Schools Shakespeare Festival January 2024

Due to the huge success of dlr Mill Theatre’s Shakespeare Festival, we have committed to making it a regular calendar event. We’re proud to see its reach grow each year, with more students and teachers sharing the benefit.

Shakespeare Festival Youth Mill Theatre

dlr Mill Theatre’s Shakespeare Festival Framework

The framework of dlr Mill Theatre’s Shakespeare Festival gives teachers the opportunity to develop their chosen Shakespeare in class through performance. With given texts and fixed timetables, the onus is placed firmly on the students’ shoulders to interact meaningfully with the project at hand. Entries are then invited to perform their own 30 minute production on stage at dlr Mill Theatre.

The festival is an ideal opportunity to link with Junior Cycle Short Course in Artistic Performance »

Shakespeare Festival Youth Mill Theatre

Our Mission Statement

At dlr Mill Theatre we believe in creating new ways for young people to engage with the arts. Our mission is to foster unique opportunities for students to experience Shakespeare as his work should be experienced – on stage.

Working with the venue

At the start of the project, a Facilitator from dlr Mill Theatre will offer a Shakespeare workshop to your school to introduce your students to the concept. They will also provide you with a 30 minute script for your use. The competition is open to Junior Cycle, Transition Year and Leaving Cert Students.

During the festival

Our team will welcome you and your group to dlr Mill Theatre on the day of the festival. Then your group will be given a set ‘Get-In’ time to complete a technical and dress rehearsal. Three schools will perform each evening of the festival to a live audience. All awards will be distributed on the final evening of the festival.


  • Overall Award for Best Production
  • Runner Up
  • Best Ensemble
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor/Actress
  • Special Adjudicators Award

Competition Rules

  • All performers must be students from the competing school
  • Performance time is strictly limited to 30 minutes
  • Each school may have more than one entry
  • Each entry must be accompanied by €60 entry fee
  • Entries are accepted on a first come first served basis


Shona Ashmore, Theatre Manager / 01-2969340

Workshops and Planning

We’ve put a robust plan in place in order to ensure the success of our Primary School Shakespeare Festival. First, each class chooses a Shakespeare poem from a select list of works.

  • When That I Was And A Little Boy
  • Roses Their Sharp Spine Being Gone
  • The Witches
  • I Know A Bank
  • Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind
  • Winter

Then a workshop is facilitated at each school, guiding the class and teacher through presenting oneself on stage, warming up, learning lines, voice projection, the meaning of each phrase and a short history of Shakespeare and his work. We believe this is the perfect way to introduce Shakespeare to young children before they face his work in second level.

Each class then prepares to perform their piece on the main stage at dlr Mill Theatre. Creativity shines through in these performances, with classes selecting their own backdrop image, using their own props and costumes. It’s truly inspiring to see how much these young students can achieve, and the sense of pride they are filled with afterward too.

View a news clip »

Shakespeare Festival Previous Productions

Macbeth 2018 & 2022
Othello 2015 & 2021
Romeo and Juliet 2022 & 2020
Hamlet 2019
Ger Carey Live 2019
Hidden Strength Speaker Series 2019
Music Theatre Workshop 2018
King Lear 2017

Please click here to hear about St. Raphaela’s experience of the festival.

Our Primary School Shakespeare Festival

The brainchild of theatre manager Kate Canning, our Primary Schools Shakespeare Festival has been a resounding success for all involved. Second and third class pupils from Taney Parish Primary School, Scoil Mhuire Ballyboden, St. Kilian’s German School, Guardian Angels and Rathdown School have been involved, working hard with their teachers and performing a piece of Shakespeare on the main stage at dlr Mill Theatre. No mean feat for anyone!

Kids at the mill theatre