Story Tellers was founded in 1986 by Mary Elizabeth Burke-Kennedy to create and tour ensemble theatre based on major stories from Irish and international sources, by writers from Oscar Wilde to Sophocles, from George Moore to John Steinbeck.
The artistic policy of the company was to tour creative and imaginative theatre throughout Ireland and abroad. Their motivation was driven by three factors. Firstly the belief that the telling of stories is fundamental to the creation of theatre, secondly the desire to revisit and revitalise classic, neglected or forgotten texts and thirdly the need to create new stories from diverse literary sources.
The work of the company can be divided into three main aspects: Exploring 'stories' in terms of fable, fiction and falsehood; investigating the language of playing by incorporating skills drawn from international theatre methods; and maintaining and developing a dialogue with both established and emerging theatre practitioners. The company’s long-term goal was to create a platform where experience met innovation.
After losing its Arts Council funding in 2008, the company announced the closure of the company in early 2009 after 22 years of providing professional theatre to venues in Dublin and around the country. In their final year Storytellers presented work in 50 venues nationwide with a full scale production of The Turn of the Screw, a co-production with The Irish Chamber Orchestra of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and 2 theatre-in-education programmes, Shakespeare in Rehearsal and Introduction to Shakespeare, employing 48 professional theatre practitioners.
Archival History ↴
Transferred by Story Tellers Theatre Company to the Irish Theatre Archive held at Dublin City Archives, in 2009.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Story Tellers Theatre Company ↴
Story Tellers Theatre Company collection includes 11 scripts; 23 handbills; 43 posters; 2 stage manager’s books for the productions of When the Wall Came Down and Antigone; press packs, publicity reports and newspaper cuttings; audience profiles; Story Tellers Theatre Company’s newsletter and information leaflets; 20 recordings of various productions, music recordings from The Red Runaways, a documentary about the production of The Star-Child and other Stories, and Stories from behind the Wall relating to the production of When the Wall Came Down; a few items of correspondence; and costume and stage drawings.
There are also c. 250 photographs in this collection. These have been scanned and listed in the Irish Theatre Archive Photographic database. A list of these photographs appears under ITA/25. The collection also includes programs. A list of these programs appears in Appendix 2 and details of each program have also been entered onto the Irish Theatre Archive Programs Database.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
The collection is arranged by document type. Each category is represented by numbers e.g. 01 Scripts, 02 Handbills/leaflets, 03 Posters, etc. The records are then listed chronological by production dates, except for scripts that are instead listed alphabetically by the title of the play.
Conditions of Access & Use
Available to view by public who apply for research card in Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
Conditions Governing Reproduction
Copyright held by Storytellers Theatre Company. All reproduction subject to DCLA Reading Room Terms of Membership and in accordance with copyright legislation.
4 archive boxes + 1 oversized folder
Material Language Script
Characteristics Tech Req
Video player; mini-disc player; reel to reel player; floppy disc drive; cd drive required to view some material. Software requirements described in Appendix 3 of descriptive list.
Descriptive List; Theatre Photographs Database; Theatre Programs Database
Archive Web Link →
All photographs have been scanned.
Irish Theatre Archive Collections at Dublin City Archives.
Descriptive Control Area
Ulrika Nilsson; Ellen Murphy
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions
April 2009, Revised September 2009