Video + Imagery by Ste Murray

Scene + Heard 2022 Call Out

After a long fermentation, like a fine wine, Scene + Heard is BACK! You have rested, recuperated, meditated, gnashed your teeth, spring-cleaned, stretched, swam, baked, painted, read, box-setted, cried, laughed, lived locally and loved loyally and now from your socially distanced cocoons you fine, ferocious, caterpillars are readying to emerge as the brave beautiful butterflies you are. Like Athena bursting forth from Zeus’ head in full armour and ready for battle, battle for creativity.

As has always been the case our call out is simple: we are asking YOU for your most outrageous, imaginative, enthusiastic, multi-genre, awe-inspiring, tear-inducing, laughter-medicinal, audience-wowing ideas. There is only ONE RULE – this must be new work, never before seen, to tantalise our tastebuds and catapult your brain waves on to our stages. We programme all genres and types of presentations. It can be music, dance, comedy, opera, mime, children’s theatre, circus, or all the above in a symphonic smorgasbord. We’ve presented yoga days, blindfolded gigs, speed-dating theatre, dinner comedy, visual art and promenade pieces. Whatever your vision is, we want to help you achieve it. If these past months (years? – what is time?) have shown us anything, it is that the depths of imagination in our industry is unending and indefatigable, so call forth those fires kept lit and get those lightbulbs flashing.

As you know the very core of our festival (our raison d’etre if you will) is to bring LIVE performance and art to a jam-packed room of people so they can share in that work, give their honest feedback and thus become part of the process. But remember that audiences too have changed, taken chances and had strange new experiences. From online events to picking your pod, audiences have made and (one would hope) enjoyed their dinner during theatre or indeed paused a live event for that imperative sour dough to be taken out of the oven. So although Scene + Heard is ultimately an in-person festival where we want to share the exponential good vibes in the room there’s always space for new ways of presentation and we want you to explore these. From relaxed performances to specific interactions, promenade or mixed viewing / listening methods the world is your oyster – we want to find that pearl.

So, (unless the pandemic decides to once again scupper our plans) Scene + Heard will take place in person from 9 – 26 February 2022. You may have some questions! If so check out our FAQs or if there’s something more specific, not covered, please contact Clíona and Caoimhe.

Applications are now open until midnight on Sunday 3rd October. Get those brains whirring and APPLY HERE.

No ideas springing to mind? Don’t you worry. There are plenty of other ways to bring your skills to the table and get involved. Here’s what you can do.

festoon lights, projection of a twitter feed on the wall



Who can apply to Scene + Heard?
Scene + Heard has programmed work from the entire gamut of the arts world. From first time script writers to mid-career directors, ensemble and devised work, EP launches, stand-up comedy, pop opera, spoken word, circus, dinner theatre and youth groups. We’ve had them all. From recent graduates trying out their first production to well established artists who want to move into other areas of work (actor-writers / director-actors etc) or companies that want to trial a new idea, new genre or mixed genres there is room in this programme for all walks of life. The ethos is to create a safe space, for you to try out your ideas. Maybe you’ve written your first script and want to hear it out loud for the first time and get feedback? Maybe you have a madcap ensemble idea that needs to be devised with a group? Maybe you’ve spent years honing your craft as an actor but have always secretly wanted to write or direct? We’re open to it all. Don’t be shy. Send it our way.

How do I apply to Scene + Heard?
Applications are online and open from THUR 19 AUG – SUN 3 OCT. Plenty of time to mull over all those options you have thrumming in your head. APPLY HERE.

Do I need to submit a full script?
No. A full script is not required. You can of course submit one if you have it but we accept extracts, summaries, plots and ideas. However, the more information you provide the better. Well rounded, thought through, original stories, themes and presentations are what we’re looking for.

What supporting documents do I need?
We want to see what you see in your mind’s eye. What your vision is. So send us what you think represents this or represents you and your style. It can be videos of past work, audio tracks of compositions, radio plays or suggested vibes, photographs, scripts, excerpts, mood boards, or whatever you’re having yourself. Less is not more in this case!

Does it have to be a theatre proposal?
No. We programme all genres and types of presentations. It can be music, dance, comedy, opera, mime, children’s theatre, circus, or all the above in a symphonic smorgasbord. We’ve presented yoga days, blindfolded gigs, speed-dating theatre, dinner comedy, visual art and promenade pieces. Whatever your vision is, we want to help you achieve it.

Can I submit an application without a team attached?
Yes. If programmed it is up to you to gather your team and get to work to produce the best piece you can. However, we are on hand to advise & guide you in this. Each year we host a Pitch & Mix where our programmed artists get to pitch their new work proposals to an audience of Actors, Designers, Musicians, Composers, Dancers, Dramaturgs, Directors, Producers, Gymnasts, Cheerleaders and all other talented beings who want to get involved in the festival. This is where you can make your callout for team members. Post pitch we get to mingle and many fruitful and long lasting working relationships have been formed on these nights. We also have a one-to-one meeting with each company/artist to identify their needs and what they want to achieve by participating in the festival and from this we can steer you to those people/places/things that may suit or compliment your work.

Do I need a Producer?
Yes. If programmed you will need to nominate a Producer. This person must not have any other role on the production. They will be your liaison with the festival and we know by experience that once you get into the rehearsal room to create we’ve lost you until show day. Therefore we need someone who is not in that creative space to be your representative and make sure all those backroom requirements are filled. We know that many of you work regularly with one or several producers but for those who don’t or who may be making their debut with us please note that this person does not have to be a fully fledged experienced producer. They need to be organised, communicative and ultimately interested in getting the best for your work, from large audiences to solid feedback. So nominate your number one cheerleader – someone who loves what you’re doing. We hold several producer workshops throughout the leadup to the festival that will talk them through what they need to do and when.

Do I need my own Designers/Technicians?
This is totally dependent on what you’re presenting. If you are presenting a rehearsed reading or stand up comedy that needs a simple set up in terms of lights & sound then the answer is NO. If your piece will have full design and all the flash bangs of fabulousness then the answer is YES. The festival provides technicians for get-in/get-out and we do have operators but as your rehearsal time in the space is quite short if your production is complicated with many lighting/sound cues it is better to have your own operator who has spent time in rehearsals with you.

Do I need to live in Dublin to take part in the festival?
No. We welcome and encourage applications from all corners of our beautiful land. We have programmed artists from all 32 counties over the years and will continue to do so. Do be advised that you will have to cover your own costs for your Dublin stay but we do work with companies based outside of Dublin to try and accommodate those best performance dates that suit for travel etc.

How do the programmers select the work for the festival?
Scene + Heard is a curated festival. All applications are read and considered separately by the 2 programmers who then come together to debate. Discussions include theme, genre, originality of idea, the impact it might have on an audience member, considering the artists’ previous work, the staging proposal, the creative team involved in the work, and the fullness of the application. The festival is eclectic – the idea is that there is something for everyone. We see each year that there are certain ideas in the zeitgeist and each year we get a remarkable amount of similarly themed applications, although they may not be the ones you expect – one year was a plethora of kidnappings while the next was all about being locked in supermarkets overnight – who knows how ideas weave around the world. But just to say we tend not to programme multiple pieces with similar themes. This is not to dissuade you from your idea – you may have written the Hamilton of a COVID play that will take over the world in which case send it on in – but do be aware that there may be hefty competition in some areas. Ultimately submit your very best original idea – that’s the name of the game.

How will I be notified about my submission?
We will contact all applicants whether successful or unsuccessful. Contact is normally made during the first two weeks of November. In the past few years due to overwhelming applications we have implemented a rounds system with Round 1 offers going out first followed by Round 2. At first you may receive notification that you are on a holding list which means you will hear from us in Round 2.

What’s the story with COVID?
Well hopefully it’ll go away… In all seriousness the festival will be strictly adhering to all government health & safety protocols. These protocols however do change rapidly on a weekly basis. All artists & audiences will be guided through these protocols & procedures throughout the lead up to and during the festival. One of our mandatory producer workshops will cover all of these aspects and it will be your responsibility as a programmed artist to implement these safety measures in your rehearsal room and technical rehearsals.