coonan

    David Coonan

    David Coonan is an experimental contemporary-classical composer based in Dublin. He has written music for concerts, opera, theatre, dance, and film installations, and cross-disciplinary collaboration forms a major part of his practice. His work for stage includes music for plays (Anna Karenina, Abbey Theatre), dance (Dēmos, Liz Roche Company), and opera (verballing and Horse Ape Bird, Irish National Opera), and he has written for music ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Contempo Quartet, Crash Ensemble, Chamber Choir Ireland, and the Choir of the Chapels Royal HM Tower of London. Upcoming projects include work for the RTÉ Concert Orchestra with Malaprop Theatre (New Music Dublin Festival, 2024), and a large-scale music-theatre composition for solo piano, electronics, and video (a collaboration with pianist Isabelle O’Connell, dramatist Dylan Coburn Gray, and visual artist Niamh McCann).

  • Emma Coen

    Emma Coen

    Emma Coen is a producer based in Mayo, working between there and Dublin. Emma’s work as a producer has mainly been in theatre and visual art, and is generally multidisciplinary and collaborative. Emma is currently working with Pan Pan and United Fall, with a focus on international touring. In the past she has worked as a producer with field:arts, Collapsing Horse and the Gate theatre, and as a stage manager with Ireland’s leading theatre companies.

  • Gea Gojak

    Gea Gojak

    Gea Gojak is a theatre director born in Pula, Croatia. Her focus of interest in theatre is dealing with socio-political topics. She produced engaged performances and participative projects that stimulate and encourage critical thinking, activation, and development of the audience.Since coming to Dublin, in 2019, Gea proceeded with her professional development. She received the following awards and participate in various residencies: Abbey Theatre Resident Director Programme 2022, Activate Residency- Backstage Theatre 2022, 9th Pan Pan International Mentorship 2021, AIC Bursary Award 2021 Collaborative Arts and Cultural Diversity,  Create and Fire Station Artist’s Studio 2021 Residency Award. Gea participated in the 2021 Forecast – A School of Thinking, and the 2021 Autumn School on Cultural Diversity and Collaborative Practice, devised by Create and Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab. In 2021 Gea started a collaboration with the Mother Tongues Festival team, as the producer of the festival.

  • Gene Rooney

    Gene Rooney

    Gene is an actor, teacher, director and proud Limerick woman. She is a graduate of The Gaiety School of  Acting.  She has just played Brigit in 2 episodes of Bodkin, a new Netflix series currently filming in Ireland. She has appeared on almost every stage in Ireland in over 50 productions. Highlights include Marion in the critically acclaimed Bang! (DTF 2021), Waiting for Poirot  (Honest Arts ), Bread Not Profits (Guna Nua), The Odd Couple ( The Everyman Theatre), Buck Jones and the Bodysnatchers (Joan Sheehy and DTF), Pigtown (Island Theatre Co). She has toured the UK and Australia extensively with Fishamble’s award winning production of Swing.

    Gene has also worked on many other productions in film, TV and radio. She is a voiceover artist and is one of the regular promo voices on Virgin Media Television.

    Gene has been a teacher of both Acting and Improvisation for over twenty years at The Gaiety School, for whom she also directed the Graduation Showcase twelve years running.

    She is delighted to be on of the participants of Next Stage 2022.

  • Helen Keenan

    Helen Keenan

    Screen Actor | Dancer | Theatre Maker | Emerging Circus Artist 

    Helen is a multidisciplinary artist, greatly influenced and inspired by dynamic, ensemble physical theatre, and the cross section between dance and circus. She is deeply interested in how these two disciplines can co- exist, support and transform storytelling within movement based performance. Helen brings to bear various strands of creativity to the making of her work, and to her performance for both stage and screen.

    Helen has recently received a wealth of support from local authorities, The Arts Council and organisations such as Dance Ireland and Dublin Circus Project.

    Helen has been exploring the world of physical theatre, dance and interactive technology for the last 2 years, and has recently begun to upskill in circus disciplines. While leading a strong movement based practice, Helen is also committed to her career as a screen actor, having recently graduated from additional training at Bow Street Academy.


  • Jeda De Brí

    Jeda de Brí

    Jeda de Brí is an award winning director and writer for stage and screen.

    Recent directing credits include: Windows 21 for Fighting Words  (The Abbey Theatre) Standing in Lifts with Strangers (Bewleys Café Theatre) 14 Voices from the Bloodied Field (Abbey Theatre)

    Other directorial credits include: Brendan Galileo for Europe (Winner: Little Gem Award, Nominated: Best Director, Broadway World Awards), GPO 1818 (Fishamble), Procession (Best Short Bellingham Music Film Festival 2019, Aer Lingus In-Flight Programming).

  • John King

    John King

    John is a director and theatre-maker based in Dublin. With theatre collective Murmuration, he has made the headphone shows One Moment Now (Bewley’s), You’re Still Here (Dublin Fringe, co-presented by the Abbey Theatre), Will I See You There (Dublin Fringe), and Summertime (Dublin Fringe, Drogheda Arts Festival, Abbey Young Curators Festival). His other directing work includes The Cyclone Kid (Bewley’s), The Overcoat (Omnibus Theatre and OSO Arts Centre, London), and various work with London based performance artist Joseph Morgan Schofield. John is an Associate Artist of Solas Nua in Washington, DC, where his previous work includes side-walks (co-written with Jeremy K Hunter) and somewhere in the future dark (Atlas Performing Arts Centre). Assistant directing credits include Maria Stuarda (Irish National Opera), The Children, Queen of Basel, Kings, and If I Forget (Studio Theatre, Washington, DC). He is a former Research Intern at Shakespeare’s Globe, an alumnus of the Donmar Warehouse’s Future Forms initiative and the Royal Court Writer’s Group, and his work is published by Methuen Drama. He holds an MA with Distinction in Text and Performance from RADA and Birkbeck College London, and a BA (Hons) in English from the University of Cambridge.

  • Karl Quinn

    Karl Quinn

    Karl Quinn is a Dublin based Theatre Maker with over twenty-five years’ experience creating work nationally and internationally.

    Currently on a national tour of Breathe (Carpet Theatre), a music play with Steve Wickham (The Waterboys). Recently seen in Holding (ITV) directed by Kathy Burke.

    International work includes SXSW, (USA), Washington DC (USA), Yukon and Vancouver (Canada), with The Performance Corporation; (Romania), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Wales (UK) with Carpet Theatre; London (UK) with Tall Tales and The Bush Theatre; Edinburgh (UK) with Yew Tree.

    In Ireland Karl’s work includes Actor (Fidget Feet, The Performance Corporation, Abbey Theatre, Rough Magic, Ark Theatre, Broken Talkers); Director (Crude Mechanicals, The Ould Fella, Trolly); Writer (Connected, Crude Mechanicals, Trolly); Devising (Aeneid, The Flood, Pigeon); Drama Facilitator (Abbey Theatre, Globe College, Munich); Voice Over (RTE TV and Radio continuity). Karl is a Creative Associate on the Arts Council’s Creative Schools team.

  • Kate Finegan

    Kate Finegan

    Kate Finegan is an actor, aerialist and theatre/short film maker. Kate graduated with a BA in Drama Studies and Modern Irish from Trinity College in 2014.  Kate’s interest lies in the fusion of aerial dance with different art forms. This can be seen through her artistic collaborations in recent years. Examples of such are with Alison Lowry ( Glass Sculptor), Jessica Kavanagh ( Music/Spoken Word), Sinead McCann (Visual Art) & Laura Sheeran (Film).

    Kate is one half of FemmeBizarre. FemmeBizarre have presented work for THISISPOPBABY, TheatreClub, The Centre Culturel Irlandais, The Irish Aerial Dance Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival (2018 – Winners of Best Duo & Nominated Best Production).

    Kate is a Next Generation Award recipient by the Arts Council, Ireland 2019. While collaborating and making her own work, Kate has performed internationally with Fidget Feet & nationally with Spraoi, Anu Productions, Fíbín Theatre, Aerial Cirque, Fatale Events & LUXE.

  • Laura Sheeran

    Laura Sheeran

    Laura Sheeran is an artist and director from Galway, based in Dublin. Her work is rooted in music, filmmaking and theatre, and regularly incorporates dance. Laura began her career as a musician, collaborating frequently with theatre artist Little John Nee and with musicians Cora Venus Lunny and Clodagh Simonds in Fovea Hex. Laura performed for many years as a solo artist before shifting her focus in 2014 to filmmaking and directing. In 2016, Laura joined Crash Ensemble as their filmmaker in residence and began working full time as a video artist, collaborating with musicians, art makers and clients such as National Gallery of Ireland, Irish National Opera and The Gate, winning awards nationally and internationally for her films. In recent years, Laura has been directing work for the stage more frequently, exercising a multidisciplinary approach to her work. She was an associate artist with Siamsa Tíre in 2021 and is currently one of four resident directors at The Abbey Theatre.

  • Copy Of Léann Herlihy Artist Portrait 2021 Photo Be Jordan Hearns

    Léann Herlihy

    Léann Herlihy is an artist, researcher and educator based in Dublin. The methodological fulcrum of their practice pivots around academic studies in queer theory and feminist epistemologies which they utilise in tandem with live action, performance, video, sculpture and text. Pairing gestural action with in-depth research, their practice employs an emancipatory paradigm that actively destabilises gendered and sexualised dichotomies in an overtly heteronormative society.

    Léann Herlihy is the recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland’s Next Generation Artist Award [2022], Visual Arts Bursary [2021] & Agility Award [2021 – 2022] as well as being awarded a Project Studio [2021-22] at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. Léann is Dublin Fringe Festival’s Next Stage Wildcard.

  • Mariana Marinho

    Mariana Marinho

    Mariana Marinho is a Brazilian actress, playwright and journalist born and raised in SãoPaulo. As an actress, she’s known for working in theater and audiovisual productions thatinvestigate Latin America and are focused on the actor’s work in dialogue to other artisticareas, such as literature and visual arts.In theater, she collaborates with artists and companies from her hometown, such as NúcleoPequeno Ato, Extemporânea, Stultífera Cia and Cia. Realejo. In audiovisual, she hasconceived, written and starred in independent productions and has also acted in films andseries. As a journalist, she has been working on the cultural scene for about ten years,collaborating with festivals like MITsp – São Paulo International Theater Festival andpublishing works in several media outlets, such as Folha de S.Paulo, the largest Brazilian newspaper.

  • Roseanna Purcell

    Roseanna Purcell

    Roseanna Purcell is an actor and writer from Co. Tipperary. Performance credits include Circle Of Friends (Gaiety Theatre), Duck Duck Goose (Fishamble; Dublin Theatre Festival), A Holy Show (Verdant Productions), CopperFaceJacks The Musical (Olympia Theatre), Signatories (Kilmainham Gaol and Olympia Theatre) and The Bridge Below The Town (Livin’ Dred). Roseanna is currently under commission from The Source Arts Centre through the support of The Arts Council commission award for a new play, Gorse. Last year she had a work-in-progress showing of her most recent play, Muck, at The Axis Theatre as part of The First Fortnight Festival. Her first play, Test Copy, was commissioned by Nenagh Arts Centre and was performed in venues and festivals around the country. Roseanna’s writing responds to the richness and complexity of life in contemporary rural Ireland, finding new ways to reflect the human experience by exploring the relationship between landscape, myth and modernity.

  • Shane O'reilly

    Shane O'Reilly

    Shane O’Reilly is an actor and a writer.

    Shane’s theatre writing work includes: Swansong (Barnstorm Theatre Company) windowpane (The Abbey Theatre; Dear Ireland); Gold in the Water (Spring 2023); The Water Boys (Equinox Theatre); Näher…closer, nearer, sooner (Liz Roche Company); FOLLOW, FARM and CARE (co-created with WillFredd Theatre); The Matador (Show in a Bag) The Genealogy Project (development showing at The Abbey Theatre, 2017).

    Shane’s film writing includes: PAL (Culture Night 2020); Näher (co-created with Liz Roche and directed by Alan Gilsenan). He is currently in development with Equinox and KCat on a new experimental film based on his stage play The Water Boys.

    As an actor Shane has performed with The Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre, Rough Magic, Druid, Landmark, Barnstorm and Prime Cut along with other Irish and international companies.

  • Síomha Nee

    Síomha Nee

    Síomha Nee is the Theatre Manager at The Mick Lally Theatre in Galway, and the Programme Manager of FUEL, Druid’s artist residency programme.  She worked as a Junior Producer with Macnas, and was a participant on the Irish Theatre Institute’s ELEVATOR resource sharing initiative.  Síomha has an MA in Journalism and worked as a freelance proof-reader and sub-editor before working in theatre.

  • Tom Moran

    Tom Moran

    Tom Moran is an actor-writer whose new solo show, Tom Moran is a Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar, premieres at Dublin Fringe this September in The New Theatre. Tom recently wrapped shooting on his latest movie, The Christmas Break, a romantic comedy starring Justin Long (Dodgeball) and India Mullen (Normal People). Tom’s other work as a writer-performer includes; Comedically Heartbroken, a solo show at Smock Alley, Lyrics, a play with music starring Danielle Galligan at Theatre Upstairs and The Belly Button Girl, a monologue play that enjoyed two sold-out runs at The New Theatre in 2016 and 2019. Other notable credits include: Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Mill Theatre), Jack Absolute in The Rivals (Smock Alley), Edgar in King Lear (Mill Theatre), and Fierce Notions (Dublin Fringe). Tom is also working on his debut book, a collection of comedic yet personal essays, as well as in development for a number of screen projects. Instagram/Twitter: @tmoran93