Gate Theatre appoints Selina Cartmell as new director

Multiple award-winner promises to 'run an electrical current' through classic and contemporary drama

14th October, 2016

The Gate Theatre has named Selina Cartmell as its new director - the fourth person to take the job in the theatre company's 88-year history.

She follows in the distinguished footsteps of Michael MacLiammoir, Hilton Edwards and Michael Colgan.

As a freelance artist, Selina Cartmell has directed a diverse range of work from Greek tragedy and Shakespeare, to international and contemporary Irish drama.

Her productions have been nominated for thirty-five theatre awards, winning ten, including three for Best Director.

She directed three award-winning productions for the Gate: Catastrophe, Festen and Sweeney Todd, described in the Guardian as "a new dawn for the theatre".

In 2004 she established Dublin-based Siren Productions to create relevant and dynamic new work integrating theatre, dance, visual arts, architecture, film and music.

Gate chairman Mary Finan said “I am delighted to welcome Selina Cartmell as the new director of the theatre.

"Our goal was to find someone whose imagination and flair would build on Michael Colgan's successful tenure and rich legacy, while at the same time providing a fresh perspective and the strong leadership necessary to enable the theatre to continue to thrive into the future.

"We were impressed by Selina’s distinguished track record and breadth of experience, her creative energy and her innovative vision for the future of the Gate and the board is confident that she will deliver on our goal.”

Selina Cartmell said “I am greatly honoured to be given the opportunity to run the Gate.

"The Gate is the most inspiring theatre space in Ireland.

"As the new director, I will be both an enabler and a programmer, working with a dedicated team to provoke artists into running an electrical current through classic and contemporary work to show us what is really there and who we really are today.”

Michael Colgan said “ One of my all-time favourite shows was her masterful production of Sweeney Todd.

"I look forward to working with her over the coming months as she begins to take charge of one of the most beautiful theatres in the world."

Michael Colgan’s 33-year tenure as director of the Gate will end next April.

The board paid tribute to his "three decades of extraordinary achievement".

Under his stewardship, the Gate established relationships with leading contemporary playwrights including Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Brian Friel.

He produced the first-ever Beckett festival, presenting all 19 of the literary giant's stage plays over three weeks.

He also produced the first-ever festival of Harold Pinter’s plays.

His acclaimed production of Brian Friel's The Faith Healer, with Ralph Fiennes, won a Tony Award on Broadway.

Selina Cartmell took a first in Drama and History of Art from Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated with an MA in Advanced Theatre Directing from the Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London.

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