Funded by the Arts Council, participants on the SEEDS Programme participate in an 20-24 month programme, individually curated to provide the artists with the support they need to develop their craft and advance their careers. Mentoring by established and highly experienced artists lies at the heart of the process, as well as international research trips, an international placement with a leading practitioner or organisation and hands-on experience assisting on Rough Magic productions.
These experiences culminate in a showcase, which take place in the second year of the programme. The form of the showcase is decided by the participants, but the work is expected to demonstrate the highest artistic values and spring from an aesthetic of excellence and originality; it should also reflect the emphasis on collaboration, clarity and communication which characterises the Rough Magic style.
The SEEDS writer receives a full commission to deliver an original play over the course of the Programme and is mentored by an experienced playwright or playwrights throughout the process. The SEEDS writer receives support and feedback from Rough Magic’s dramaturg and participates in a structured development programme involving one-on-one script meetings, workshops and private readings. The writer’s programme is to some extent separate from the other individual programmes, but the SEEDS writer participates in a number of combined activities including workshops and international travel.
SEEDS participants are paid a bursary while participating on the programme and Rough Magic also covers all travel and accommodation expenses for international research trips and placements. SEEDS are required to make themselves available as requested for programme related activities. However, as the programme does not require a full time commitment, participants are encouraged to develop and work on their own projects alongside the programme. There were five participants on the seventh cycle, which ran from 2014-2015.
Past SEEDS mentors have included Ciaran Bagnall; Diane Borger at the Royal Court Theatre; Marina Carr; Rachel Chavkin, The TEAM ; Bob Crowley ; Alison Chitty; Paule Constable; Dominic Cooke at the Royal Court Theatre; Mark Dakin at the National Theatre; Loughlin Deegan at the Dublin Theatre Festival; Declan Donnellan at Cheek by Jowl; The English National Opera; Gareth Fry; Philip Howard and Gavin Harding at the Traverse Theatre; David Harrower; Jeremy Herrin at the Royal Court Theatre; Declan Hughes; Garry Hynes at Druid Theatre; Michael Keegan-Dolan at Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre; Jude Kelly at the Southbank Centre; Tom Kilroy; Gina Moxley; Tom Murphy; Eugene O'Brien; Mark O’Rowe; Hamish Pirie at the Traverse Theatre; Billy Roche; Mark Rylance at Chichester Festival; Ragnheiður Skúladóttir, Lókal International Theatre Festival; Rae Smith; Max Stafford-Clark and Enda Walsh.