The Resident Director Programme represents the Abbey Theatre’s commitment to fostering talent among theatre-makers. Full details of what the Resident Programme entails can be found here. This year’s participants are:

Esosa Ighodaro

Esosa Ighodaro is a Nigerian / Irish writer, director, and vocalist. Her farce, Down with Jazz has been awarded a Screen Ireland Spotlight Stage to Screen award and is being adapted for the screen. Her play Let Me In, developed through Smock Alley’s Rachel Baptiste programme 2022, is currently in development with The Everyman Theatre, Cork. Recent directing credits include: A Little Chilli (Underground Films); We Met on a Dancefloor (Reel Mix, Abbey Theatre 05Fest); Kingdom Come (Fighting Words Centenaries Project 2022, Peacock Theatre); An Octoroon (Abbey Theatre) – as assistant director; Round Boxes (Actor as Creator); Dear People of No Colour (Abbey Theatre/Home, UK). Her work for screen has been shown at film festivals across Ireland, US and Southern Africa.  Esosa currently has original TV projects in development.

John King

John is a theatre-maker based in Dublin. As director of Murmuration, he has made the headphone shows One Moment Now (Dublin, Washington D.C., Philadelphia), You’re Still Here (Dublin Fringe commission, co-presented by the Abbey Theatre), Will I See You There (Dublin Fringe), and Summertime (Dublin Fringe, Drogheda Arts Festival, Abbey Theatre’s Young Curators’ Festival). Other directing work includes Emergency, The Cyclone Kid (Bewley’s) and The Overcoat (Omnibus Theatre, London). His work as playwright includes Side-walks, Somewhere in the Future Dark (Solas Nua) and ERIS (Bunker Theatre, London). He has worked as assistant director for Irish National Opera, the Abbey Theatre, and Studio Theatre, Washington, D.C. John is an Associate Artist of Solas Nua.

Esosa Ighodaro, John King, Lianne O’Shea and James Riordan.

Lianne O’Shea

Lianne is a director and theatre practitioner.  She holds a Master’s degree in Directing for Theatre from UCD. Her recent production, Enemy of the Republic (Darn Skippy), was presented as part of the Decade of Commemorations in Kildare. One of her ongoing directing projects is an intimate site-responsive exploration of Hamlet – in 2022 she presented the first strand of the project: This House is Elsinore, followed in 2023 by the multidisciplinary PLAY.  Other directing work includes Foreign Bodies (Project Arts Centre) and Delta Phase (Theatre Upstairs) both for Polish Theatre Ireland, Skullduggery (Bewley’s Café Theatre), Romeo + Juliet and The Merchant of Venice (The Complex). In 2023 she became Associate Director with Darn Skippy Productions.

James Riordan

James is a theatre maker and Artistic Director of Galway based Brú Theatre, often creating bilingual and multidisciplinary work. Recent directing credits include Brú Theatre’s Not A Word (Galway International Arts Festival 2023) and this year’s Macnas parade Cnamhá La Loba on the streets of Galway and Dublin. In 2022, he directed the short film We Met on a Dance Floor by Inua Ellams as part of 05 Fest’s Reel Mix at the Abbey Theatre.  His piece Ar Ais Arís, a merging of Irish language literature on immigration and virtual reality, will continue to tour in 2024 and he will next be directing an immersive, site specific piece for Teatro Do Silêncio in Lisbon, and performing in Brú Theatre’s Selvage in Dublin this January.