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Druid

Founded in 1975, Druid was the first professional theatre company in Ireland outside Dublin and is universally recognised as one of the pioneers of the modern cultural development of Ireland in the last three decades. From its Galway home, it has been to the fore in the development of Irish theatre, performing in its home in Chapel Lane, elsewhere in Galway, Ireland and beyond.
Druid has toured extensively at home and abroad (including visits in recent years to London, Edinburgh, Sydney, Perth, Washington D.C. and New York), winning a formidable international reputation for both classic work and new work, and making the company one of the most well-known in the English speaking theatre world. The company during its history has had two artistic directors: Garry Hynes from 1975 to 1991 and 1995 to date and Maeliosa Stafford from 1991 to 1994.
Druid has been acclaimed for its work on the Irish dramatic repertoire including new productions of classics by J.M. Synge, Dion Boucicault or M.J. Molloy as well as nurturing the work of a new generation of Irish writers. Productions which opened in the company’s converted warehouse space at Chapel Lane in Galway and have won international recognition include The Playboy of the Western World (1982) At the Black Pig’s Dyke (1992), Conversations on a Homecoming (1985), and Bailegangaire (1985) which featured Siobhan McKenna in one of her finest dramatic performances.
In 1996, Druid premiered the debut work of Martin McDonagh in a co-production with the Royal Court – The Beauty Queen of Leenane opened in Galway in 1996 and subsequently played in London, Sydney, Dublin and on Broadway where the production won four Tony Awards, including Best Director for Garry Hynes, the first woman to win such an award.
Other successes in recent years include The Leenane Trilogy (with the Royal Court) in which The Beauty Queen of Leenane was joined by the premieres of two other Mc Donagh works – A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West – for the Trilogy; My Brilliant Divorce by Geraldine Aron (a Druid commission premiered in Galway and subsequently on the West End with Dawn French) and two revolutionary productions of work by John B Keane Sive (2002) and Sharon’s Grave (2003) DruidSynge, the company’s most recent and critically acclaimed production of all six of John Millington’s plays on the same day, was described by The New York Times as ‘breathtaking’ and ‘unforgettable’ and by The Irish Times as’ one of the greatest achievements in the history of Irish theatre’.
 

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