Waterford Gathering | Cruinniú Phort Láirge

30/05/2023 - 31/05/2023
Shauna Kelly

Join Theatre forum for this landmark event in the performing arts 2023 calendar.

Waterford Gathering | Cruinniú Phort Láirge

 Hundreds of artists, arts workers and arts organisation people from arts centres and production companies, festivals and funders will get together in Waterford’s Theatre Royal and Garter Lane for two days of conversation, provocation, and inspiration.

Book your ticket

Theatre Forum has partnered with Ticketsolve and Crowd Engage to sell tickets this year. You can purchase tickets on this link.
Ticket prices:
Non-member €280
Organisation member €140
Freelance artists/arts worker €100
Your ticket includes day sessions, artistic programme, bespoke walking tour, lunch on both days and evening dinner.

Bursaries for independent artists and arts workers
The majority of these bursaries have now been allocated.
You can find out more here.

Ticketsolve Ticket Bursaries
Ticketsolve is sponsoring 20 ticket bursaries for arts professionals working in fundraising & development, marketing, box office, audience development and ticketing. Each ticket bursary has a value of €140 and covers day sessions, artistic programme, bespoke walking tour, lunch on both days and evening dinner. You can find out how to apply for one of these Ticketsolve ticket bursaries over here.

Schedule of events

Times & Venue



11:00 – 13:00
Large Room, City Hall


Green Arts Forum
Hear about the arts and culture sector’s climate action policies as well as Greening Venues and Greener Touring project findings and the relevance of their findings to theatres, arts centres and production companies.


12:30 – 14:00
Foyer/Vestibule, Theatre Royal


Registration at box office & lunch in Vestibule.
12:30 – 13:00 TYAI meeting in Theatre Royal bar
13:15 – 13:55 Marketing, comms, coffee mingle with Ticketsolve in Theatre Royal bar


14:00 – 17:30
Theatre Royal main auditorium


Afternoon session (with a coffee break)
Curated by Ruth McGowan
Speakers include:

Adah Parris will give a keynote on the power of being a good ancestor and how embracing long-term thinking can drive innovation and creativity

Alan Lane will read from his impactful memoir The Club on the Edge of Town and share the lived experience that inspired the book – turning his theatre company into a food bank.

José Solis will discuss disrupting American theatre criticism through his project BIPOC Critics Lab

Shauna Harris will offer her perspective on intersectional representation within creative spaces




Drinks reception sponsored by Thin Gin

18:00 – 19:00
Various locations and Theatre   Royal stage                          

Artistic Programme curated by Lynn Cahill
The Waterford Gathering Artistic Programme will begin with a performance on the stage of the Theatre Royal from the Mount Sion Choir. You’ll then set off on an artistic adventure into the Viking Triangle led by young musicians from Music Generation Waterford. Along the way, you’ll encounter installations from  Spraoi , enjoy a dance performance by Rachel Ní Bhraonáin and a street theatre performance from Curious State. before arriving into Christ Church Cathedral for the finale: an opera recital from the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

19:15 – 21.00


Dinner in Bishop’s Palace café & late evening venue


Wednesday 31 May 

Times &




9.30am 9.35am

Blaa Blaa Blaa Walk
Start your day with a fascinating walk through the streets of Waterford City from the Theatre Royal to Garter Lane. Along the way, young guides from Waterford Youth Arts  will tell tales of Waterford’s past and present. You’ll see some ‘Waterford Walls’ and still have time to stop for that all important coffee before the morning session starts.
Garter Lane auditorium


Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách, INO’s VR Opera 

Hear from James Bingham about the  Irish National Opera world’s first virtual reality community opera, “Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách,” in collaboration with communities throughout Ireland. The piece was composed by Finola Merivale with a bilingual libretto by Jody O’Neill, and directed by Jo Mangan. The opera tells the story of a community that must leave their barren homeland due to their actions, and their journey to find a new home, pursued by the vengeful force of nature – here’s more information about this project.


Robert Griffin of the Creative Futures Academy and lecturer in the Department of Technology and Psychology in IADT explores some of the technologies that make virtual reality community opera and other ground-breaking projects possible.


The opera is experienced on a VR headset and available for everyone to experience throughout the morning in Garter Lane’s Gallery space.


Various spaces, Garter Lane



Let’s talk about …

Production Forum in partnership with Ealaín na Gaeltachta
A forum to talk about theatre production as Gaeilge
Panel: Val Ballance, Arts Council; Alan Esslemont, TG4; and Muireann Kelly Fíbín sa Taibhdhearc.
Conversation as Gaeilge with live translation.

Marketing Forum and data driven decision-making. Workshop with Heather Maitland, Katy Raines & Ticketsolve. Sharing expertise about using data, including the AIRO Mapping your Audience tool, to make data-driven marketing decisions and a preview of Theatre Forum’s Audience Insights box office reports and surveys tools.


Tour to Spraoi Workshop






Open Mic




Let’s talk about…
New production models
Jimmy Fay of Belfast’s Lyric Theatre kicks off a discussion about how artists, production companies, hubs, venues, networks and festivals are adapting their approaches and evolving production models.

Bunker Cabaret, by Hooligan Art Community
Director Peter Cant talks about the kaleidoscope of dance, drama and song that is BUNKER CABARET. Having started life in the bomb shelters of Kyiv and developed further in the Theatre Royal in late 2022, this unique theatre event combines music, poetry, dance and film is a powerful exploration of love versus totalitarianism, and the personal conflicts of making art in time of war.






Lunch from Grow HQ, an award-winning café and organic garden in Waterford City, and a working model of a sustainable food system.