27% of Theatre57 members earn under the national minimum wage


We’re working to safeguard Galway’s reputation as the cultural heart of Ireland.

Galway enjoys a well-deserved reputation as the country’s cultural capital. Our city has always attracted creative people and due to the success of many arts organisations it is also a fantastic place to experience the arts. However, in recent years, due in part to the recession and funding restructuring, but also due to the lack of investment and discussion around cultural legacy at a local level, it is increasingly difficult for artists outside of the major organisations to sustain a career and make work under healthy conditions.

Unlike Cork, Limerick, Belfast, Wexford and Dublin, there is no designated space in which to develop work. There is no facility for meetings, hot-desk space, workshops, information clinics or anything of that nature. How can artists make their best work when they do not have adequate conditions in which to do so?

In order to better understand the situation for independent artists in Galway, we put together a comprehensive survey in late 2018. From the data we obtained a more complete picture of the demographics, profile and experience of who our Theatre57 members are.

Read on for statistics


 Members of Theatre57 have a combined experience of 596 years working in theatre

The average level of experience is 12 years and 3 months

54% of Theatre57 members make work in the Irish language

48% of Theatre57 members have had full-time theatre/performing arts training abroad

79% of respondents have worked in theatre abroad


The Report

  • The survey was sent to 69 people. 48 responses were received which is a sample size of 69.5%. Online survey-hosting website statistics suggest that “internal” surveys such as this one are expected only to receive a 30-40% response rate. We were extremely encouraged by the strong response from the members of Theatre57.

  • Section Two included word-for-word questions taken from the recent Theatre Forum Payscales Survey. This was so we could compare like-for-like results with the national results due to be published on Jan 23rd 2019. Our driver Róisín Stack was asked to speak on behalf of Theatre57 at this event.

  • The results were compiled and analysed by Emma O’Grady in Jan 2019

  • The purpose of this report is not to give recommendations but there are occasional suggestions for how improvements could be made to help the Galway independent theatre sector, or speculate as to why certain statistics may be showing up. In some ways, this is a comprehensive report that gives a complete picture of the demographics, socio-economic and living conditions and working practices of the independent theatre community in Galway in 2018. In other ways, it brings up more questions and points towards the need for further research in particular areas to probe deeper.



The survey was lengthy, comprising of over 56 questions, For this reason, we’ve only shared key pieces of data on this page, with a full copy of the report available to be read here.


What Age Group Are We?


With which gender do you most identify?


What Is Your Ethic or Cultural Background?

*It‟s obvious that Theatre57 is not ethnically diverse (according to the 2016 Census the Irish population is 82% „White Irish‟). This statistic lets us know that we need to do better, be more inclusive and connect in a meaningful way with other ethnic groups in the city and county. It is essential when forming any group that we look around the room and ask the question “who is not here?”. If the work we make is going to reflect a diverse audience then our artists also have to be diverse. It is worthwhile to note that in 2017 Irish Travellers‟ ethnicity has been recognised and so Travellers must be included in communities we are aiming to connect with. Theatre57 wants to build a legacy for future Galway theatre-makers and so young people must be able to imagine themselves in our industry.

What Hats Do You Wear While Making Theatre?

Other hats include PR/Marketing, Sound Engineering, Hair Design, Storyteller, Teacher, Photographer, Company Director, Manager

Based on the survey, a typical theatre57 member:

  • identifies as female

  • in their 30’s

  • white Irish

  • no children

  • based in Galway

  • pays rent on average €512 per month

  • has an average of 12 years and 3 months experience working in professional theatre

  • works on 4 shows per year

  • is self-employed (or self-employed supplemented with PAYE or social welfare)

  • has applied for and received funding in the past

  • earns €14.21 per hour or €977.11 per month or €1,291.80 when supplemented by non-arts work