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Hawk's Well appoint new Programme Manager

A portrait photograph of Maeve McGowan, the new Programme Manager of Hawk's Well Theatre

The chair and the board of Hawk’s Well Theatre are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Programme Manager of the venue. Sligo native Maeve McGowan, will be responsible for designing an exciting programme, nurturing the voice of the local artist and shaping an exciting future for the Theatre.

Maeve’s connection to the Hawk’s Well Theatre stretches all the way back to when she was just a little one, when she was cast as the lead in Sligo Fun Company's Production of ‘Annie’. She even shares the same birthday as the Hawk’s Well Theatre’s grand opening – uncanny! With a strong connection to the theatre from birth, it is almost as if Maeve was destined to play a monumental role in the Hawk’s Well’s rich legacy.

Before moving back to work at the Hawk’s Well, Maeve completed an MA in Theatre Studies in DCU and performed in numerous theatre productions in Dublin. Some of her favourite roles include Pegeen Mike in 'The Playboy of the Western World', Lesley in one-woman-show 'Her Big Chance' by Alan Bennett; Nora in 'The Plough and the Stars' and performing as part of the ANU ensemble.

Over the last twelve years Maeve has worked closely with former Director Marie O’Byrne to develop Hawk’s Well into one of the top venues in the country. Working as Marketing and Engagement Manager, Maeve has been responsible for promoting the national and international profile of the venue as well as driving marketing activity for all productions at the theatre, including Hawk’s Well productions. Maeve joined Hawk’s Well in 2011 and has worked during this time to grow audiences across all genres and engage with all sectors of the community. She has initiated and lead community projects for Hawk’s Well including Sligo Acts, Cultural Companions (pairing artists and members of the community cocooning alone during the pandemic) and The Takeover with secondary school students.

During this time Maeve established Hawk’s Well’s Drama at the Well training programme for children and adults and has recently established Shine - a drama programme for young people with intellectual disabilities.

She has co-produced and curated productions at the theatre including Remembering Prince, Bowie, Cohen, The Big Wall, Open Up and Ladies Night and produced a variety of productions during the pandemic including Snapshot, Poem for the People, From Our Home to Yours, Sligo Through Words and Music and We’re Ready to Talk.

This year, ahead of International Women’s Day, Maeve proudly curated Ladies Night at the Well; a very special event which paid tribute to the many amazing women performing and working in the Arts who have contributed to making the Hawk’s Well Theatre what it is today. The event was hosted by Pauline McLynn and included an impressive lineup of artists and performers including acclaimed musical director Niamh Crowley, country music star Sandy Kelly, legendary stage actress Marie Mullen, extraordinary singer Sinéad Conway and many, many more. The event was a tremendous success, celebrating these magnificent women's talents and their incredible ongoing support to the Hawk’s Well. The event also paid tribute to the first Director of the Hawk’s Well Rhoda MacManus and outgoing Director Marie O’Byrne.

Maeve was also involved in creating Your Time At The Well, an exhibition of the history of the theatre which was exhibited in the foyer for the theatres’ 30th birthday. Some of this exhibition is now displayed as a timeline on the theatre's foyer wall celebrating performing artists of Sligo throughout its lifetime. The wall of shared history at the Hawk’s Well goes back as far as 1966 when Sligo Drama Circle were invited to perform plays by W.B. Yeats as a part of the Yeats International Summer School. This led to the setting up of what became known as the Little Theatre or A Theatre for Sligo project.

Maeve commented on her new position:
“It has been a joy to be part of the success story of this very special theatre over the last twelve years. I’ve worked with some fantastic people along the way and made life-long friends. I’m delighted now to take on this new opportunity to work as Programme Manager, bringing world class productions to our Sligo stage. I’m looking forward to continuing with the great work that we have been doing over the last number of years as we aim to become a more inclusive venue and offer a diverse programme for all. I’m excited to embark on a new chapter with new Director Kieran Griffiths and know that there are many great opportunities and experiences ahead working with the wonderful artistic community in Sligo and showcasing this talent to the world.”

Nigel Gallagher, Digital Marketer at the Hawk’s Well Theatre
"I am delighted that Maeve is taking on the new role of Programme Manager here at the theatre. As well as being a kind, supportive colleague and friend - her creativity, knowledge and dedication has been instrumental to the success of Hawk’s Well over the last 12 years. I look forward to the amazing work she helps to create in this new chapter of the Hawk’s Well story."

Roddy Quinn, Chairperson, Hawk’s Well Theatre “The Hawk's Well is fortunate in having had Maeve McGowan as a senior staff member in recent years. Her promotion to Programme manager is a natural step for someone of her talent and personality. In this new role she will have a central influence on what productions are brought to the Hawk's Well stage. We can all look forward with great confidence to seeing Maeve's thumbprint on all audience experiences in the theatre.”

Jane Parsons, Former Capital & Development Manager, Hawk's Well Theatre / Executive Director, Blue Teapot Theatre Company
"I have had the pleasure of working along side Maeve for several years at Hawk's Well Theatre, her creativity and integrity has always been an inspiration. Maeve has a thorough understanding of theatre audiences and a passion for sharing the arts with new audiences, she is an amazing asset to the arts in Sligo."

Hawk's Well Theatre is a 340 seat theatre in Sligo annually funded by the Arts Council, Department of Social Protection and Sligo County Council. Firmly rooted as a social and cultural lighthouse in the North West in recent years it has commissioned and produced several exciting collaboration projects with local and national artists, including The Man in the Woman’s Shoes and I Hear You and Rejoice with Mikel Murfi, The Second Coming with Fidget Feet and most recently Constance with Kellie Hughes and Michael Rooney, Eva created by Kellie Hughes, and Miriam Needham's interactive experience for children Hear Me Speak!