SEEDS Apprenticeships


Applications are now closed. Thank you to all those who submitted applications, these are currently being reviewed by the Rough Magic team.

About SEEDS Apprenticeships

Since 2001 Rough Magic has been the pioneer of artist development in Irish theatre, through its SEEDS programme for emerging artists – based on mentoring, research and creative engagement. SEEDS has been Ireland’s premiere development programme for the past twenty-one years; an impressive number of graduates of the programme have gone on to make a significant contribution to the professional theatre sector and many continue to work with Rough Magic. So far there have been more than 55 SEEDS participants. Over 50% have been directly employed by Rough Magic and over 87% are currently working as full-time theatre professionals. Read profiles of our most recent SEEDS apprentices here.


Dominic (Dom) O’Brien“SEEDS provided me with a bedrock of experience in a professional theatre setting. My time on the programme included assistant-directing All The Angels, collaborating on the development of The Tempest, and getting the chance to stage my own work at Project Arts Centre. I came away from each of these opportunities with lessons learned and horizons expanded. SEEDS also allowed me to immerse myself in the running of Rough Magic, and observing how this dynamic company operates on a daily basis was illuminating and instructional. Overall, SEEDS equipped me with a confidence in my directing ability that I had not known before, and I am very grateful for that.”

Dominic O’Brien, Director SEED 2021-2022


SEEDS 2023-2024

Three emerging/early-career artists will be placed with the company for an 18-month engagement beginning in January 2023. Participants will be given access to desk space with the company, offered mentorship from the Rough Magic artistic team, support for their own independent projects and employment as fully paid apprentices on at least one Rough Magic production.

Participants will be eligible across the following disciplines;

  • Directing
  • Producing
  • Costume Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Video Design
  • Set Design
  • Sound Design

Candidates who work across more than one discipline are also eligible.

Participants will be given the position of Assistant to the Director, Designer or Producer, as appropriate, on at least one Rough Magic production. This supporting role will require creative input as needed and will be paid a weekly wage in line with the company rate for emerging artists over the course of the rehearsal and production period.

Candidate requirements

The successful candidates will have a demonstrable interest in theatre production and some experience at undergraduate or Fringe level of making live work for a paying public. They will have good communication skills, and the ability to work within a creative team.

Besides proven skill and artistic ability they will need to demonstrate an original and motivated vision, ambition and intellectual clarity. They must have a good working knowledge of theatre practice and production in contemporary Ireland. An understanding of Rough Magic, its ethos and history, and a comprehension of the practicalities of theatre making, are essential.

How to apply

Applications are by email, to Candidates should submit:

  • A short cover letter outlining the strand/s you are applying for, your suitability for the engagement, and answering why you would like to work with Rough Magic
  • A CV detailing work experience and any relevant production history
  • The names of 2x referees, with contact information
  • An outline of work on a past production or a current work-in-progress (max 600 words). The outline should address the following areas: a brief description of the project, your interaction with the creative and/or production process, and a self-assessment/analysis of the success of the project.

Please state “SEEDS Application” and the strand you are applying for in the email subject line. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in-person or on Zoom. Rough Magic would like to encourage applications that are representative of Ireland’s theatre artists in all their diversity.

Applications to: by Friday 14th October at 5pm. Shortlisted applicants will be called for an interview in person or via Zoom in early November.


Pai Rathaya“The SEEDS program was life-changing for me. I worked on Tonic and All the Angels, doing scenic painting and assisting, working alongside amazing designers and learning from them. I also learned how the whole company works, communicates and creates. Every team member was super kind and really willing to help. The SEEDS program is like a bridge from college to real work life. It taught me lots of practical things for working professionally. I used to think being a designer is a solo career path, but being a SEED changed that. It showed me that making theatre is about community, communication, helping and supporting each other”.  Pai Rathaya, Set Design SEED 2021-2022


Eoin Robinson“SEEDS completely transformed my career, not only through practical experience but with the networking opportunities and connections I have built across the sector. Being from the North there is often a divide between the two jurisdictions of this island that permeates into our arts sectors. SEEDS has given me the chance to observe and participate within the behemoth that is the southern theatre sector. In February 2022 I was asked to design for the Abbey for a rehearsed reading of Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry directed by Lynne Parker. To say this programme has changed the trajectory of my career is an understatement.

During SEEDS I was the video designer on All The Angels and Rough Weekend. The programme taught me quite a lot about video hardware, working with projectors, video formats and frame rates, and how your knowledge of hardware is equally as important as your knowledge of software. SEEDS is a truly life changing and career-defining experience. I will be forever indebted to the wonderful people at Rough Magic.”  Eoin Robinson, Video Design SEED 2021-2022


FAQ about the SEEDS Apprenticeships

I don’t live in Ireland, can I still apply?

The successful candidate(s) will need to be available to attend meetings and commitments in person in Dublin. For this reason we would be looking for Irish-based candidates with easy access to our Dublin City Centre office.

I’m in a full time third-level education programme, can I still apply?

Due to the nature of the placements and commitments in SEEDS, those in full time education would, unfortunately, not be suitable. However, those who are in Masters or part-time 3rd Level education would be considered eligible.

Do I need prior experience to apply for SEEDS Apprenticeships?

As SEEDS is a professional development programme, we are looking for applicants who already have some experience of working in theatre, who are looking to progress their knowledge and gain experience as professionals, and who have demonstrated a passion for theatre-making.

Can I apply for two SEEDS Apprenticeship Strands?

Yes you can! But please be aware you can only be shortlisted for one strand.

What should be included in my Outline of Work?

For your application – we would be looking for a past production or a current work-in-progress. It is an opportunity to talk about the kind of work you are interested in as an artist and your process as a theatre maker (600 words max).

For the references, should I supply letters of reference or just contact details of my referees?
For the initial stage of applications, contact details for those willing to give you a reference will suffice. However, if you have letters of reference to hand, or are in a position to obtain them, you can include them with your application.


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