Friday 14 October 2016 - The Board of the Gate Theatre is pleased to announce the appointment of Selina Cartmell as the next Director of the theatre.
She follows in the footsteps of Michael MacLiammoir, Hilton Edwards and Michael Colgan, the only other directors of the theatre in the 88 years since its foundation.
As a freelance artist, Selina Cartmell has directed a diverse range of work from Greek tragedy and Shakespeare, to international work 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, a multi-award winning company conceived to innovate the classics and create relevant and dynamic new work, integrating theatre, dance, visual arts, architecture, film and music.
Announcing the appointment, Mary Finan, Chairman of the Gate Theatre, said : “ I am delighted to welcome Selina Cartmell as the new Director of the theatre. When we embarked on the search for a successor to Michael Colgan our goal was to find someone whose imagination and flair would build on his 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.”
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Cartmell said : “ I am greatly honoured to be given the opportunity to run the Gate. Early in my career it became a welcome artistic home, inspiring and challenging me with an infectious energy that was addictive and came from the top. 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 that he had been a longtime admirer of Selina’s work both at the Gate and on other stages. “ 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, “ he said.
Michael Colgan’s successful tenure as Director of the Gate will end on 1 April 2017 after 33 years in the role. To ensure a smooth transition he will work alongside Selina Cartmell from January 1st.
The board is deeply indebted to Michael Colgan for his three decades of extraordinary achievement at the Gate, during which he showcased Irish writing, acting and directorial talent which won acclaim from LA to Beijing and from Toronto to Sydney. Under his stewardship, the Gate established unique relationships with leading contemporary playwrights including Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Brian Friel. He produced the first ever Beckett festival , presenting all 19 of his stage plays over three weeks. He also produced the first ever festival of Pinter’s plays and his many productions of Friel’s work included the acclaimed production of ‘Faith Healer ‘ with Ralph Fiennes which won a Tony Award on Broadway. These are a vivid demonstration of the creative reputation and international reach that have been forged for the Gate during Michael Colgan’s tenure.
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, University of London. She was mentored by Julie Taymor under the prestigious international Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative which seeks out gifted young artists from all over the world and pairs them with artistic masters for a year of creative collaboration. She is currently in technical rehearsals for “ Three Sisters” at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and will be opening on 20 October.
The Gate Theatre acknowledges the support of the Arts Council .