Young Playwrights: On Stage at the Lyric - Showcase of plays by NI writers ages 14-18 

The short (10-minutes maximum) original plays were developed by 14-18-year-olds from around Northern Ireland who took part in YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS: ON STAGE AT THE LYRIC between February and May 2022.  Each writer had the chance to create and develop their own original short play, then work with professional directors, dramaturgs, actors and designers to bring it to the stage. 

Young Playwrights mentor Emily DeDakis explained: 

“Young Playwrights is a bold, all-embracing experience in scriptwriting for writers aged 14-18. It’s a space for them to learn the ins and outs of playwriting, collaborate with professional creatives from NI & beyond and to find their own voices. 

“These writers constantly amaze us with their insights.  In this collection of plays they’re writing about things like religion and morality, parental alcoholism, mental health, sexuality, war and racism – and with such honesty and humour too.” Once they have created their plays over a series of in-depth workshops, they collaborate with professional directors, dramaturgs, actors and designers to bring it to life in a public performance. “This final happening reveals the brave imagination and months of hard work the writers have put in – all while juggling exams too,” DeDakis said. 

In addition to the Young Playwrights Programme, Fighting Words NI runs a monthly, year-round Playwright Club, with mentoring provided by writer and dramaturg Emily DeDakis and winner of the Women’s Prize for Playwriting, Karis Kelly. Playwright Club is open to young writers (ages 13-18) interested in script and playwriting, and currently takes place online each month.  

The Young Playwrights Programme is supported by Backstage Trust & Foyle Foundation and Playwright Club is funded by National Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.