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Marie O’Byrne departs after twelve years as director of Hawk’s Well Theatre

Marie O Byrne

The chair and board of Hawk’s Well Theatre wish to announce that director, Marie O’Byrne, will finish up her role as director of the venue in April 2023. After more than twelve years at the helm of Hawk’s Well, Marie is returning to her home town of Ennis to take up the role of director at glór.

The board and team at Hawk’s Well would like to pay tribute to Marie’s creative leadership over this time, during which Hawk’s Well Theatre has been transformed into one of the leading arts venues in the country and has established itself as a creative producer of new work.

Throughout Marie’s time at the theatre, her mission has been to produce and present inspiring, innovative and engaging performances and to provide a welcoming, creative space for performance, collaboration, artistic development and learning. Year on year, she has delivered a vibrant programme and spearheaded a variety of imaginative initiatives and has always been passionate about championing the work of local artists.
Productions she has commissioned include The Man in the Woman’s Shoes and its companion piece I Hear You & Rejoice with Sligo Arts Service and actor Mikel Murfi; The Second Coming, a co-production with Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company and two new commissions about the life and work of Constance Gore-Booth and her sister Eva, Constance & Eva, created by Kellie Hughes and featuring compositions by Michael Rooney and Stephen Doherty, featuring many local performers.

Marie will be greatly missed by the board, her colleagues and the many artists, networks and arts organisations that she has worked with throughout her time in Sligo as well as the audiences and the community who have enjoyed coming to the theatre over the years.

Commenting on Marie’s departure, chair of the Hawk’s Well board Roddy Quinn said:
“Marie will be greatly missed by all who are lucky enough to know her. Her highly professional attitude to her work combined with her immense approachability make her a rare gift that the Hawk’s Well was lucky to have for twelve years. She leaves with our best wishes.”

A few artists who have worked closely with Marie commented:

“Marie's, the most, gifted, brilliant, creative and imaginative, producer and theatre director one could imagine. The town is going to miss her - her energy, her passion, her technical nous and her own unique talent as a musician. Her extraordinary stewardship and selfless dedication to the Hawk's Well is going to be missed. Stand Up on your feet Sligo. Applaud her. There'll never be anyone like her. Go Well, Marie.” Mikel Murfi

“Marie’s legacy is clear: Artists always come first for her, no job was too big or small and she has put the Hawk's Well back on the map in Sligo and beyond. She really is one in a million and was a huge help and inspiration to me over the last 12 years. I'd like to wish her all the best for the next chapter of her career and hope she will come back and join us on stage for future Theme Nights.” Kieran Quinn

“Marie never ceases to amaze me with her vision, creativity, commitment and ability to bring all the elements together to create the myriad of magical moments we have shared on the Hawk’s Well stage. She has not only created incredible opportunities for professional musicians across all genres but also opened the doors and brought a world of new experiences to young musicians. We in Sligo will miss her brilliance, her enthusiasm and sense of fun but I look forward to watching her star continue to shine.
Niamh Crowley

“Marie has been the encouraging, consistent presence that has supported and grown work that I didn’t know I wanted to make. She has proved invaluable to both the creative and organisational heart of EVA and CONSTANCE, two new works that started with a simple chat, a gentle nudge and then bags of commitment, time, trust and support from Marie to see them through to production. They simply wouldn’t have happened without Marie. I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Marie both as an artist in the rehearsal room and as director of the Hawk’s Well Theatre and I have a sneaking suspicion she is a sorceress. She brings people together and makes things happen, without a fuss and seemingly without effort, but with integrity, talent, humanity and ambition. Thank you Marie!” Kellie Hughes

Marie O’Byrne commented:

“I could never have imagined, before coming here twelve years ago, the special place that the Hawk’s Well Theatre, and the artists and people of Sligo would hold in my heart. It has been my absolute privilege to serve as custodian, alongside an incredible team, past and present. I am so grateful for the memories and friendships I have made here, and I look forward to seeing the Hawk’s Well thrive into the future as part of this extraordinary cultural landscape.”

Recruitment to fill the position of director at Hawk’s Well Theatre will commence shortly.

For further information please contact: Maeve McGowan, Marketing & Engagement Manager, or 071 9161518