Druid and University of Galway

In February 2022, Druid and University of Galway announced a new 10-year strategic partnership running until 2031. Building on the previous 10-year relationship, this new partnership will deliver greater impact and opportunities through student engagement, curricular innovation, local and global events, and the enrichment of the creative sector in the west of Ireland.

Speaking at the announcement, Garry Hynes, co-founder and artistic director of Druid, said: ‘For the past 10 years, the Druid partnership with University of Galway has been a tremendous source of pride and inspiration for us as a company, working with students as they embark on their careers in theatre. We are delighted to announce the next stage of this academic partnership, deepening the relationship between ourselves, the students and the wider academic community in University of Galway, the place where Druid was founded in 1975.’

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: 'Great things start at University of Galway, and Druid is one of those. We have a great tradition here of the creative arts and this partnership with Druid renews this relationship and is very much embedded in our values. When you ask why a student from Boston, Berlin or Beijing would choose to study in Galway, one aspect is the unique opportunity they have to learn with our world class creative organisations, including Druid.'

As Academic Partner, University of Galway will benefit from partnering with Druid across a broad range of activities including the Druid Academy, wider campus engagement, alumni and stakeholder events, community cultural engagement, and economic growth and industry development.

The Druid Academy

The Druid Academy supports a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Drama, Theatre and Performance, as well as PhD research opportunities. Visit this page for more on the Druid Academy.

Wider Campus Engagement

Druid’s impact and visibility on campus will expand beyond the Druid Academy engaging the wider student and academic bodies, and enhancing University of Galway’s reputation as an internationally recognised centre of excellence for culture and creativity. This will include on-site performances (such as DruidGregory which was performed outdoors in the university’s Quadrangle in September 2020), discounted tickets, talks, public lectures and other bespoke events.

The Druid Archive at University of Galway will continue to be expanded, further cementing Druid’s historical links with the campus, and with a future emphasis on creating a more visible, dynamic and interactive display of the Archive Collection and Druid production materials.

Alumni and Stakeholder Events

University of Galway alumni events will be held at overseas venues to coincide with Druid's international tours. Previous alumni events have taken place during Druid's international tours of DruidMurphy, DruidShakespeare, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Waiting for Godot. Alumni events have been held in many cities including London, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

The partnership will also develop unique opportunities for University of Galway to benefit from Druid’s future international activities, deepening strategic engagement with Irish embassies and consulates around the world, and strengthening mutual partnerships with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Culture Ireland, Global Ireland and industry bodies including the IDA and Tourism Ireland.

Community Cultural Engagement

The partnership will also involve working collaboratively for the development of Galway and the West of Ireland as vibrant centres for arts and culture, including supporting the proposed cultural and performance space on Nun’s Island as part of the urban regeneration of the city centre.

As an important platform and agency for a vibrant, cultural infrastructure and community, University of Galway’s partnership with Druid will be central to sustaining and growing the local artistic environment, stimulating cultural and artistic expression in the community, and encouraging creative endeavour and potential.

Economic Growth and Industry Development

The longevity and global reach of both University of Galway and Druid provide inspiration to local entrepreneurial start-ups and established businesses. As global ambassadors for Ireland, both organisations are lodestones in attracting industry and foreign direct investment to the West of Ireland, supporting economic development and helping to increase the intellectual knowledge network, enabling the creation and sharing of talent and expertise.

Collaborative support of the cultural economy through the partnership, ensures ongoing benefits in terms of quality of life and a more engaged and stimulated society. Similarly supporting cultural and artistic tourism is hugely beneficial to attracting national and international visitors resulting in a positive economic impact and showcasing Galway as a great place to live, work and study.

Image: Student Luke Heffernan, Professor Patrick Lonergan (Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies), Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh (University of Galway President), Marie Mullen (Actor and Co-Founder of Druid Theatre Company), Garry Hynes (Artistic Director and Co-Founder, Druid Theatre Company) and student Ethel Rose Murray. Photo: Boyd Challenger.