26 Lower Abbey Street
|Designation||National Theatre of Ireland|
|Owned by||Abbey Theatre Limited (prev. Dublin (ˈdʌblɨn/ /ˈdʊblɨn or /ˈdʊbəlɪn/, bˠalʲə aːha klʲiəh or cliə(ɸ is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. Ireland ( Irish: Éire, ˈeːrʲə is a country in north-western Europe. Michael Scott ( June 24, 1905 – January 24, 1989) was an Irish National Theatre Society)|
The Abbey Theatre (Irish: Amharclann na Mainistreach), also known as the National Theatre of Ireland (Irish: Amharclann Náisiúnta na hÉireann), is a theatre located in Dublin, Ireland. Irish (ga ''Gaeilge'' is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish. Irish (ga ''Gaeilge'' is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish. Theatre (or theater, see spelling differences) is the branch of the Performing arts defined by Bernard Beckerman as what "occurs when one Dublin (ˈdʌblɨn/ /ˈdʊblɨn or /ˈdʊbəlɪn/, bˠalʲə aːha klʲiəh or cliə(ɸ is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. Ireland ( Irish: Éire, ˈeːrʲə is a country in north-western Europe. The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904, and despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, has remained active to the present day. Events 537 - The Hagia Sophia is completed 1512 - The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the Year 1904 ( MCMIV) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year starting on The Abbey was the first state-subsidised theatre in the English-speaking world; from 1925 onwards it received an annual subsidy from the Irish Free State. The Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann (1922&ndash1937 was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by Since July 1966, the Abbey is located at 26 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1. 
In its early years, the theatre was closely associated with the writers of the Celtic revival, many of whom were involved in its foundation and most of whom had plays staged there. Celtic Revival covers a variety of movements and trends mostly in the 19th and 20th centuries which drew on Celtic art and traditions The Abbey served as a nursery for many of the leading Irish playwrights and actors of the 20th century, including William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory Augusta, Sean O'Casey and John Millington Synge. The history of Irish theatre begins with the Gaelic Irish tradition Isabella Augusta Lady Gregory (15 March 1852 – 22 May 1932 née Isabella Augusta Persse, was an Irish Dramatist and folklorist. Seán O'Casey ( Irish Seán Ó Cathasaigh (30 March 1880 &ndash 18 September 1964 was a major Irish dramatist and Memoirist A committed irish Edmund John Millington Synge ( (16 April 1871 – 24 March 1909 was an Irish Playwright, Poet, Prose writer and collector of Folklore. In addition, through its extensive programme of touring abroad and its high visibility to foreign, particularly North American, audiences, it has become an important part of the Irish tourist industry. Destinations Armagh - ecclesiastical capital of all Ireland St 
The Abbey arose from three distinct bases, the first of which was the seminal Irish Literary Theatre. The Irish Literary Theatre was a precursor to the Abbey Theatre. Founded by Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and William Butler Yeats in 1899—with assistance from George Moore—it had presented plays in the Ancient Concert Rooms and the Gaiety Theatre, which brought critical approval but limited public interest. Isabella Augusta Lady Gregory (15 March 1852 – 22 May 1932 née Isabella Augusta Persse, was an Irish Dramatist and folklorist. Edward Martyn (1859 &ndash 1923 of Tullira Castle Ardrahan, Co George Augustus Moore (24 February 1852 – 21 January 1933 was an Irish Novelist, short-story writer, Poet, art critic, The Gaiety Theatre is a theatre on South King Street in Dublin, Ireland, off Grafton Street and close to St
The second base involved the work of two Irish brothers, William and Frank Fay. William George (Willie Fay ( 12 November 1872 - 27 October 1947) was an actor and theatre producer who was one of the co-founders of the Frank Fay (1870–1931 brother of William Fay, was an actor and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre.  William worked in the 1890s with a touring company in Ireland, Scotland and Wales while Frank was heavily involved in amateur dramatics in Dublin. After William returned, the brothers staged productions in halls around the city and eventually formed W. G. Fay's Irish National Dramatic Company, focused on the development of Irish acting talent. W G Fay's Irish National Dramatic Company was a precursor to Dublin 's Abbey Theatre. In April 1902, the Fays gave three performances of Æ's play Deirdre and Yeats' Cathleen Ní Houlihan in a hall in St Theresa's Hall on Clarendon Street. George William Russell ( April 10, 1867 &ndash July 17, 1935) who wrote under the Pseudonym Æ (sometimes The performances played to a mainly working-class audience rather than the usual middle-class Dublin theatre-goers. The run was a great success, thanks in part to Maud Gonne, who played the lead in Yeats' play. Maud Gonne MacBride (Maud Nic Ghoinn Bean Mhic Giolla Bhríde 21 December 1866 – 27 April 1953) was an English -born The company continued at the Ancient Concert Rooms, producing works by Seumas O'Cuisin, Fred Ryan and Yeats. James Henry Cousins (1873 &ndash 1956 was an Irish writer playwright actor critic editor teacher and poet Frederick Ryan (1876 &ndash 1913 was an Irish Playwright and Socialist.
The third base was the presence in Dublin of Annie Elizabeth Fredericka Horniman. Annie Elizabeth Fredericka Horniman CH ( 3 October 1860 – 6 August 1937) was a member of the Horniman Tea family Horniman was a middle-class Englishwoman with previous experience of theatre production, having been involved in the presentation of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man in London in 1894. George Bernard Shaw ( (26 July 1856 &ndash 2 November 1950 was an Irish Playwright. She came to Dublin in 1903 to act as Yeats' unpaid secretary and to make costumes for a production of his play The King's Threshold. Her money would make the Abbey Theatre a viable reality, and according to the critic Adrian Frazier, would "make the rich feel at home, and the poor - on a first visit - out of place. "
Encouraged by the St Theresa's Hall success, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Æ, Martyn, and John Millington Synge founded the Irish National Theatre Society in 1903 with funding from Horniman. Events 537 - The Hagia Sophia is completed 1512 - The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the Year 1904 ( MCMIV) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year starting on Events 1431 - Joan of Arc is handed over to the Bishop Pierre Cauchon. Year 1905 ( MCMV) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Edmund John Millington Synge ( (16 April 1871 – 24 March 1909 was an Irish Playwright, Poet, Prose writer and collector of Folklore. At first, performances were staged in the Molesworth Hall.  When the Hibernian Theatre of Varieties in Lower Abbey Street and an adjacent building in Marlborough Street became available after fire safety authorities closed the Hibernia, Horniman and William Fay agreed to buy and refit the space to meet the society's needs. The Mechanics' Hall, also known as the Hibernian Theatre of Varieties was a theatre and music hall in Lower Abbey Street, Dublin.  On 11 May 1904, the society formally accepted Horniman's offer of the use of the building. Events 330 - Byzantium is renamed ''Nova Roma'' during a dedication ceremony but is more popularly referred to as Constantinople Year 1904 ( MCMIV) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year starting on As Horniman was not normally resident in Ireland, the royal letters patent required were paid for by her but granted in the name of Lady Gregory. Letters patent are a type of Legal instrument in the form of an Open letter issued by a Monarch or Government, granting an office right William Fay was appointed theatre manager, responsible for training the actors in the newly established repertory company. Yeats' brother Jack was commissioned to paint portraits of all the leading figures in the society for the foyer, while Sarah Purser was hired to design stained glass for the same space. Jack Butler Yeats (29 August 1871 &ndash 28 March 1957 was an Irish Artist. Sarah Purser ( March 22, 1848 - August 7, 1943) was an Irish Artist. 
On 27 December, the curtains went up on opening night. Events 537 - The Hagia Sophia is completed 1512 - The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the The bill consisted of three one-act plays, On Baile's Strand and Cathleen Ní Houlihan by Yeats, and Spreading the News by Lady Gregory. Spreading the News is a short one-act comic play by Lady Gregory, which she wrote for the opening night of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin 27 Dec On the second night, In the Shadow of the Glen by Synge replaced the second Yeats play, and these two bills alternated over a five-night run. Frank Fay, playing Cúchulainn in On Baile's Strand, was the first actor on the Abbey stage. Cúchulainn /kuːˈxʊlɪnʲ/ ( ( Irish for "Hound of Culann " also spelled Cú Chulainn, Cú Chulaind, Cúchulain, or  Although Horniman had designed the costumes, neither she nor Lady Gregory were present. Horniman had, in fact, returned to England, and her main role with the Abbey over the coming years, in addition to providing funding, was to organise publicity and bookings for touring Abbey productions in London and provincial England.
In 1905, Yeats, Lady Gregory and Synge decided to turn the theatre into a limited liability company, the National Theatre Society Ltd. A limited liability company (abbreviated LLC or LLC) in the law of the vast majority of the United States is a legal form of business Company , without properly consulting Horniman.  Annoyed by this treatment, she hired Ben Iden Payne, a former Abbey employee, to help run her new repertory company in Manchester. Ben Iden Payne ( September 5, 1881 – April 6, 1976) was an English actor director and teacher 
The new theatre found great popular success, and large crowds attended many of its productions. The Abbey was fortunate in having Synge as a key member as he was then considered one of the foremost English-language dramatists. The theatre staged many plays by eminent or soon-to-be eminent authors, including Yeats, Lady Gregory, Moore, Martyn, Padraic Colum, George Bernard Shaw, Oliver St John Gogarty, F. R. Higgins, Thomas MacDonagh, Lord Dunsany, T. C. Murray, James Cousins and Lennox Robinson. Padraic Colum ( 8 December, 1881 &ndash 11 January, 1972) was an Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist, George Bernard Shaw ( (26 July 1856 &ndash 2 November 1950 was an Irish Playwright. Oliver Joseph St John Gogarty ( August 17, 1878 - September 22, 1957) was an Irish Physician and ear surgeon Frederick Robert Higgins ( 24 April 1896 - 6 January 1941) was an Irish Poet and Theatre director. Thomas MacDonagh ( Tomás Mac Donnchadha) ( 1 February, 1878 &ndash 3 May, 1916) was an Irish nationalist, Poet, Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett 18th Baron of Dunsany ( 24 July 1878 &ndash 25 October 1957) was an Anglo-Irish writer and Thomas Cornelius Murray ( January 17, 1873 – March 7, 1959) was an Irish Dramatist who was closely associated with the James Henry Cousins (1873 &ndash 1956 was an Irish writer playwright actor critic editor teacher and poet Esmé Stuart Lennox Robinson ( 4 October 1886 - 15 October 1958) was an Irish Dramatist, Poet and Theatre Many of these authors served on the board, and it was during this time that the Abbey gained its reputation as a writers' theatre.
The Abbey's fortunes worsened in January 1907 when the opening of Synge's The Playboy of the Western World resulted in civil disturbance. The Playboy of the Western World is a three-act play written by Irish Playwright J The troubles (since known as the Playboy Riots) were encouraged, in part, by nationalists who believed the theatre was insufficiently political and who took offence at Synge's use of the word 'shift'—known at the time as a symbol representing Kitty O'Shea and adultery and hence seen as a slight on the virtue of Irish womanhood. The Playboy of the Western World is a three-act play written by Irish Playwright J Irish nationalism (Náisiúnachas Éireannach refers to political and sociological movements and sentiment that embodies a love for Irish ancestry, culture and language and The term chemise can refer to the classic smock or shift, or else can refer to certain modern types of women's undergarments and dresses Katharine O'Shea, also known as Katie O'Shea, Kitty O'Shea or following her second marriage Katharine Parnell ( 30 January 1846 &ndash  A significant portion of the crowd rioted, causing the remainder of the play to be acted out in dumbshow. Dumbshow also dumb show or dumb-show is a traditional term for pantomime in drama actions presented by actors onstage without spoken dialogue  Nationalist anger was further provoked by the theatre's decision to call in the police. Although press opinion soon turned against the rioters and the protests faded, the Abbey was shaken, and Synge's next—and last completed—play, The Tinker's Wedding (1908), was not staged for fear of further disturbances. That same year, the Fay brothers' association with the theatre ended when they emigrated to the United States and Lennox Robinson took over the Abbey's day-to-day management.
In 1909, Shaw's The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet led to further protests. The subsequent discussion occupied a full issue of the theatre's journal, "The Arrow". Also that year, the proprietors decided to make the Abbey independent of Annie Horniman, who had indicated a preference for this course. Relations with Horniman had been tense, partly because she wished to be involved in choosing which plays were to be performed and when. As a mark of respect for the death of King Edward VII, an understanding existed that Dublin theatres were to close on the night of 7 May 1910. Events 558 - In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses Year 1910 ( MCMX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Robinson, however, kept the Abbey open.  When Horniman heard of Robinson's decision, she severed her connections with the company.  By her own estimate, she had invested £10,350—worth approximately $1 million in 2007 US dollars—on the project.
With the loss of Horniman, Synge, and the Fays, the Abbey under Robinson tended to drift, suffering from falling public interest and box office returns. This trend was halted for a time by the emergence of Sean O'Casey as an heir to Synge. Seán O'Casey ( Irish Seán Ó Cathasaigh (30 March 1880 &ndash 18 September 1964 was a major Irish dramatist and Memoirist A committed irish  O'Casey's career as a dramatist began with The Shadow of a Gunman, staged by the Abbey in 1923. This was followed by Juno and the Paycock in 1924, and The Plough and the Stars in 1926. This last play resulted in riots reminiscent of those that had greeted the Playboy 19 years earlier.  Once again, concerned about public reaction, the Abbey rejected O'Casey's next play, and he emigrated to England shortly thereafter. 
In 1924, Yeats and Lady Gregory offered the Abbey to the government of the Free State as a gift to the Irish people. Although the offer was refused, the following year Minister of Finance Ernest Blythe arranged an annual government subsidy of £850 for the Abbey. Ernest Blythe (Earnán de Blaghd 13 April 1889 &ndash 23 February 1975 was an Irish politician This made the company the first state-supported theatre in the English-speaking world.  The subsidy allowed the theatre to avoid bankruptcy, but the amount was too small to save it from financial difficulty.
The Abbey School of Acting and the Abbey School of Ballet were set up that year. The latter was led by Ninette de Valois—who had provided choreography for a number of Yeats' plays—and ran until 1933. See also Dame Ninette de Valois, OM, CH, DBE ( June 6, 1898 &ndash March 8, 2001) was the 
Around this time additional space was acquired, allowing for a small experimental theatre, the Peacock, to be set up in the ground floor of the main theatre. In 1928, Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammoir launched the Gate Theatre, initially using the Peacock to stage works by European and American dramatists. Hilton Edwards ( February 2, 1903 &ndash November 18, 1982) was an Irish Actor and theatrical producer Micheál MacLíammóir (born Alfred Willmore) ( October 25, 1899 &ndash March 6, 1978) was an Irish Actor, The Gate Theatre, in Dublin, was founded in 1928 by Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammoir, initially using the Abbey Theatre 's Peacock studio  However, the Gate primarily sought work from new Irish playwrights, and despite the new space, the Abbey entered a period of artistic decline. This is illustrated by the story of how one new work was said to have come to the theatre. Denis Johnston, the story goes, submitted his first play, Shadowdance, to the Abbey; however it was rejected by Lady Gregory and returned to the author with “The Old Lady says No” written across the title page. (William Denis Johnston ( June 18, 1901 – August 8, 1984) was an Irish Writer.  Johnston decided to re-title the play, and The Old Lady Says 'No' was staged by the Gate in the Peacock in 1928. The veracity of this story has been questioned by academic critics Joseph Ronsley and Christine St. Peter. 
The tradition of the Abbey as primarily a writers' theatre survived Yeats' withdrawal from day-to-day involvement. Frank O'Connor sat on the board from 1935 to 1939, served as managing director from 1937, and had two plays staged during this period. Frank O’Connor (born Michael Francis O'Connor O'Donovan) (17 September 1903 – 10 March 1966 was an Irish author of over 150 works who was best known for his However he was alienated from and unable to cope with many of the other board members. O'Connor's past adultery was held against him, and although he fought a formidable battle to retain his position, soon after Yeats died machinations were put in place to remove him. 
During the 1940s and 1950s, the staple fare at the Abbey was comic farce set in the idealised peasant world of Éamon de Valera, which, if it ever existed, no longer was relevant to most Irish citizens. Éamon de Valera (ˈeɪmən dɛvəˈlɛrə (born Edward George de Valera) (14 October 1882 &ndash 29 August 1975 was one of the dominant political figures in 20th century As a result, audience numbers continued to decline. This drift might have been more dramatic but for the appearance of popular actors including F. J. McCormick and dramatists including George Shiels, who could still draw a crowd. F J McCormick (real name Peter Judge) (1889 in Skerries, Ireland – 1947 in Dublin, Ireland was an Irish Actor who George Shiels ( 24 June 1886 - 19 September 1949) was an Irish Dramatist whose plays were a success both in his native Another Abbey tenant was Austin Clarke, whose Dublin Verse Speaking Society—later the Lyric Theatre—operated out of the Peacock from 1941 to 1944 and the Abbey from 1944 to 1951. Austin Clarke ( May 9 1896 &ndash March 19 1974) was one of the leading Irish poets of the generation after W The Lyric Theatre grew out of Austin Clarke's Dublin Verse Speaking Society
On 17 July 1951, fire destroyed the building, and only the Peacock survived intact. Events 180 - Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa are executed for being Christians Year 1951 ( MCMLI) was a Common year starting on Monday. Events of 1951 January  The company leased the old Queen's Theatre in September and continued in residence there until 1966. The Queen's Theatre Dublin, located in Pearse Street was originally built in 1829 as the Adelphi Theatre. The Queen's had been home to the Happy Gang, a team of comedians who specialised in popular skits, farces and pantomimes and drew wide audiences. With its continued diet of 'peasant comedies', the new tenants were not far removed from the old. However neither of the two more interesting Irish dramatists to emerge in the 1950s, Brendan Behan and Samuel Beckett, featured in these productions. Brendan Francis Behan (ˈbiːən) (Breandán Ó Beacháin ( February 9, 1923 – March 20, 1964) was an Irish poet short story Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989 was an Irish Writer, Dramatist and poet In February 1961, the ruins of the Abbey were demolished, and plans for rebuilding began with a design by the Irish architect Michael Scott. Michael Scott ( June 24, 1905 – January 24, 1989) was an Irish On 3 September 1963, the President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, laid the foundation stone for the new theatre. Events 36 BC - In the Battle of Naulochus, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Admiral of Octavian, defeats Sextus Pompeius Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The President of Ireland (Uachtarán na hÉireann n̪ˠə ˈheːɾʲən̪ˠ is the Head of state of Ireland. Éamon de Valera (ˈeɪmən dɛvəˈlɛrə (born Edward George de Valera) (14 October 1882 &ndash 29 August 1975 was one of the dominant political figures in 20th century The Abbey reopened on 18 July 1966. Events 390 BC - Roman - Gaulish Wars Battle of the Allia - a Roman army is defeated by raiding Gauls, Year 1966 ( MCMLXVI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. 
A new building, a new generation of dramatists including such figures as Hugh Leonard, Brian Friel and Tom Murphy, and tourism that included the National Theatre as a key cultural attraction helped revive the theatre. Hugh Leonard (born John Keyes Byrne in 1926 and known to his friends as "Jack" is an Irish Dramatist and Journalist. Brian Friel (born 9 January 1929) is a playwright and more recently director of his own works from Northern Ireland who now resides in County Donegal Tom Murphy (born 1935 is an Irish Dramatist who has worked closely with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Aiding the revival was the theatre's involvement, beginning in 1957, in the Dublin Theatre Festival. The Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival is Europe 's oldest specialized theatre festival Plays such as Friel's Philadelphia Here I Come! (1964), The Faith Healer (1979) and Dancing at Lughnasa (1990), Murphy's A Whistle In the Dark (1961) and The Gigli Concert (1983) and Leonard's Da (1973) and A Life (1980) helped raise the Abbey's international profile through successful runs in the West End in London, and on Broadway in New York. Philadelphia Here I Come! is a play written by Irish dramatist Brian Friel. Dancing at Lughnasa is a play by Brian Friel set in Ireland 's County Donegal in August 1936 A Whistle in the Dark is a play by Tom Murphy that premiered in 1961 at Stratford East Theatre in London having been rejected in no The Gigli Concert is a play by Irish playwright Tom Murphy premiered at the Abbey Theatre Dublin, in 1983 and widely regarded as his masterpiece Da is a 1978 Comedy play by Irish Playwright Hugh Leonard. The play had its New York City premiere at the off-off-Broadway Hudson West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London 's "Theatreland" Broadway theater, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 39 large professional theaters with 500 seats or more located
In December 2004, the theatre celebrated its centenary with events that included performances of the original programme by amateur dramatic groups and the professional premiere of Michael West's Dublin By Lamplight, staged by Annie Ryan for The Corn Exchange company at the Project Arts Centre in November 2004. The Project Arts Centre is a venue for cutting-edge visual art and performance located in Dublin 's Temple Bar. However, despite the centenary, not all was well. Audience numbers were falling; the Peacock was closed for lack of money; the theatre was near bankruptcy, and the staff felt the threat of huge lay-offs. In September a motion of no confidence in Artistic Director Ben Barnes was tabled by two members, playwrights Jimmy Murphy and Ulick O'Connor, of the theatre's advisory council. Jimmy Murphy (born 1962 is an Irish Playwright living in Dublin. Ulick O'Connor (born 1928) is an Irish writer historian and critic Barnes, criticised for touring with a play in Australia during deep financial and artistic crisis at home, flew back and survived the motion.  The debacle put the Abbey under great public scrutiny. On 12 May 2005, Barnes and Managing Director Brian Jackson resigned after it became known that the theatre's deficit of €1. Events 1191 - Richard I of England marries Berengaria of Navarre. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. 85 million had been underestimated.  The new director, Fiach Mac Conghail, who had been due to start in January 2006, took over in May 2005. 
On 20 August 2005, the Abbey Theatre Advisory Council approved a plan to dissolve the Abbey's owner, the National Theatre Society, and replaced it with a company limited by guarantee, the Abbey Theatre Limited. Events 636 - Battle of Yarmouk: Arab forces led by Khalid ibn al-Walid take control of Syria and Palestine Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. In British or Irish Company law, a company limited by guarantee is an alternative type of Corporation used primarily for Non-profit After strong debate the program was accepted. Basing its actions on this plan, the Arts Council of Ireland awarded the Abbey €25. 7 million in January 2006 to be spread over three years.  The grant represented an approximate 43 percent increase in the Abbey's revenues and was the largest grant ever awarded by the Arts Council.  The new company was established on 1 February 2006, with the announcement of a new Abbey Board chaired by High Court Judge Bryan McMahon. Events 1327 - Teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. In March 2007, the larger auditorium in the theatre was radically reconfigured by Jean-Guy Lecat as part of a larger upgrading of the theatre.
More than 20 writers have been under commission by the Abbey since Mac Conghail was appointed director in May 2005.  A developing trend is for the Abbey to produce new Irish plays commissioned and developed by London's Royal Court theatre; Tom Murphy's Alice Trilogy and Marina Carr's Woman and Scarecrow are examples. Another developing trend is the Abbey's relationship with the Public Theater in New York where it has presented two new plays; "Terminus" by Mark O'Rowe and Sam Shepard's "Kicking a Dead Horse",
After discussions over many years, the Irish government announced in 2007 that a new theatre building would be procured for the Abbey by way of a public-private partnership contract for design, construction, financing and maintenance. Public-private partnership ( PPP) describes a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more This building will be in Dublin's "Docklands" area and will comprise three auditorium spaces, including a 700-seat main theatre, a 350-seat secondary performance space and a 150-seat studio theatre, along with rehearsal and education facilities, storage, wardrobe, archive and office space, and one or more bars and restaurants and a bookshop. The general and artistic operation of the new theatre will continue to be the responsibility of the Abbey Theatre Amharclann na Mainistreach Ltd.