Stephen Callaghan is a playwright, director and actor based in Glasgow, UK. He is best known for his work as a specialist in faith and the arts. He directed the Scottish Premiers of two plays written by Pope Saint John Paul II and subsequently set up AGAP (the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project) in 2006, which organises the festivals, Lentfest and Arts in Autumn as well as faith-based arts events and activities. He has written and directed several plays, some of which have been published across two volumes by the St Ninian Institute in the Diocese of Dunkeld.
His play, The Margaret Sinclair Story, commissioned by the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016 and received a three-star review in The Scotsman newspaper. In 2015, he played the title role in the national touring production of his highly acclaimed play, The Martyrdom of Saint John Ogilvie, which attracted significant interest from overseas and featured on a course syllabus for students at the University of Seattle.
He has a Joint Honours degree in Theatre, Film & Television Studies from the University of Glasgow and Licentiate and Associate diplomas in Speech & Drama Teaching from the London College of Music and Media.
As a writer, he has undertaken commissions that include a new musical version of Oscar Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant” and a sketch to mark the 125th anniversary of Celtic Football Club along with several sketches for Glasgow Churches Together and . He also delivers workshops in drama and film related topics for adults and children. His other work includes acting, consultancy, events organisation and presenting.
Together with his wife, Rachel, he set up Callaghan Theatre Productions, which seeks to bring quality inspirational theatre to local venues.
Stephen Callaghan’s work is a fine example of the interface between religion and culture and offers some rich insights into humanity’s search for God.
Dr Leonardo Franchi, Head of the St Andrew's Foundation, University of Glasgow
Stephen Callaghan’s plays explore very important aspects of faith and life in ways which engage and challenge the audience.
Michael McGrath, Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service
Stephen Callaghan is an artist and Catholic who forgot the bit about getting out of the real world to do his art and that is why his plays have a truth rarely captured on the modern stage. This is the unique attraction of his plays; he knows how to find God’s grace, chucked on the ground, in the middle of real folk’s lives, and played out by actors who you just know have been there and done it.
+John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley
Stephen’s plays lead us from the concrete experience of daily life to reflect on the profound and eternal messages contained in Christ’s teaching. Young people, in my experience, have valued this creative engagement with the truths of their Faith.
Neil Roarty, Retired Head Teacher of Turnbull High School, Bishopbriggs
Stephen Callaghan’s plays intensely explore hard questions regarding the meaning of life, family, love and suffering. From his earliest work, Passionate Voices (2007), focussing on the Passion of Christ through to his most recent, The Pilgrimage (2013), a story about five people whose lives cross while on pilgrimage in Lourdes, Stephen succeeds in capturing the essence of the deep love of God for every single man, woman and child. Compelling reading for a wide audience, Stephen’s plays offer an uplifting message of hope and the dignity of human life.
Maria McMahon, PT of Religious Education, Notre Dame High School, Glasgow
Stephen Callaghan’s work is firstly to be commended because it is highly entertaining. His varied subjects can incorporate humour, joy, tragedy, despair and the myriad of other emotions that are encountered in exploring the challenges and complexities of human existence. I’ve long hoped that his work could be made more widely available as they present an excellent resource for other groups to stage his work. His work Pure Dead Dangerous is an excellent example of this. It provides a range of manageable pieces of theatre that could be easily utilised by schools or drama groups to contribute to a deepened reflection on crucial and contemporary ethical challenges.
John Deighan, (Former) Parliamentary Officer of the Scottish Catholic Bishops' Conference (now, Director of SPUC)
The plays written and produced by Stephen Callaghan in recent years have been widely appreciated by audiences, They serve as effective catechetical tools, powerful stimuli to reflection and accessible dramas appealing to a broad range of audiences. They can profitably be performed by non-expert groups, discussed in the classroom or studied at home. In each case they will enrich those who engage with them enormously.
Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Glasgow
I am delighted to see the publication of Stephen Callaghan’s plays and commend them to a wider Scottish audience for their performance.
+Mario Conti, Archbishop-Emeritus of Glasgow