The Dublin Theatre Festival
's oldest specialized theatre festival. It was founded by theatre impresario Brendan Smith
in 1957 and has, with the exception of two years, produced a season of international and Irish theatre each autumn. It is one of a number of key post-World War II
events established to foster tolerance and cultural understanding between nations. Over the past five decades, the festival has become a crucial part of Ireland
’s cultural landscape.
It has played a dual role as a window to world theatre, having presented almost every great theatre artist of the late 20th century, and as a champion of Irish writing on the world stage
The Festival is unique in its ability to stage major international theatre of scale, and has hosted productions by the world's most highly regarded artists, while also premiering work by Ireland's leading playwrights
The Dublin Theatre Festival was founded by Brendan Smith, who also ran the Olympia Theatre
and the Brendan Smith Academy of Acting. In the 1950s, the Irish Tourist Board was interested in helping to finance events on what was termed "shoulder months" of the tourist season - May, June, September and October. Brendan successfully sought a grant and the Festival began operating in 1957.
The policy was - and remains - to bring the best available international theatre to Dublin and to balance the programme with Irish productions, especially new plays. There was controversy in the very first year... Read More