NUI Galway and Druid Theatre announce formal partnership

NUI Galway student Luke Heffernan; Professor Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway; Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, NUI 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. Credit: Boyd Challenger.
Jan 31 2022 Posted: 05:27 GMT

Ten-year strategic partnership to focus on expanding academic links, student engagement, local and global events and the creative sector in the west

NUI Galway and Druid have agreed a 10-year strategic partnership building on the existing relationship between the University and the renowned theatre company. 

NUI Galway will be Druid’s exclusive academic partner, with the company offering internship opportunities and working to strengthen and enhance the success of NUI Galway’s Creative Arts programmes.

The University will host an exhibition to mark Druid’s 50th birthday and NUI Galway 180th anniversary in 2025. 

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: ““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 have to learn with our world class creative organisations, including Druid.”

Druid is also committed to expanding its impact on the NUI Galway campus with bespoke on-site performances and conversations, the first of these was Druid Gregory, outdoors in the University’s Quadrangle in September 2020.

Garry Hynes, founder and Artistic Director of Druid, said: “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, 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 NUI Galway, the place where Druid was founded in 1975.”

Druid and NUI Galway will work together to devise strategies to further develop 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 the 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.

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, which is held by the University.

Professor Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, added: “Druid is not only an inspirational theatre company; it is also one of Galway's most successful and resilient businesses. 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.”

To view Garry Hynes and Marie Mullen reflecting on the origins of the Druid Theatre visit https://youtu.be/S5NszCy59Mo

For more information on the partnership visit https://youtu.be/KimKW14Rr2w or learn more about Drama at NUI Galway at https://www.nuigalway.ie/drama/.

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