NUI Galway and Druid Theatre have announced they have agreed on a ten-year partnership in order to focus on expanding academic links, student engagement, local and global events and to boost the creative sector in the West of Ireland.
Druid Theatre, which is based on Flood Street in Galway is a touring theatre company and they described themselves as “a writer’s theatre, exploring ambitious projects, reimagining classics and premiering new work annually” both from Irish and international writers.
Garry Hynes co-founded Druid Theatre as a student at NUI Galway alongside actress Marie Mullen and the late Mick Lally for whom Druid’s base theatre is named.
The projects outlined in this partnership are ambitious, with Druid offering internships exclusively to NUI Galway and working to enhance NUI Galway’s successful Creative Arts programmes such as Drama and Theatre Studies.
They will also look to host more on-campus performances and talks, such as the Druid Gregory project held outdoors in the Quadrangle in September 2020.
Druid will also help to create greater awareness of the NUI Galway undergraduate and postgraduate courses within the arts community, at home and abroad, through mutual enhancement of the Druid Academy, Druid Artist-in-Residence, and the Druid Archive held by NUI Galway.
Ms Hynes is the current Artistic Director of Druid and was the first female director to win a Tony Award for directing The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 1998, which made its world premiere in the Town Hall Theatre in Galway.
“For the past 10 years, the Druid Academy at NUI Galway has been a tremendous source of pride and inspiration for us as a company, with students as they embark on their careers in theatre,” stated Ms Hynes.
“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 NUI Galway, the place where Druid was founded in 1975.”
“Druid is not only an inspirational theatre company; it is also one of Galway’s most successful and resilient businesses,” said Professor Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway.
“Our students will learn from their example as they build their own creative arts enterprises, working in the west of Ireland, nationally, and internationally – just as Druid do.”
“We’ve already achieved so much from working together. The next decade of cooperation promises to be hugely exciting,” added Professor Lonergan.
Druid and NUI Galway will also work together to develop strategies to boost Galway’s international reputation and engage with and integrate diverse and new communities and cultures in the region.
There will also be a focus on NUI Galway alumni, partly through Druid’s international productions, as well bringing renewed visual presence for the creative arts company on campus, engaging and inspiring students and staff.
President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh was delighted with the establishment of this unique partnership.
“Great things start at NUI 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 learn with our world class creative organisations, including Druid,” he concluded.