The Rough Magic SEEDS Programme is a structured development initiative for emerging theatre practitioners. Now in its sixteenth year, the SEEDS Programme has introduced a new generation of Irish theatre-makers to the professional theatre world.

Participants have the opportunity to observe and experience Rough Magic’s work and to gain exposure to the working methods of international artists through mentoring and placements. The SEEDS artists are encouraged to engage with the company’s approach and become part of its process.

The SEEDS artists work together from the outset, participating in separate programmes designed around the individual but integrated within the collaborative spirit of the company.

The five participating SEEDS for 2018/2019 are:

Ciara Elizabeth Smyth – Writer

Olivia Songer – Director

John Gunning – Lighting and A/V Designer

Naomi Faughnan – Set and Costume Designer

Liadan Ni Chearbhaill – Production Manager

SEEDS Success

A remarkable number of graduates of the SEEDS programme have gone on to make a significant contribution to the professional theatre sector and to continue to work with Rough Magic.

Former SEEDS Sophie Motley and Ronan Phelan are Associate Directors with the company, while many others continue to work with us. In 2015 Sophie Motley directed David Ireland’s Everything Between Us and our 2016 production of Northern Star by Stewart Parker will be designed by Set and Lighting Designer, and SEEDS graduate Zia Holly. The company produced former playwright SEED Mark Cantan’s Jezebel in 2014 and Shaun Dunne is currently under co-commission with Rough Magic and Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray.

Former Producer SEEDS continue to make work that tours nationally and internationally. Lara Hickey is Associate Producer at the Abbey Theatre and Matt Smyth is a busy independent producer for many companies including Anu, Dead Centre and Collapsing Horse Theatre. Former SEED and Associate Producer Cian O’Brien has gone on to be Artistic Director at Project Arts Centre.

Several of the SEEDS base themselves overseas including Matt Torney who is Associate Artistic Director at the Studio Theatre, Washington and Marty Moore who has worked as Deputy Production Manager at the National Theatre of Great Britain and Production Manager for Belarus Free Theatre. Rosemary McKenna is Associate Director for Actors Touring Company and has recently worked as Staff Director at the National Theatre of Great Britain.

The programme’s alumni also include award-winning designers Sound Designer/Composer Alma Kelliher and Lighting Designer Sarah Jane Shiels.

Meanwhile ex-SEEDS continue to make work with the most dynamic companies around, such as The Company, Talking Shop Ensemble, Then.This and WillFredd. These are just some of the successes springing directly from the programme, we are very proud of them all.

"SEEDS was a really transformative process at a crucial stage in my formation as a theatre maker. It gave me the confidence to really call myself a director, opened my eyes to new ways of working, and provided me with vital skills in all areas of my theatre practice."

Tom Creed, Theatre Director, SEEDS 03- 04

"For me, the SEEDS Programme opened up a whole new world in terms of how I might contribute to the Irish Theatre Industry. It allowed me the opportunity, supported by the company and my amazing mentors at home and abroad, to explore the role of the theatre producer and to establish myself as a young professional with confidence, skill and experience."

Lara Hickey, Independent Producer, SEEDS 08-09