Alan supports the sustained artistic development of our affiliated youth theatres through the development of resources and training, and by giving support and advice. Alongside Rhona Dunnett, our Research and Development Officer, he also provides guidance and support to emerging youth theatres. Alan coordinates the Young Critics Programme, Playshare/Perform YT, co-produces our Leading On training programme with Dave Kelly, our National Training Coordinator and produced the National Youth Theatre in 2015, 2017, and 2019. In 2018, he studied on the inaugural NUI Certificate in Digital Creativity in Youth Settings, a Level 8 award offered by Maynooth University, and graduated with First Class Honours. Alan has worked as an actor and director and is a former member of Dublin Youth Theatre.
As part of Creative Ireland’s "Creative Youth Strategy", Barry supports the development of new youth theatres in Westmeath, Offaly and Dublin. His work includes guiding and training youth theatre management and providing accredited training for drama facilitators. Barry is one half of Tailtiu Theatre, Co-Artistic Director of Mosney Youth Theatre, and is a former member of Droichead Youth Theatre.
Dave develops, coordinates, and facilitates Youth Theatre Ireland’s national training programme. He is the author of Laying The Foundations: A Guide to Youth Drama Facilitation. Dave was a Co-ordinator & tutor on ArtsTrain, Youth Theatre Ireland's one-year QQI-accredited Level 6 programme in Drama Facilitation from 1999 to 2017. He also co-produces Leading On, our annual residential Leader Training Programme, with Alan King, our Youth Theatre Officer. Dave is a former member of Dublin Youth Theatre (DYT), and now serves as DYT’s Artistic Director.
Eoghan is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Youth Theatre Ireland. He previously served as a board member from 2007 to 2011 and as Acting Director from 2018 to 2019. In his role as Assistant County Arts Officer in Kildare County Council (2007-2020), he spearheaded a range of supports for youth theatres in the county including annual funding and professional development supports, the establishment of the award-winning Kildare Young Filmmakers, and writing County Kildare's first youth arts strategy. Eoghan trained as an actor in DIT’s Conservatory of Music and Drama before undertaking Artstrain, Youth Theatre Ireland’s Drama Facilitation Programme. He was Artistic Director of Clondalkin Youth Theatre and was Irish Animateur at the European Children’s Theatre Encounter in 2005. Eoghan is a co-founder of WarTank Productions and has produced several films funded through the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Sound and Vision Programme.
Louise is responsible for managing all Child Protection and Welfare aspects of our work. She acts as the information point for our members on all welfare matters and as Liaison Person for the Youth Theatre Ireland Garda Vetting Consortium. Louise is a former member of Galway Youth Theatre.
Rhona supports the development of new and existing youth theatres. She promotes good youth theatre practice, policies and structures through mentorship, events and resources as well as partnership work with local agencies and networks. She carries out youth theatre research projects, including Centre Stage +10 (2009) and Centre Stage +20 (2019). She is a former member of Activate Youth Theatre, Cork.
Shelley maintains the organisation's finances and the overall administration of the office. She also manages aspects of the work programme including Membership. She looks after website management and manages internal and external communications with members and other organisations. She has served as an Administrator for several arts organisations including California Theatre Center, a children’s theatre, and New York’s George Balanchine Foundation. She has also worked for Broadway and off-Broadway producers including Dodger Theatricals (42nd Street, The Who’s Tommy, Urinetown, Matilda) the National Asian American Theatre Company, and served as General Manager of the Irish Repertory Theatre.
Kelly Phelan began her career as programme manager and producer for The Performance Corporation, Ireland's leading site specific theatre company. Following a stint producing world class comedians in Edinburgh and Melbourne, she joined The Abbey Theatre in 2010 as Casting Director. While at The Abbey Theatre, Kelly cast over 60 productions including 27 world premieres. She convened three international symposia and also produced the world premiere of Roddy Doyle's, TWO PINTS. Kelly has been working as a freelance producer and casting director since 2017, working with companies as varied as The Ark Theatre, RTE, and The Donmar Warehouse. She is also Creative Producer of IT Productions and manages their portfolio of Government clients.
Tracey provides PR, Social Media and communications support to Youth Theatre Ireland. She has extensive experience in arts communications managing national, regional and local campaigns for organisations, festivals and events. Her clients include Galway International Arts Festival, Cork International Film Festival, Creative Ireland Galway County events, Galway County Arts Office, Culture Night Galway and Galway Science and Technology Festival. Tracey is also a business mentor in communications with Local Enterprise Office in Galway.
(appointed June 2018)
Antonia McTaggart serves as Client Partner-EMEA Gaming at Facebook.
(appointed August 2020)
Conor Ryan, an FCA Chartered Accountant with almost 20 years’ experience in practice, is a Director of Ryan and Crowley Chartered Accountants. During this time, he has led audit teams and oversaw compliance in the practice. He has given hands-on support to a wide range of clients including many charities and, as Treasurer of Youth Theatre Ireland, brings with him a wealth of financial and governance acumen. Conor also serves as Treasurer of Templeogue Basketball Club.
(appointed April 2007)
Emelie FitzGibbon is the founder (1984) and Artistic Director of Cork's Graffiti Theatre Company, a company dedicated to work for and by young people. The many productions she has directed have been seen in Ireland, the UK, France, Sweden and the USA. As a lecturer and educator on Educational Drama and Theatre she has worked with post-grads, teachers and youth leaders in Sweden, Malta, the US, UK, Austria, Hong Kong, Korea and the Czech Republic and has published and edited many contributions to the field.
(appointed November 2014)
Fionn Woodhouse is a director, producer and facilitator of drama/theatre with particular interest in youth participation and learning through practice. Fionn is an active educational drama practitioner, having trained and worked with Graffiti Educational Theatre Company for over 14 years. During this time, he has co-designed and facilitated various programmes including anti-racism/bullying, UCC Plus+ Drama Workshops, CIT Access Workshops, etc. He currently works in UCC's Drama and Theatre Studies Department. With a strong interest in youth theatre, Fionn is the Artistic Director of Lightbulb Youth Theatre and Footlights Youth Theatre, and a founder member of With an ‘F’ Productions theatre company that has toured shows both nationally and internationally. He was a former member of Cork’s Activate Youth Theatre.
(appointed May 2020)
(appointed June 2019)
Leish Burke studied with the Leinster School of Music and Drama at Griffith College, Dublin and has facilitated drama in many schools throughout Kildare and Wicklow. She is the founding Artistic Director of Griese Youth Theatre, which began in July 1999 in the Meeting House in Ballitore. It followed a proposal put to Kildare County Council Library Services and Action South Kildare by Leish and Artist Jacques Candelay to provide a complimentary learning experience to local young people through the medium of art and drama. The ethos in the group is very much holistic, nurturing both the artistic and social development of the young person. The group has now over 100 members aged 6 to 20 divided into Junior Griese and Griese Youth Theatre, and offers weekly drama workshops. GYT have performed both nationally and abroad and have been fortunate to work with many of Ireland’s leading theatre practitioners.
(appointed April 2016)
Máire O'Higgins is an Assistant Principal, Chaplain and Partnerships Coordinator at Larkin Community College Dublin. She has worked in the inner-city for 26 years. For six years Máire established and ran a unique three-year specialist arts education Junior Cycle programme. It was the first dedicated learning through arts schools programme in the State. Máire worked as a Theatre Director with Passion Machine Theatre Company and is a founding member of Pigsback Theatre Company.
Máire holds a BA in Italian and English, an MA in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, a PostGrad in Entrepreneurial Education and a PostGrad in Educational Leadership. She is also a trained mindfulness in schools teacher. Máire is currently on the Boards of Localise Youth and Community, Encountering The Arts Ireland – ETAI - and Youth Theatre Ireland. Máire is passionate about reform of the second level Irish education system and creative engagement.
(appointed May 2020)
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 for Youth Drama.
(appointed June 2019)
Sarah serves as General Manager of Dublin Youth Theatre.