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Abbey Theatre board announces appointment of new artistic and executive directors

The two new directors will join the Abbey staff in early May.

Abbey Theatre building, Dublin
Abbey Theatre building, Dublin
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

THE BOARD OF the Abbey Theatre has announced the appointment of its new artistic and executive directors. 

Caitríona McLaughlin has been appointed as its new artistic director and Mark O’Brien has been appointed as its new executive director. 

The appointments follow the decision by the Board of the Abbey Theatre – in July 2020 – to hold an open competition to fill two leadership roles to deliver on the Abbey’s strategy and ambition over the next five years.

The two new directors will join the Abbey staff in early May. 

McLaughlin is an award-winning theatre director, who has been an associate director at the Abbey since 2017.

As artistic director, she will lead on the objectives relating to art and audience in the Abbey Theatre strategy.

Over the last number of years, she has directed in London, Dublin, and New York.

Recent productions at the Abbey include The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh, Citysong by Dylan Coburn Gray, and On Raftery’s Hill by Marina Carr.

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O’Brien is currently director of axis arts centre in Ballymun and has over 25 years’ experience in the theatre and wider culture sectors. 

As executive director, he will lead on engagement with the local, national and international communities, the day to day running of the theatre and the redevelopment programme to create a new Abbey Theatre building as a resource centre for Irish theatre.

“The Board is delighted to have found two co-directors who are so passionate about, and committed to, the mission of our national theatre, and to creating great art that connects with the people of this island, our diaspora and the global artistic community,” board chairperson Dr Frances Ruane said. 

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