Niall Cleary Elected Chairperson of Youth Theatre Ireland
Niall Cleary has been elected Chairperson of Youth Theatre Ireland. He takes over from Jen Coppinger who steps down after eight years on the board, three of which were as Chairperson of the organisation.
Niall Cleary recalls the many Youth Theatre Ireland supports which he previously enjoyed: “I've received so much mentorship, care and support from Youth Theatre Ireland since my time as a participant on Artstrain in 2009. I'm really excited and honoured to be able to return that support in my new role as Chair. Youth Theatre Ireland has always had young people at its heart. It is an exceptional organisation run by exceptional people. I'm looking forward to contributing to the development of Youth Theatre in Ireland.”
Niall is the Artistic Director and CEO of Graffiti Theatre in Cork. Graffiti creates theatre for young audiences, hosts Activate Youth Theatre, Fighting Words Cork, BEAG Early Years and is a creative hub for children and young people. Niall previously held the role of head of Outreach and Education with the company. Niall was a former Artistic Director of Droichead Youth Theatre and worked as an associate director and facilitator with Galway Youth Theatre, Sligo Youth Theatre, Backstage Youth Theatre and was an assistant facilitator with Play Youth Theatre and Fracture Youth Theatre. He also has much experience in professional theatre, both as an actor, director and company manager, principally with Decadent Theatre Company, of which he was a founding member. Niall has served on the board of Youth Theatre Ireland since 2016 and was a former board member of the Galway Theatre Festival. He is a committee member of Theatre for Young Audiences Ireland. He holds a BA in English and History from the University of Limerick and a Professional Diploma in Education from NUI Galway. He trained as a drama facilitator with Arts Train in association with National Association of Youth Drama.