Loughlin Deegan

Loughlin Deegan,

Loughlin Deegan’s many achievements include working as a playwright, an arts manager for The Belltable and Druid, as director of ITI’s Irish Playography archive, as literary manager and later company producer of Rough Magic, and for five years he was the Artistic Director and CEO of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival. As the first Director of The Lir, Loughlin is responsible for the overall direction of the Academy and the curation of the artistic programme.


Brian Singleton

Brian Singleton,
Academic Director

Samuel Beckett Chair of Drama and Theatre

Brian Singleton is Samuel Beckett Professor of Drama & Theatre at Trinity College Dublin and is the Academic Director of The Lir –National Academy of Dramatic Art in Ireland. He is co-editor of the series ‘Studies in International Performance’ published by Palgrave Macmillan for which he and Janelle Reinelt won the 2012 ATHE prize for sustained achievement in editing. He has published many articles and book chapters on interculturalism/orientalism and performance including the mongraph Oscar Asche, Orientalism and British Musical Comedy (Praeger, 2004), as well as two books on the life and work of Antonin Artaud. His latest monograph is entitled Masculinities and the Contemporary Irish Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).


Anne Fitzpatrick

Anne Fitzpatrick,

Anne’s role as Administrator ensures the smooth running of the internal workings of The Lir on a day to day basis from processing the first application form to seeing to a student’s graduation at the end of their training - and all the bits in between!


Barry Conway

Barry Conway,
Director of Technical Training

Barry Conway began his career with the first Dublin Fringe Festival in 1995 which led to him working for both Arena Lighting and the Electric Light Company. Since 2003 Barry has held the position of Production & Lighting Department Manager of Avcom Ltd. Barry has worked consistently as a freelance Chief Electrician on numerous theatre productions in Irish theatre. Barry has also acted as Senior Technician for many of Ireland’s leading festivals and events including Galway Arts Festival, Belfast Festival at Queen’s, the Dublin Theatre Festival as well as a long career with the Dublin Fringe Festival in culminating in being its production manager in 2003. Barry has also led many teaching and training initiatives at Avcom and elsewhere. Barry is also a founding member of the Association of Irish Stage Technicians.


Danny Persse

Danny Persse,
Construction Manager and Technical Stage Manager

After a brief spell at Adelaide University in 1985 studying a BA with Drama, Danny settled in to the staging department of the Adelaide Festival Centre in South Australia. In 1993 he spent a year in the West End before coming to Ireland and working as a staging technician number of Dublin stages and production companies. Danny was Senior Technician at The Helix for 10 years before arriving at The Lir where he is now Workshop and Technical Stage Manager with a teaching role. He is completing a BA in Education and Training in May 2013 and has served on the board of the Association of Irish Stage Technicians (AIST) for several years.


Seána Skeffington

Seána Skeffington,
Marketing Manager

Seána Skeffington joined The Lir in November 2012 as the Academy’s first Marketing Manager.  She is responsible for the delivery of the Marketing, Communications and Press strategy for The Lir aimed at promoting the Academy, its courses and working towards the stated ambition of establishing The Lir as one of the World’s leading centres for drama training. With over twenty years marketing experience, Seána’s most previous role was as a core member of the senior management team within the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s delivering the overall campaign of the annual Festival.  Prior to this Seána was Marketing Manager with Queen’s Students’ Union.

Seána has an Executive Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Marketing Institute of Ireland, an MSc in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Ulster University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.  Seána is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.


Kate Ferris

Kate Ferris,
Stage Management

Kate completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Production and Stage Management) at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Since graduating, she has worked as a Production, Stage and Event Manager with Australian companies and festivals including C!RCA, Queensland Theatre Company, LaBoite Theatre Company, Brisbane Festival, Malthouse Theatre Company and David Atkins Enterprises (15th Asian Games, Doha, Qatar).

Since re-locating to Ireland Kate has worked as Company Stage Manager with The National Theatre of Scotland, The Gate Theatre, Opera Ireland, Pan Pan Theatre Company, Fishamble Theatre Company and The Corn Exchange.

Gavin O’Donoghue

Gavin O’Donoghue,
Foundation Diploma and Short Courses Director

Gavin studied Drama at The Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin, spending his ERASMUS year at Goldsmiths College, The University of London.  On graduating from Trinity Gavin trained as an actor at The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He worked as an Actor in the Theatre and on Radio in the UK before studying for his MA in Voice Studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Prior to his work at The Lir Gavin taught on Drama programmes at UCC and the University of Ulster. He continues to work as a freelance Dialect Coach as well as teaching voice at the Dundalk Institute of Technology. Alongside his duties on the Foundation Diploma and Short Courses Gavin teaches Dialect and Sight Reading on the BA Acting course.

Sarah Symes

Sarah Symes,
Venue Manager and Admissions Officer

Sarah has worked for a number of artists, studios, galleries and venues around Ireland.  She curated the rehanging of the Frank X. Buckley collection at The Irish Writers’ Centre and has worked Front of House for the last ten years at venues and festivals all over Dublin.


Eimear Chaomhánach

Eimear Chaomhánach,
Development Manager

Eimear Chaomhánach joined The Lir in 2015 as the Academy’s first Development Manager.  Eimear is responsible for devising and delivering development, sponsorship and fundraising strategies as well as building philanthropic relationships with friends, the corporate sector, alumni and foundations.  With fifteen years’ experience working in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors, Eimear’s most recent roles include Marketing & Development Manager at Solstice Arts Centre, Festival Manager at Darklight Festival and Audience Development Manager at TBCT.

Justin Murphy

Justin Murphy,
Administration Assistant

Justin began his professional theatre career in Stage Management at Wexford Festival Opera in 2001, after interviewing for an internship and leaving with a job!
As a Stage Manager, he has worked with all the major theatre companies including: Rough Magic; Druid; The Gate; and Landmark, to name just a few. He has toured nationally and internationally in this role.
In 2007, he embarked on three seasons as Assistant Company Manager for Wexford Festival Opera, and subsequently, took up the full time role of Company Manager for Rough Magic until 2013, when he decided to return to freelance Stage Management again.