The Irish Dementia Working Group (IDWG) supported by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) is seeking a theatre company to support, plan and facilitate the 5×5 initiative at the Abbey Theatre from 10-14 June 2019 inclusive. This series enables five marginalised communities to engage with their national theatre for the first time and to foster new connections between audiences, artists and the Abbey Theatre.

About the Irish Dementia Working Group (IDWG)
The IDWG is an advocacy group for people living with dementia. They meet to share experiences and highlight issues important to them. Members raise awareness, challenge stigma, seek to influence public policy and engage in research.

Members of the group are early in the progression of their dementia and campaign for human rights based approach to the disease to make life better for the 55,000 people living with dementia in Ireland. They challenge the traditional paternalistic approach to people with dementia and seek to be active citizens. There is a Southern, Eastern and Western Dementia Working Group and a national Steering Group.

Members of the IDWG know dementia is a topic which has inspired many artists in recent years. They have observed theatre makers, film makers, visual artists and writers lend a creative response to this disease.

However, it does not give voice to the lived experience of dementia because it is not created or led by people living with dementia.

Members believe that their voice needs to be heard with integrity and not contextualised or translated. Living with dementia is an utterly different experience to caring for someone with dementia. The Irish Dementia Working Group wants to be heard, they want to lift the lid on the complex realities of cognitive impairment. The Abbey 5 x 5 grant is an opportunity to do this.

About The Abbey 5 x 5
In 2018, the Abbey Theatre put a call out for five communities who felt marginalised and silenced to take part in their inaugural 5×5 development series. These projects received five days’ worth of space, technical assistance and €5,000 to help in the development of a theatre piece. The series enabled the five communities to engage with their national theatre for the first time and also fostered new connections between audiences, artists and the Abbey Theatre.

Now in its second year and supported by The Ireland Funds, 5×5 will run across five weeks during the summer of 2019 and five new projects have been selected to take part. These projects are the Irish Dementia Working Group, Tailtiu Theatre, Solo Sirens, LISTEN UP! and Run of the Mill Theatre.

5×5 is an initiative of the Abbey Theatre’s New Work department. Further information here

Applicants will be marked on the following:
Relevant experience (30 marks)
• Demonstrate ability to facilitate marginalised groups, experience of devising theatre and engaging with people who are not professional theatre makers.
• Personal or professional experience of engaging with people living with dementia and an understanding of what that involves.
• Each submission should include a cover page of no more than two A4 pages; this will form part of the assessment. The cover letter should include the company’s motivation for undertaking this work.

Innovative proposal and vision (50 marks)
• The IDWG want to have their voice heard; this opportunity to work with the Abbey Theatre offers them the chance to do that in a creative way. The tender should include an outline of the approach the company will take and how the week will progress.
• Detail of the creative work to be undertaken and how best to utilise the space in our National Theatre.
• Please note this is a development grant to explore the lived experience of dementia, it is not necessary to have a show at the end of the week (however that may happen).

Capacity to deliver (20 marks)
• The ability to complete the project and provide the necessary professionals for the budget of €5000
• A commitment to be present at the Abbey Theatre for the week 10-14 June. Availability to deliver workshops in the South and West of Ireland early June in advance of the week in the Abbey. To be available to meet members of the IDWG and The ASI staff in Dublin to plan the project.
• Evidence of safeguarding procedures, insurance and financial procedures (e.g. ability to invoice, accept electronic payment).

The submissions will be evaluated by a panel comprising of two members of the IDWG, a member of The ASI and an independent expert.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Clodagh Whelan Advocacy, Engagement and Participation Officer, for further information and if any support is required: | 085 8047071

Deadline: Tenders to be received by Clodagh Whelan by COB, Tuesday 14 May 2019 via


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