Dr. Frances Ruane (Chair)
Dr Frances Ruane, Chair of the Abbey Theatre, is an economist. She held academic positions at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) between 1977 and 2006, and was Director of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) from 2006 to 2015. Her research interests are in international economics and public policy. Over her career, she has been an academic visitor at various universities in the USA and Canada. She has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2003 and was elected an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College Dublin in 2010. Dr Ruane is currently President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland and a member of the Council of the Institute for International and European Affairs. She is also a member of the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB), the Advisory Board at the Fraser of Allander Institute in Scotland, and the Scientific Advisory Board at the Kiel Centre for Globalisation. Dr Ruane has previously served as a Board Member of several public institutions, including the National Board for Science and Technology, the National Theatre Company (the Abbey Theatre), the Industrial Development Authority, Forfás, Bord Gáis Eireann, the Higher Education Authority, the Health Research Board and the Commission of the National Pensions Reserve Fund. She also served as Chair of the National Statistics Board and as Chair of the Douglas Hyde Gallery at TCD. Frances was born in Tuam, Co Galway. She studied Economics at UCD and at Oxford University, where she graduated with a DPhil in 1980.
Pádraig Cusack lives in West Cork and works internationally. He has exceptional knowledge of theatre with a successful record of producing and directing in many theatres across the world, including in the Abbey Theatre and the National Theatre of Great Britain. He comes from a family with an outstanding theatrical record, as the son of the late Cyril and Maureen Cusack and brother of Niamh, Sinéad, Sorcha, and half-brother of Catherine. Pádraig has many years of experience serving on the boards of several companies in the theatre sector, including the Society of London Theatres, the Cambridge Arts Theatre and the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith.
Jane is Co-Director of Irish Theatre Institute (ITI), a key resource for the Irish theatre sector, its artists, makers and independent producers focussing on mentoring, development, production supports and national and international networking. ITI is the creator of PLAYOGRAPHYIreland, the on-line catalogue of new Irish plays since Abbey’s foundation in 1904.
Jane was General Manager/Producer with Druid for eight years (1988-96) and in 1996 set up Jane Daly Arts Management which provides project management, strategic planning and facilitation services to arts organisations. In January 2016, she was engaged by Galway City Council as Programme Manager/Developer for Galway’s successful bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2020. Jane has also worked at Dublin Theatre Festival, MayFest Glasgow, the Arts Council and was Executive Producer on Ireland’s first national presentation at the 2007 Prague Quadrennial Exhibition of Scenography.
Jane received the Special Tribute at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2016, with Siobhán Bourke her Co-Director at ITI, acknowledging their contribution to Irish theatre development over 30 years.
Loretta Dignam is a marketing professional with more than 25 years’ experience with several multinational and Irish companies, including Mars Inc, Diageo, Kerry Foods and Jacob Fruitfield. She was named Marketer of the Year in 2011, served as interim CEO of Fundraising Ireland and works with Plan Ireland in a marketing and fundraising capacity. Loretta now works as an independent marketing consultant across a variety of industries and sectors and lectures on the Executive MBA Programme at the Michael Smurfit Business School. Loretta is also a member of the Enterprise Ireland Mentor Programme. Loretta is a graduate of UCD, with a first class honours Bachelor of Commerce and a first class honours MSc in Marketing. Loretta is also a recent graduate of DCU where she completed a post grad in Digital Marketing. Loretta joined the Board of the Abbey Theatre in July 2015.
Sarah Durcan is the Global Operations Manager of Science Gallery International, the non-profit organisation catalysing the growth of the world’s first university-linked network dedicated to public engagement with science and art. She has a background in theatre producing and financial management and worked for nine years as the Executive Producer for award-winning Irish theatre company, The Corn Exchange. Sarah was the Acting General Manager of Dublin Theatre Festival and then joined the Dublin Fringe Festival as General Manager. As a consultant producer and strategic advisor she has worked with ARCANE Collective Dance Company and Theatre Lovett on their international tours. Sarah holds a BA in Communications from DCU and an MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management from UCD. She has served on the boards of Theatre Forum and GAZE Film Festival. Since November 2015 she has been involved in organising the #WakingTheFeminists campaign to achieve gender equality in Irish theatre by 2021. In July 2016, Sarah was appointed to the Board of the Abbey Theatre.
Bosco Hogan is one of Ireland’s best-known and most respected actors. Bosco was most recently cast in the role of Mendel in the feature film Mirage directed by Sil can der Woerd. Prior to that he filmed the role of James Lane in Citizen Lane directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan for RTÉ. Recent credits include the role of Charlie Tobin in Eugene McCabe’s King of the Castle, directed by Garry Hynes for Druid, the role of Father Sheridan in Jimmy’s Hall directed by Graham McLaren for the Abbey Theatre and Stacie Passon’s feature film We Have Always Lived in the Castle, in which he played the role of Ol’ Ned alongside Sebastian Stan, Taissa Farmiga and Alexandra Daddario. Other recent screen appearances include season five of the History Channel’s Vikings, the role of Flint in The Flag, a feature directed by Declan Recks, the role of Dr. Louie Byrne in TV3’s Trial of the Century directed by Maurice Sweeney and Esras Film’s The Inquiry, in which he played the role of William Martin Murphy. He would also be familiar to many from his role a Bishop Piccolomini in Neil Jordan’s The Borgias. Theatre credits include the role of Old Pyper in Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme by Frank McGuinness, directed by Jeremy Herrin at the Abbey Theatre, the role of Alfieri in A View from the Bridge directed by Joe Dowling for the Gate Theatre, the role of Lane in The Importance of Being Ernest directed by Patrick Mason, also with the Gate Theatre (with performances at the Spoleto Festival, USA) the lead role of Séamus in Druid Theatre Company’s production of Tom Murphy’s play, Brigit and the acclaimed DruidShakespeareproject. Bosco is based in Dublin.
As an experienced member of Chartered Accountants Ireland, Peter has achieved many accolades during his career to date including building a successful firm of chartered accountants, tax advisors and statutory auditors and acting as a trusted advisor to many businesses in the private SME sector, in addition to Charity and Not for Profit organisations. Experienced in building professional and business relationships, developing teams and providing strategic business solutions Peter has added to his credentials over the years as a graduate of National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). He also earned a Certificate of Personal Insolvency Practitioner with Chartered Accountants Ireland and after putting his experience and acumen of working with and striving to bring out the best in people to the fore he earned an Advanced Diploma in Personal Leadership and Executive Coaching.
Kevin McFadden is the Head of the Lighting and Sound department at the Abbey Theatre and Staff Representative on the Board of Directors. As a Lighting designer his work at the Abbey includes includes Shush, Tina’s idea of Fun, Conservatory, Maeve’s House, The Passing, The East Pier, Bookworms, Doubt, Drama at Inish, Silent, Richard II (with Ouroboros Theatre Company), Fool for Love, Grown Ups, What Happened Bridgie Cleary, The Guys and A Quiet Life. Other work includes The Pearce Project (Dublin Dance Festival 2012), Cruel and Tender (Hatch and Project Arts Centre), Myrmidons (Ouroboros and Beckett Theatre), Hysteria (b*spoke and Project Arts Centre), Hamlet (Gúna Nua and Project Arts Centre), Taste (Gúna Nua and Andrews Lane), Bloody Poetry (Bank of Ireland Arts Centre) and Seven Deadly Sins (Performance Corporation). Operas include Heresy (Meta productions), The Dead (performance corporation) and Ormindo (RIAM).
Kevin has also toured extensively both nationally and internationally with the Abbey Theatre and has acted as an associate designer for many of its visiting artists.
Sheelagh O’Neill graduated in History from Trinity College Dublin and in Marketing from the College of Marketing and Design. She worked with Abbey Tours in Dublin, and as Marketing Manager for American Express in Sydney. She was a member of the Arts Council of Ireland from 2009-2011, and was until recently a Trustee and Fundraiser for Lessons for Life Foundation UK. She supports and invests in the performing arts in Ireland and the UK. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and has been awarded the Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction and Corporate Governance.
Michael Wall is a practising barrister specialising in construction, planning and environmental law, is chair of the board of Wide Open Opera (since the foundation of the company) and chairman-designate of the Irish Georgian Society. Michael is a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) and teaches at UCD on masters’ degree programmes in planning, urban design and landscape architecture. He was a member of the full-time board of An Bord Pleanála for eight years, prior to which he worked in private practice as an architect, in marketing and in project management. Since April 2010 he has served as a member of the NAMA Planning Advisory Committee, appointed by the Minister for Finance. He is a member of the board of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) since May 2015. In addition to qualifications in architecture from DIT and TCD, he has a master’s degree in planning from UCD, an MBA from the Smurfit Business School at UCD and BL from the Honorable Society of the King’s Inns. Michael is also qualified and practises as a Mediator and Arbitrator. He is a board member/trustee of Simpson’s Hospital in Dundrum, Dublin.