Producing Masterclass with Kate Pakenham

As part of the Gate’s commitment to investing in the best Irish theatre talent, the theatre is hosting a 4-part free online workshop series for 17 emerging producers this week and next week.  The series is curated and hosted by independent producer, Kate Pakenham, who is bringing together experienced international theatre professionals to share practical advice based on their varying perspectives and experiences.  is bringing together leading theatre professionals to share practical advice based on their varying perspectives and experiences.  This week the sessions have been joined by actor and director, Fiona Shaw; director, Phyllida Lloyd; West End producer, Becky Barber; and ANU producer, Matt Smyth.

Across the series, participants will receive insight into, and the opportunity to discuss: budgets, funding models, theatre festivals, producing in non-traditional venues, and theatre’s rapidly evolving relationship with online platforms.  Through the programme, participants will be encouraged to explore and develop their own tastes and interests as producers.

Congratulations to all those chosen to participate.


Cahal Clarke

Cahal is an aspiring writer, director, and producer from North Belfast. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of Wee Yarn Productions, established in 2019. He directed and coproduced their debut production to critical acclaim at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe. He would like to thank The Gate for this great opportunity.

Caoimhe Wandel-Brannigan

A classically trained dancer, choreographer and teacher, Caoimhe recently graduated from UCD with an MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management. Most recently, she has been working as a research assistant in Trinity College, exploring the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies in the performing arts.”


Donna Marie O’Donovan

Donna Marie O’Donovan is an arts manager with experience spanning theatre, literature, visual arts and design. She was part of the team that launched the Museum of Literature Ireland and previously worked in fundraising and development at the Abbey Theatre. She has an MA in Arts Management and BA in Drama/Art History.

Eliksha Lane Barnes

Elishka Lane Barnes is a producer, theatre-maker and actor from County Wexford. She is a founding member of Gift Horse theatre company, a company that emphasise environmentally conscious theatre practice and playful, dynamic reimagining’s of classic texts. She is producer and publicist for the company.


Grace Halton

Grace Halton is a freelance theatre practitioner from Dublin. She has worked in a variety of roles from Stage Manager on ‘Big Chapel X’ (Asylum Productions, Kilkenny Arts Festival), Venue Manager for Dublin Fringe Festival and Production Assistant for Galway International Arts Festival. Grace has produced several promenade productions for Betty Ann Norton Theatre School in OPW venues such as Pearse Museum and Rathfarnham Castle. Grace’s interests lie in poetry, non conventional spaces and children’s theatre.


Iain Synnott

Hi, my name is Iain Synnott, I am from Dublin and I am currently studying Stage Management and Technical Theatre in The Lir. I mostly work in stage management and set construction, but I am passionate about all forms of theatre.


Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell is a theatre producer from Dublin. His credits include: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Samuel Beckett Theatre); BEAT. (Samuel Beckett Theatre; Electric Picnic). He recently served as a Producing Assistant with Landmark Productions on Landmark Live. Jack is currently completing his MSc. in Management at Trinity College Dublin.


Jack Reardon

Jack Reardon is a director/producer from Tipperary. After studying in DCU, Jack completed his masters in theatre directing at The Lir Academy. Previous work in The Gate Theatre includes assistant director on Look Back in Anger and assistant director on The Glass Menagerie. Jack has also worked at The Abbey Theatre as assistant director of Let the Right One In and as associate director for Landmark’s production Asking For It. Jack has worked significantly with Clonmel Junction Arts Festival where he has co-produced productions in the last number of years. These include Overlook – A military Story, The Fight and Pests by Vivienne Franzmann.

Leanna Cuttle

Leanna Cuttle is a Creative Producer and Theatre Maker based in Dublin. She has worked in multiple areas of theatre throughout the years, including acting, stage management, company management and producing. Some credits include CANARIES (ANU / Dublin Port), PARTY TO END ALL PARTIES (ANU/ Dublin Theatre Festival), THE LOST O’CASEY (ANU/ Abbey Theatre/ DTF), HALF LIGHT (Bombinate Theatre, National tour), COLLECTED STORIES (Then This Theatre, National Tour), KING LEAR, MERCHANT OF VENICE, ROMEO & JULIET, HAMLET (GSA, National Tours)

Nathalie Clement

Nathalie is a Franco-Irish theatre and street arts producer, actress, and voice-over artist, and a graduate of Bow Street’s full-time programme. She has worked with Dublin Circus Project, Purple Hare Theatre Company, and UEFA among others. An experienced digital marketer, she has a background in project management and process improvement.

Niamh Ní Fhlatharta

Niamh Ní Fhlatharta is an early-career producer and arts marketeer based in Galway. Niamh is currently the Company Administrator and Marketing Executive with Branar Téatar and the Audience Development Assistant with Fishamble. Niamh has previously worked with Galway International Arts Festival and has produced shows for Galway Theatre Festival and Scene + Heard.

Pea Dineen

Pea Dinneen is a theatre maker based in Dublin. Her debut play White enjoyed a sold-out run at the Dublin Fringe Festival, where she was also part of the artist residency programme. Currently, Pea works as a dramaturg and playwriting mentor with organisations including The Lyric Theatre and Outburst Queer Arts Festival.

SJ Williams

SJ Williams began her producing career after she graduated from Bull Alley and Co-founded Ill-advised theatre company. She soon became eager to learn more about other aspects of production and so she went back to college to study Technical Theatre. Now a graduate of The Lir Academy and with some experience under her belt in lighting and as a production manager she is eager to return to producing and continue her love of telling stories.

Shona Ashmore

Shona is part of the team at the Dlr Mill Theatre and most recently produced Patricia Burke Brogan’s ‘Eclipsed’. In her role as Education Manager, she co-ordinated both the Senior and Primary Schools Shakespeare Festivals in 2019/20. She is a passionate Arts advocate with many years of teaching and amateur theatre work in her portfolio.

Síomha Nee

Síomha Nee is the Theatre Manager at The Mick Lally Theatre in Galway, and the Programme Manager of FUEL, Druid’s artist residency programme.  She worked as a Junior Producer with Macnas, and was a participant on the Irish Theatre Institute’s ELEVATOR resource sharing initiative.  Síomha has an MA in Journalism and worked as a freelance proof-reader and sub-editor before working in theatre.

SJ Woods

SJ Woods is a creative producer from the West of Ireland. She makes immersive and multi-sensory experiences inspired by place and identity and the visceral subject matter that they provide. She is currently based in London where she is gaining international experience as a creative producer as part of her Arts Council theatre bursary.’

Sophie Coote

Sophie Coote is a graduate of Drama and Theatre Studies in Trinity College Dublin. She has been producing a show for young people entitled At the Very Beginning, written and directed by CN Smith, as part of The Civic’s 2020 Ready Steady SHOW! Programme. She is the current Festival Director for ISDA, Irish Student Drama Awards, which will be hosted online in early April 2021. ble for all sessions


Kate Pakenham is an independent theatre producer and arts consultant, and Executive Director at The WOW Foundation.  Kate believes in the power of great theatre to make positive change within our cultures and is a passionate advocate for diversity on stage and within audiences.  Recent productions include the Olivier-Award winning production of Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s EMILIA at The Vaudeville Theatre in 2019, and The Gate’s production of HAMLET at St Ann’s Warehouse in 2020.  Up next is Jade Anouka’s HEART.  From 2012-2018 Kate was Executive Producer of the Donmar Warehouse in London where she produced 40 productions, many of which transferred to the West End, New York or onto screen.  Prior to the Donmar, Kate worked at The Old Vic Theatre for 11 years.  She began her career in television, spending 4 years researching and directing factual programmes for BBC, ITV and Channel 4.