Jane Daly and Michael Wall take up their positions with effect from 1 August and Pádraig Cusack becomes a member of the Board on 1 December.
The new members will join the current Abbey Board members: Dr Frances Ruane (Chair), Dónall Curtin, Loretta Dignam, Sarah Durcan, Kevin McFadden, James McNally, Sheelagh O’Neill, and Mark Ryan.
Commenting on the new appointments, the Abbey Chair Dr Frances Ruane said:
‘I am delighted to announce the appointment of three very distinguished people to the Board, bringing it to its full complement of 11 members. Each new member brings a wealth of expertise and experience, that will help guide the Abbey at an exciting stage in its development, under the new Co-Directors Graham McLaren and Neil Murray.
Pádraig Cusack, who lives in West Cork and works internationally, 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 Daly, who lives in Galway, is Co-Director of the Irish Theatre Institute, which has built an invaluable resource for the Irish theatre sector, its artists and producers. She brings to the Board many years of experience working in Irish theatre and in the arts, including as General Manager/Producer with Druid and as Programme Manager for Galway’s successful bid to be European Cultural Capital in 2020. Also, as an independent arts consultant over 20 years, Jane has provided project management, touring and strategic planning supports to various organisations across the arts sector.
Michael Wall, who lives in Dublin, is a barrister at law, specialising in construction, planning and environmental law. As a qualified architect and member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and the Irish Planning Institute, Michael brings important skills to the Board as the national theatre commences work on a major redevelopment of its site on Abbey Street. He has many years of experience engaging with the Irish arts and cultural sector, and has been Chair of Wide Open Opera since its foundation and is Chair-designate of the Irish Georgian Society.’
Pádraig Cusack studied at Trinity College, Dublin, the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and University College, Cork. He is Executive Producer for Wales Millennium Centre, Consultant Producer for the National Theatre in London, and a Director of Cusack Projects Limited, a company dedicated to international theatre producing, through which he has collaborated with the Abbey Theatre, The Corn Exchange, TheEmergencyRoom, Fabulous Beast, Galway International Arts Festival, Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera in Ireland; Headlong Theatre, The Royal Court, London and Bristol Old Vic; Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Sydney Theatre Company, Canadian Stage, Proscenio Bogotà, Parco Theatre, Tokyo, and NCPA, Mumbai. He has produced theatre in London’s West End and on Broadway and toured productions over four continents, which have won awards in the UK, USA and Australia.
Pádraig lives in West Cork with his family.
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.
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.