Irish Theatre Institute was formerly known as Theatre Shop (Ireland) from 1994 to 2006. In July 2006 the organisation was re-constituted, re-branded and re-launched as Irish Theatre Institute.

  • Board

  • Damian Downes (Chair)

    Damian Downes is Director of Corporate Services at the Medical Council.Until March 2019 he was College Secretary and Registrar at the National College of Art and Design. Prior to that he was the Chief Executive at Kilkenny Arts Festival from 2007 to 2011. His other work in the arts includes Business Manager the Helix and Finance Manager at the Irish Film Institute. He has lived and worked in the United States, Switzerland, Germany and France. In 2012 he was a judge of the Irish Times Theatre Awards. Damian has an MA in Communication and Cultural Studies from DCU (2001), an MBA from the Smurfit Business School at UCD (2005) and at Post Graduate Diploma in Corporate Governance, also from UCD (2015).

    (Appointed as Chair 29/05/2019. Appointed to Board 06/03/2018)

  • Jane Brennan

    Jane Brennan has played leading roles with all of the major Irish theatre companies including DruidShakespeare’s production of Richard III as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2018 and By the Bog of Cats (Abbey Theatre). She received an Irish Times Best Actress nomination for her role as Mary in The House and the Irish Times Best Actress Award for her role as Alice in Alice trilogy, written and directed by Tom Murphy (2007). Other credits include Pygmalion (The Gate – Harvey’s Award Nomination Best Actress) and Not I at the Lincoln Centre, New York, as part of the Gate’s Beckett Festival and Splendour (RAW Productions at the Project – Irish Times Best Actress Nomination). For screen Jane has featured in the Academy Award nominated and BAFTA winning feature film Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley for which she received IFTA award for Best Supporting Actress in 2016. Other recent Film/TV credits include The Bailout (TV3), Striking Out (RTE), Paula (BBC), NW (BBC2), Trial of the Century (Maurice Sweeney – TV3), Intermission (Parallel Films), Love/Hate and Fair City (RTE). She has performed many times on radio, most recently reading Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre for RTE’s The Book on One. (Appointed 13/03/2019)

  • Bernardine Maloney
    Executive Coach and PR Consultant, specialising in Crisis Communication

    With over 23 years experience in the energy business Bernardine has held a number of Senior Management roles in ESB including Manager, Clean Coal Strategy and Manager Moneypoint Power Station, Irelands largest Coal Fired Generating Plant.

    ESB is Ireland's foremost energy provider and owns the Transmission Electricity Network across the whole Island as well as the distribution electricity networks. ESB currently has 48% share of the electricity generation market and 38% share of the customer retail market on the Island. ESB has significant investments in the UK including windfarms, thermal gas plants, currently constructing a new gas fired CCGT Power Station outside Manchester and recently announced Financial Close on a Joint Project with the Green Invest Bank to build a 40MW Biomass Plan on the Thames at Tilbury.

    ESB International is ESB’s engineering and consultancy business which has completed projects in over 115 countries worldwide.

    (Appointed 02/09/2014)

  • Andrea Martin
    Principal, MediaLawyer Solicitors

    Andrea Martin is the founder and principal of MediaLawyer, Solicitors, a boutique legal firm providing legal services to the media and entertainment industries. Andrea is recognised internationally for her expertise in the area. She advises a large number of the leading Irish independent production companies, writers, musicians, publishers and is the “go to” person on all their legal requirements. Considered by many as their “in-house” counsel, she provides them with practical, solutions-focused advice in the fast paced environment that is the media industry. She has advised large corporations on reputation management issues including the provision of social media and data protection auditing services. Andrea is author of "Quick Win Media Law Ireland: Answers to your top 100 Media Law Questions". This publication is aimed at those who work in the media industry seeking quick and practical answers to legal questions they encounter day-to-day. Written for non-lawyers, it is useful to public relations, advertising, publishing and digital media professionals faced with legal queries arising in their work. It has been well received and is the only ‘quick reference’ handbook in this area of law in Ireland.

    Training is an integral part of the services provided by MediaLawyer’s team. Andrea herself has a wealth of media law training experience. She lectures at third level institutions across Ireland. For over ten years she has been the Legal Trainer with Learning Waves Skillsnet, the leading provider of training for the independent commercial Radio Sector in Ireland. Andrea also provides bespoke training in media law for her clients and event organisers.

    Andrea is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (BA Legal Science (Hons), Law 1981). She is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Theatre Institute and also a Board Member of Fís na Maolaoíse Teo t/a Cinemobile, Ireland’s only mobile cinema. She is a Member of the Law Society of Ireland, the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association. She enjoys sailing and is a member of the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dublin.

    (Appointed 01/07/2014)

  • Chris Morash
    Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin.

    Professor Chris Morash became the inaugural Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin in 2014 and was appointed as the Vice-Provost/Chief Academic Officer of Trinity College Dublin in 2016. His work on Irish culture extends from his pioneering 1996 study, Writing the Irish Famine, to his 2002 History of Irish Theatre (which won the Theatre Book Prize), to A History of the Media in Ireland (2009). His most recent works are Mapping Irish Theatre (with Shaun Richards, 2014), and The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre (co-edited with Nicholas Grene, 2016). Prior to his appointment to Trinity, Chris Morash worked in Maynooth University. He was the first chair of the Compliance Committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (2009-2014), and was elected to Membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007. Originally from Canada, he is married with three adult children. (Appointed 04/09/2018)

  • Cian O'Brien
    Artistic Director, Project Arts Centre

    Cian has been Artistic Director of Project Arts Centre since October 2011. Prior to this he was Producer/Artist Development with Rough Magic Theatre Company. He produced 13 productions with Rough Magic, including national & international tours along with 3 world premieres. Cian was also responsible for managing and co-curating Rough Magic’s Artist Development programmes: SEEDS, ADVANCE and Production Support. Cian worked as a freelance producer working on a number of projects with Making Strange Theatre, junk ensemble, Brokentalkers, thisispopbaby, Project Arts Centre and Bedrock Productions. He also served on the board of Theatre Forum Ireland and worked as an assessor for The Arts Council of Ireland. Cian is a board member of Irish Theatre Institute and CoisCéim Dance Theatre.

    (Appointed 30/04/2013)

  • Patrons

  • Brian Friel
    Playwright 1929 - 2015

  • Tom Hickey

  • Garry Hynes
    Theatre Director

  • Tom Murphy
    Playwright 1935 - 2018

  • Phyllis Ryan
    Actress, Independent Theatre Producer 1920 - 2011