The Marie Mullen Bursary

The Marie Mullen Bursary is an annual award for women working on the island of Ireland as theatre artists in the fields of design, directing and dramaturgy.

Named in honour of actor and Druid co-founder, Marie Mullen, the bursary is intended to address a historic imbalance and to support the professional development of women in Irish theatre.

The current recipient of the bursary is sound designer Martha Knight. Read more about Martha here.

The bursary is open to women working as designers, directors and dramaturgs who have a proven commitment to Irish theatre and are currently residing on the island of Ireland.

This bursary provides the chosen theatre artist with the time, physical resources and mentoring necessary to support their work.

Bursary winners often continue to work with Druid following the completion of their bursary years. In 2023, four bursary winners formed part of the creative team for DruidO'Casey:

  • Co-Costume Designer: Clíodhna Hallissey (2019-2020 Bursary Winner)
  • Associate Director: Sarah Baxter (2020-2021 Bursary Winner)
  • Assistant Director: Katie O'Halloran (2022 Bursary Winner)
  • Assistant Lighting Designer: Suzie Cummins (2023 Bursary Winner)

What does the bursary winner receive?

  • A residency with Druid on a upcoming mainstage production in 2024
  • A one-to-one session with Marie Mullen on working in the theatre industry
  • Mentoring opportunities with theatre professionals
  • For directors and dramaturgs, a contract to act as dramaturg or director for a Druid Debut
  • Opportunities to engage with the Druid Ensemble Opportunities to attend FUEL and Druid Academy workshops and events
  • A bursary award of €2,000

Who can apply?

  • Women working on the island of Ireland as theatre artists in the fields of design, directing and dramaturgy

How do I apply?

  • Applications for the 2024 bursary are now closed
  • The deadline for applications was Friday 6 October at 5pm
  • Incomplete or late applications cannot be considered
  • A selection panel of industry professionals will determine a shortlist of applicants for interviews
  • We will contact all applicants with an update on their application by November 2023
  • Applications for the 2025 bursary will open in late 2024

Bursary Winners

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Martha Knight

Sound Designer, 2024

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Suzie Cummins

Lighting Designer, 2023

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"The Marie Mullen Bursary was an extraordinary experience for me. It came at a pivotal point in my career, and allowed me to be fully immersed in design through learning and doing over the past year. I had the opportunity to work with some of the best creatives, performers and crew. I observed the processes Druid go through from concept, to staging the production, touring Ireland and then to the United States. This bursary is perfect for someone looking to grow personally and professionally while working with one of the best theatre companies in the world." - Suzie Cummins

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Katie O'Halloran

Director, 2022

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"The Marie Mullen Bursary provided me with a year of substantial growth in terms of knowledge, experience, and connections within this ensemble company and beyond. Observing the work of the leading theatre practitioners at Druid allowed me to develop my own creativity and directorial process. The collaborative, welcoming spirit of Druid's ensemble, the treasured relationships I've established, and the unparalleled opportunity for artistic expansion are just a few of the reasons I enthusiastically encourage applying for the bursary." - Katie O'Halloran

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Sarah Baxter

Director, 2020-2021

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"The Marie Mullen Bursary was a lifeline for me during the past year. As a freelancer it was wonderful to be connected with a company that I could call on for advice or encouragement. The work I got to undertake during the bursary brought me into conversation and collaboration with some of the finest talents around. It was an enriching experience that established strong relationships and skills development that I'm sure will continue to grow for years to come." - Sarah Baxter

Emily Foran

Emily Foran

Director, 2020-2021

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"The Marie Mullen Bursary has been an invaluable benefit to my career and craft as a director. It has enabled me to collaborate and learn from leading Irish theatre practitioners as well as be part of an incredibly warm and welcoming company. I am truly grateful to have been given this opportunity, one of which is unique within the industry on the island of Ireland and I would encourage any female theatre artists to apply." - Emily Foran

Hallissey Clíodhna

Clíodhna Hallissey

Costume Designer, 2019-2020

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"The Marie Mullen Bursary has been an incredibly unique experience that has given me the chance to work with a ground-breaking company and designers that I admire, in a warm and encouraging environment. It’s been an important stepping stone in my career, one that I would highly encourage others to take." - Clíodhna Hallissey

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Eleanor White

Dramaturg, 2018-2019

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"The Marie Mullen Bursary has been a vital, formative experience that has been invaluable to my career. It has afforded me a wealth of opportunities to really develop my practice and to learn from, and collaborate with, some of Ireland’s leading theatre practitioners. I would heartily encourage anyone to apply for the bursary - there are very few schemes like this in the Irish theatre sector, and the support and mentorship you receive throughout are unparalleled." - Eleanor White

The Marie Mullen Bursary is supported by Thomas Campbell Jackson & Penny Jackson.

Main image: Sarah Baxter (2020-2021 Bursary Winner), Katie O'Halloran (2022 Bursary Winner), Clíodhna Hallissey (2019-2020 Bursary Winner), Suzie Cummins (2023 Bursary Winner); photo by Ste Murray.