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Our History

Our History

Born from Sligo people’s vision for a local theatre, we are proud that Hawk’s Well, in its 40th year, still very much belongs to its community.

A theatre for Sligo was something that the local amateur drama movement dreamed of. In 1974, members of Sligo Drama Circle successfully lobbied then Bishop Dr. Dominic Conway to grant them the plot of land on Temple Street where the current Hawk’s Well stands. The Arts Council along with North West Tourism, Sligo County Council and Sligo Borough Council recognised the need for a designated cultural centre in the area, and offered to find the funding to build and maintain a theatre. They stipulated that it would have a remit broad enough to facilitate touring professional performing artists, as well as community arts groups. The Drama Circle agreed, signed over the land, and soon after, construction began on the first purpose-built theatre west of the Shannon.

1982 – Hawk's Well Theatre Opens

Hawk’s Well opened in January 1982, with the establishment of the theatre seen by many as an acknowledgement of the richness of the many arts in Sligo, and indeed in Connaught.

The official opening on January 12th 1982 was presided over by President Patrick Hillery in a gala evening that included performances by Sligo Drama Circle, Sligo Choral Society, the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and the theatre’s inaugural professional production, Druid Theatre Company’s presentation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

The theatre was significantly renovated in the mid-nineties when the original foyer and auditorium were replaced with a large, modern foyer and an intimate, comfortable theatre. The original stage was also expanded into a much larger playing space. Michael D. Higgins T.D., Minister for the Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht opened the refurbished Hawk’s Well with an acknowledgement of the “hard work and generosity of vision” of the people of Sligo that made the project possible. 

2022 – Celebrating 40 Years

In 2022 Hawk's Well Theatre celebrates its 40th year, with the same community support and participation that began the theatre in 1982, the theatre will continue to fill these roles for many years to come.