Four of Ireland’s leading theatre artists to join The Lir
The Lir appoints four of Ireland’s foremost theatre artists to lead its new postgraduate design and directing programmes.
Following a competitive international search Annabelle Comyn has been appointed Resident Director at The Lir. Annabelle will lead on the new Master in Fine Art (Theatre Directing) and will also contribute to the training of Stage Management and Technical Theatre students as well as directing a graduate production on the three-year Bachelor of Acting (Hons) degree.
Annabelle Comyn is universally regarded as one of Ireland’s leading theatre directors. Her recent work includes the sell-out Festival hit The Talk of The Town by Emma Donoghue in a co-production with Hatch Theatre Company (where Comyn is the founding Artist Director), Landmark Productions and Dublin Theatre Festival; the highly successful and critically acclaimed production of The House by Tom Murphy (for which Comyn won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Director) and the critically and commercially successful production of G.B. Shaw’s Pygmalion, both produced on the main stage of The Abbey Theatre. Annabelle has previously contributed to directing and acting programmes at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, University College Dublin and NUI Maynooth.
The Lir’s in-house directing team will be copper-fastened by the appointment of Wayne Jordan as Associate Resident Director. Jordan will contribute to the teaching on the Master in Fine Art (Theatre Directing), lead a second year project on the Bachelor of Acting (Hons) each year and direct an annual third year graduate production on the acting programme. Wayne Jordan’s recent work at The Abbey Theatre, where he was associated artist from 2010 to 2012, includes Alice in Funderland, The Plough and the Stars and Christ Deliver Us!. His production, of Ibsen’s The Enemy of the People is currently in rehearsal at The Gate Theatre where he also directed Celebration for the 2010 Dublin Theatre Festival.
One of Ireland’s most acclaimed and experienced designers, Monica Frawley, has accepted the position as The Lir’s first Resident Set and Costume Designer. Frawley is a multi-award winning designer who has designed productions for all of Ireland’s leading companies including The Abbey, The Gate, Druid, Rough Magic and Opera Ireland. Frawley’s international work includes designs for the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, The National Theatre, London, The Tricycle Theatre, London and The Traverse in Edinburgh. Frawley will lead the Set and Costume Workshops on the Master in Fine Art (Stage Design), as well as contributing to the acting and stage management courses. Monica currently teaches on the BA (Honours) in Design for Stage and Screen at IADT, Dun Laoghaire.
The Lir’s resident design team will be completed by the hugely talented and renowned Lighting Designer Sinéad Mckenna. McKenna’s recent designs include Pageant (Cois Ceim), Zoe’s Play (The Ark), Opera Briefs (The Lir/RIAM) and Alice in Funderland at The Abbey. Her design for Ladies and Gents (Semper Fi) won an Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Lighting Design, an award she has been nominated for three times. Sinéad Mckenna will teach the Lighting Design Workshop on the MFA, make a significant contribution to the technical training on the Stage Management programme and will design at least one graduate acting production each year.
In keeping with the ethos of The Lir all four artists will continue to work professionally whilst contributing to the training at the National Academy of Dramatic Art.
Commenting on the appointments The Lir’s Director Loughlin Deegan said “attracting working artists of this calibre is not only an indication of the quality of training that will be available to young directors and designers at The Lir; it also copper fastens the ever-growing connections between The Lir and the industry it aims to support. I look forward to witnessing firsthand the significant contribution that all four artists will make to theatre training in Ireland and to the education of future generations of directing and design talent”.
The new Master in Fine Art Stage Design and Theatre Directing programmes will commence in September 2013. These new degrees will complement the existing Master in Fine Art Playwriting programme which is led by Graham Whybrow, former Literary Manager of London’s renowned new writing theatre The Royal Court.