COMPASS is a new development programme designed to provide opportunities for artists and plays, placing both at the centre of Rough Magic’s activities. Merging artist development and core programming in a radical new structure, the programme will assist in creating a portfolio of new work for production in the years coming up to – and beyond – the company’s 40th anniversary in 2024.

Applications are currently closed.

The next round of application dates for SEEDS and the other COMPASS programmes will be announced later in 2022.

COMPASS is jointly supported by The Arts Council and The Lackendarragh Bursary  a significant donation of generous support from benefactor Seán Páircéir.

COMPASS will offer:

  • Commissioning
  • Structured research and development plans
  • Mentorship
  • Professional development
  • Paid employment for artists

Key elements of COMPASS are:

Playwright Commissions 2021

Commissions to 6 leading writers, 2 of them for adaptations of classic European works.


An open call for ideas from writers and theatre artists who are interested in making work with Rough Magic.

COMPASS Literary Manager

A part-time Literary Manager will be appointed by the company to assist in forging and maintaining relationships with playwrights across the spectrum of the COMPASS programme.

SEEDS Apprenticeships

3 emerging/early-career artists across the disciplines of directing and design (sound, lighting, video, set and costume) will be placed with the company for a 12-month programme. 

COMPASS Trainee Producer

A 12-month part-time employment opportunity with the company for an early-career freelance theatre producer. 


A system that provides artists with a schedule of development workshops, research trips, rehearsed and staged readings.


Applications for COMPASS

The next round of application dates for SEEDS and the other COMPASS programmes will be announced later in 2022. Join our mailing list below for updates.

Rough Magic welcome applications from everyone, and would like to encourage applications that are representative of Ireland’s artists in all their diversity – including but not limited to: people across the socio-economic spectrum, people of colour, members of the Traveller Community, people with disabilities and LGBTQI+ people.

The Lackendarragh Bursary

The Lackendarragh Bursary is a significant donation of generous support from benefactor Seán Páircéir. It will enable a schedule of development workshops, research trips, staged readings, residencies, and the support and  employment of theatre professionals. Named after a house where artists once congregated to make work and generate ideas, the Bursary mirrors that idea of a creative space by providing funding for the research and development of new ideas, and support for Rough Magic’s core programme.

“Small encouragements can sometimes be a catalyst to great outcomes. The bursary is an opportunity to help support under-appreciated but essential elements of the creative process” says Seán Páircéir. “I am delighted to be able to contribute to the execution of Rough Magic’s exciting vision and am hopeful over time that this could be a model that others might consider”. 

“Given Rough Magic’s long-term commitment to support for emerging talent, COMPASS will be a significant investment of resources and time in the future of Irish theatre,” said Artistic Director Lynne Parker. “Under our earlier SEEDS and ADVANCE programmes we connected with many of the new generation of theatre makers, who credit that engagement with helping them establish successful careers and forming partnerships with the company. That sense of partnership will be key to the new programme and we aim to support artists at every stage and across all theatre disciplines.

In 2020, Irish theatre has been turned on its head by the pandemic, and the many challenges it presented. This has nonetheless been a very productive year for the company, beginning with the Methuen publication of Rough Magic Theatre Company – New Irish Plays and Adaptations 2010-2018, edited by Patrick Lonergan. In August we were the first major company in Ireland to rehearse, open and successfully premiere a live performance under Covid-19 restrictions, Solar Bones by Mike McCormack, produced in partnership with Kilkenny Arts Festival X at the Watergate Theatre. We have begun a new partnership with the Axis in Ballymun to co-produce the world premiere of Glue by Robbie O’Connor. These achievements and new horizons will enable us not just to survive, but thrive; and now COMPASS.

For further announcements join our mailing list below.

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