Fringe News

Dublin Fringe Festival appoints new Festival Director

28 September 2017

Dublin Fringe Festival appoints new Festival Director

Dublin Fringe Festival is delighted to announce the appointment of Ruth McGowan as its new Festival Director. Following a sensational edition of Ireland’s leading multi-disciplinary arts festival this year, McGowan will take on the role on 27 November 2017.

Ruth McGowan has been Programme Manager with Dublin Fringe Festival since 2015, co-curating the 2016 and 2017 editions of the festival and supporting hundreds of artists and ideas. As a dramaturg, producer and director, Ruth has been developing new work in Dublin and New York since 2009. She has worked in the literary departments of the Abbey Theatre, Atlantic Theatre Company and the Public Theater and as an independent artist.

Dublin Fringe Festival Board Chair Mary Moloney said, “Following a competitive recruitment process with candidates applying from three different continents, we are thrilled to have appointed a visionary, dynamic and fearless leader for the Dublin Fringe Festival team in Ruth McGowan. After an incredible four years with Kris Nelson at the helm, we’re excited to see how Ruth shapes an organisation that is a vital force within the Irish and international cultural landscapes. We know that the extraordinary plans Ruth is about to set in motion for Fringe in 2018 and beyond will invigorate, astonish and delight.”

Current Festival Director Kris Nelson departs Dublin Fringe Festival on 31 December 2017 as he prepares to move on to his new role as Artistic Director and Joint CEO at LIFT, London’s world-renowned biennial festival of international theatre. Commenting on the new appointment at Dublin Fringe Festival, Nelson said, “Ruth McGowan has distinguished herself within the Irish arts sector as a talented leader. She takes on the big questions with great verve and skill. She challenges artists with the right provocations and always strives for Fringe to bring its best as a presenter of daring new work. I am thrilled for the organisation. Ruth will build on Fringe’s incredible momentum and make her own indelible mark as she brings the festival to brilliant new heights.”

Commenting on her new role as Festival Director, McGowan said, “It’s an honour to be appointed Festival Director of Dublin Fringe Festival. I couldn't be more excited to lead a new chapter for this agenda setting festival, working with the brilliant team to stay true to Fringe’s unparalleled commitment to new work. Fringe is not just a festival, it’s an ethos. It’s an essential platform for emerging talent, radical ideas and voices from outside the mainstream. Dublin Fringe Festival has a remarkable legacy, cultivated by extraordinary artists and leaders. I can’t wait to take risks, make mischief and provide a space for artists where anything is possible.”

Dublin Fringe Festival marked its 23rd edition this September with a city takeover bringing 460 performances of 81 shows to adventurous audiences in 34 venues across Dublin. Shaking up the capital with unforgettable moments, it was a festival full of surprises including a glowing city of tents on Dame Street; a pop-up choir in Dublin’s favourite shopping centre at Stephen’s Green; the best of Irish comedy on the mainstage at the Abbey Theatre; spectacular circus in an abandoned warehouse and a brand new children’s programme. The next Dublin Fringe Festival will take place 8 – 23 September 2018. 

Dublin Fringe Festival is core funded by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland.

For more information contact:
Kate O’Leary: +353 1 670 6106 kate@fringefest.com
Conleth Teevan: +353 87 1221 648 conleth@conlethteevan.com

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