These new members will be appointed under the terms of the new Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&AA) approved by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media on 16 September 2021.

The board of the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theatre, invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals to fill four vacancies which have arisen on the board. In line with its own value, and with international best practice and government policy, the board actively welcomes diversity among its members.

  1. Skill Specification

The board is seeking Expressions of Interest from individuals who can demonstrate in their application evidence of experience at an appropriately senior level in at least one of four areas:

A. Professional Theatre Experience

  • Candidates must demonstrate in their application evidence of recognised experience in relation to the arts in any one or more of the following areas of contemporary theatre practice:
  • acting
  • directing
  • designing
  • producing
  • technical theatre expertise
  • other relevant theatre-making skill sets.
  • Candidates must demonstrate in their application evidence of:
  • An understanding of the role of theatre in Irish life and of developments in professional theatre practice
  • A knowledge of theatre, nationally and internationally and/or
  • A knowledge and experience of theatre making in a variety of settings, nationally and internationally, and/or
  • An awareness of the role of theatre in contributing positively to the sustainability (economic, environmental, or social) in the theatre sector and/or
  • Experience of advocating how theatre can play its part in meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

B. Finance and Accounting

  • Candidates must have full membership of a professional accountancy body and demonstrate in their application evidence of one or more of the following:
  • CFO level experience in a medium/largescale organisation, preferably dealing with both public and private sector income sources, and/or
  • Senior management level experience of handling large-scale capex projects and/or

strategic risks, and/or

  • Board/senior executive level experience of strategic planning and largescale projects, with particular reference to finance and fundraising.

C. Business and Management Skills

  • Candidates must demonstrate in their application evidence of one or more of the following:
  • Experience at a senior level of digital transformation and delivery in the development of business and/or
  • Senior business/management experience which demonstrates
    • experience of national and international marketing in domains relevant to the arts in Ireland and/or
    • experience of communications and public relations in domains relevant to the arts in Ireland, and/or
  • Experience of strategy development at a senior level in
    • change management within a complex organisation/environment and/or
    • Stakeholder engagement and/or
    • Sponsorship and Fundraising, and/or
  • Awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability in business strategy and management.


D. Legal / Governance

  • Candidates must have a legal qualification (barrister or solicitor) and demonstrate in their application evidence of:
  • Professional legal experience in areas relevant to one of more of the domains in which the Abbey Theatre operates
  • Understanding of the operational and legal context in which the Abbey Theatre operates
  • Experience of governance at board level in one or more relevant settings.
  1. Person Specification

In addition to the skills areas identified, candidates are also invited to identify experiences which demonstrate their ability to:

  • Define and articulate a strategic long-term vision and to monitor and guide prioritisation of strategic objectives to achieve this vision
  • Act independently and to arrive at an opinion about important matters and be prepared to use external sources to verify information upon which he/she will rely in coming to an opinion on a matter
  • Assess and hold management accountable for performance – not just financial performance but also for performance on achieving strategic objectives
  • Understand clearly what may constitute or be seen as a conflict of interests
  • Communicate effectively, work as part of a team and act as a strong advocate for the Abbey Theatre’s strategic direction, vision, and mission.

In addition to this experience, it is desirable that applicants possess one or more of the following:

  • Knowledge of the environment and the sector in which the Abbey Theatre operates
  • Experience as a senior executive or board member of a medium to large organisation
  • The ability to understand high level financial data, budgets, and good financial management practice
  • Experience on the board of an organisation which is dependent on fundraising for the delivery of its mission, goals, and objectives and, in particular, willingness to play an active role in support of the organisation’s fundraising objectives
  • Experience of an organisation dealing with major capital investment projects
  • Understanding of what is best practice for the industry in terms of safety, health and welfare at work, data protection, asset protection, compliance with legislation, compliance with tax obligations etc.
  • Awareness of the impact of climate change and need for sustainability in the arts.
  1. Board Member Duties:

Individuals appointed to the board are appointed to serve a four-year term, with the possibility of renewal with the agreement of the Governance and Nominations Committee and the board, following a review process. There is no remuneration payable for the position but travel and subsistence rates are payable for vouched expenses.

There are four quarterly board meetings per year, and up to four additional strategy meetings; all meetings are held in Dublin. In addition, board members may be requested to sit on one of the committees of the board, which typically meet four times a year. .

There will be a formal Induction Programme for all new members and an annual schedule of governance training.

Consistent with best corporate governance practice in the public sector, it is advisable that no member of the Abbey Theatre board should hold appointments on the boards of more than two organisations which are primarily funded by the State.

  1. Application Process:

Candidates interested in being considered for these vacancies should send a letter (of no more than two pages) explaining why they are interested in joining the board of the Abbey Theatre, and their relevant skills and experience. Candidates should also include a brief curriculum vitae.

All applicants must confirm that they do not have any conflicts of interest or legal impediment which would be likely to interfere with their ability to play a full part on the board.  In additional they must also confirm that they can make themselves available to attend meetings and to carry out the duties of a board member. Letters should also provide the names of three referees who may be contacted as part of the selection process.

In addition to this recruitment process for board positions, Odgers Berndtson will be assisting the Abbey Theatre in identifying suitable candidates.

The deadline for application has now been extended to 12.00 on Friday 26th November 2021. Expressions of interest should be sent by email to: 


by post to:  Gus McNamara, Company Secretary, Abbey Theatre, 26/27 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1, D01 K0F1.

All expressions of interest received will be acknowledged and provided to the Governance and Nominations Committee, which has responsibility for selecting names to be taken to the board.   All applications will be kept strictly confidential to the Governance and Nominations Committee and the board of the Abbey Theatre, as relevant.

A panel may be formed from this expression-of-interest process, from which future board positions may be filled.

Further details in relation to the work of the board of the Abbey Theatre are set out here.

  1. Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003

The Abbey Theatre is committed to protecting the rights and privacy of individuals by ensuring the fair and lawful use of personal data. The Abbey Theatre adheres to best practice regarding the Irish Data Protection Act (1988), the Irish Data Protection (Amendment) Act (2003), and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR EU 2016/679). More information can be found at: