The Emelie FitzGibbon Bursary

Dec 14, 2023

Calling theatre makers, writers and artists interested in creating theatre for young audiences: We are excited to announce the Emelie FitzGibbon Bursary for young audiences at Graffiti Theatre!

Founder Emelie FitzGibbon pictured with current CEO/Artistic Director Niall Cleary

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Graffiti, we are proud to take this opportunity to honour our founder, Emelie FitzGibbon.  Emelie is a visionary theatre maker, educator and champion of children and young people.  She specialised in the creation of theatre for young audiences and her work has brought joy and inspiration to thousands of children and young people.  Along the way, she has inspired generations of artists and creatives working in the sector today.

  • Are you a writer, artist or theatre maker with a special interest in creating for young audiences, including those who work as Gaeilge?
  • Could you create a short performance piece for children? The piece should have the potential to be performed in classrooms and libraries.
  • Do you have an idea in development which would benefit from time, support and mentorship?

The chosen artist will be mentored and supported by Graffiti in 2024 with consultation with our artistic director and associate director as well as consultation with the children and young people in Activate Youth Theatre and also with office or rehearsal space, subject to availability. 

The Emelie FitzGibbon Bursary

Writing and Development

The chosen artist will develop their idea for a short performance piece to the point of rehearsal, with mentorship from Graffiti Theatre.

The amount awarded to the artist for this phase is: €5,000 (inclusive of all expenses).

The chosen artist may use the bursary to engage other collaborators (musician/s, designer/s, etc) in the development process.  These potential collaborators should be named in the proposal, where possible.


⦁ Artists/Writers/Theatre-makers working on the island of Ireland, including work as Gaeilge.
⦁ Artists/Writers/Theatre-makers currently making work for young audiences, or interested in doing so.  This could include music, dance, Early Years, etc.
⦁ Artists/Writers/Theatre-makers based in Ireland and able to be present at Graffiti in Cork to avail of space and mentorship. (Any travel or accommodation costs will need to be covered from the Bursary)

We strive to represent as many voices and experiences as possible. We believe it is important for children to experience diversity and to see themselves in the stories of others. We encourage applications from those from minority ethnic communities, artists with disabilities, and those who feel their voices are not commonly represented in the contemporary world.

No previous playwriting experience is necessary but enthusiasm and a passion for writing/creating for young audiences is key and a previous track record developing and delivering a project will help.

Closing date for applications: Thursday 25th January 2024 at 5pm Bursary will conclude in December 2024.


To apply you must;

  • Meet the criteria described in this call-out.
  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Be based on the island of Ireland and able to travel to Cork as needed for the bursary.


Submit your proposal outlining your idea for this Bursary (max. 500 words). This proposal can be as Gaeilge. Your proposal should also bear in mind the performance locations of classrooms, libraries or theatre spaces

We welcome applications for any age range from birth to 12 years. If your idea has a specific audience in mind (e.g. 0-5, 6-8, 9-12yrs), please indicate on your application.

If appropriate, indicate any collaborators you have in mind for this piece. 

Include a short letter (1 page max) or video (2 mins max) to introduce yourself

Include your biog. or CV

You may submit a short sample of previous work (max. 5 pages) to support your application but this is not required  

Let us know if you have any specific access requirements in order to take part

Details of two professional referees.

Applications must be received by close of business on January 25th, 2024  to

Applications will be assessed by a panel representing Graffiti Theatre and associate artists. The Bursary will be awarded on the basis of artistic merit and feasibility, with the performance locations in mind. Please note, we will not be in a position to provide in-depth feedback on individual applications.

We hope to inform applicants of the outcome of the process by 15th Feb 2024.

*The artistic rights will be retained by the artist for the future development of the piece, with due acknowledgment of the support of the Emelie FitzGibbon Bursary.  Additional funding and support may also be available from the commissioning partners to further extend the life of the project.