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Theatre Forum AGM

Members are invited to attend Theatre Forum’s AGM which will take place at the Lecture Theatre, Chester Beatty, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, D02 AD92 and online using Zoom on Friday 30 September 2022.

Check that your membership is up to date to attend and vote at the AGM. Thank you to all who have renewed memberships. If you’ve still to renew, you can do so online.

Here’s the meeting agenda and please register to attend in person or online.

Use your vote
Every member is entitled to vote at the AGM. Whether you’re attending the AGM in person or online, you’ll be able to cast your vote during the meeting.

Proxy Vote
If you’re unable to attend the AGM, you can appoint a Proxy to vote on your behalf. We’d ask you to appoint a company director, secretary Paul Johnson or any other member using this Proxy Vote.

If you’ve any queries about your membership, the AGM or appointing a Proxy, contact us on coordinator@theatreforum.ie

Theatre Forum CLG
Notice of the company’s Annual General Meeting
Lecture Theatre, Chester Beatty, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, D02 AD92 and online using Zoom
30 September 2022, 2.45pm


  1. To open the meeting and outline how members can ask questions or contribute to the AGM.
  2. To receive and consider Theatre Forum’s Directors’ Report & Financial Statements for the year ending 31 December 2021
  3. To authorise the Directors to appoint, fix the term and remuneration of the statutory auditor UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited.
  4. To receive the Chair’s Review of the company’s affairs.
  5. To hear candidate statements and hold an election for three board positions.
  6. To preview forthcoming events and identify strategic priorities.
  7. To welcome the new Chair and announce the election result.

Candidates for Election 

  • Mary Boland, Theatre Royal
  • Niall Cleary, Graffiti Theatre Company
  • Lesley Conroy, Artist and member of Mothers Artists Makers (MAMs) Ireland
  • Orla Moloney, Project Arts Centre
  • Ronan Phelan, Rough Magic


Candidates for Election 

  • Mary Boland

    Mary Boland, Theatre Royal

    As a board member of Theatre Forum priorities include:

    • to be a strong passionate representative and voice for artists and creative practice both regionally and nationally through Theatre Forum initiatives and activity;
    • to work with industry colleagues and the broader, grassroots arts community on actions that help to strengthen arts infrastructure;
    • to assist with the sustainability and development of the arts throughout the country, but with a particular focus on the regions outside the capital, in line with the Arts Council’s Place, Space & People strategy ‘Promote and develop a people and place-based approach by investing in the arts and communities’;
    • to be an active and vocal advocate for the future of the arts, for its independent freelance workers, companies, venues and collectives, with relevant stakeholders, including local authorities, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the Arts Council, and political representatives;
    • to continue the conversation with the sector on its Green Arts strategies and needs;
    • to provide support to the executive, bringing industry knowledge and experience to the benefit of the organisation and the sector.


    A native of Waterford Mary has been committed to supporting artists and arts activity throughout her 30-year career.  Since graduating from Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Mary has spent many years working in a range of management roles in the arts sector.  She has worked as Production Manager on various theatre productions as well as Company Producer with Red Kettle Theatre Company.  Mary’s work has brought her to Donegal, Galway and Cork as well as her native Waterford.

    With 13 years’ experience as Theatre Manager at the Theatre Royal, Mary has recently stepped into the role of Theatre Director incorporating the programming and artistic leadership of the organisation.  Mary continues to play a major role in the development of the venues journey while continuing to maximise on increased supports to artists through the venues annual programming strategy and resources.

    As a venue partner with South East Venues Network Mary continues to deliver supports to the sector regionally

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    Niall Cleary, Graffiti Theatre Company


    As well as being responsible for collaboratively building Graffiti artistic programmes and productions, I am also committed to building company partnerships, securing funding and support to ensure that the creative voices of children and young people are at the core of all aspects of the organisation. Theatre for Young Audiences Ireland (TYAI), the nationwide association representing and supporting artists & organisations working in Theatre for Young Audiences, is led by an 11-person voluntary committee of festival directors, venue managers and freelance TYA artists, serving a broad base of 71 members across the country. As a TYAI committee member, I work with others to provide those crucial links between members, the arts sector and government. With an overlap in the memberships of TYAI and Theatre Forum, I know many of you already and would like to share both my own experience of making and directing work for children and young people as well as my broader TYAI perspective more widely with directors and members of Theatre Forum.

    Niall is responsible for collaboratively building Graffiti artistic programmes and productions. He creates company partnerships, funding support and ensures that the creative voices of children and young people are at the core of all aspects of the organisation. Beginning his Graffiti career in 2015 running Creative Learning and Activate, in 2018, he was appointed Artistic Director and CEO.

    His directorial skills have been utilised in supporting the Activate Youth theatre productions as well as writing “Don’t Smile till Christmas”, and directing credits for Graffiti  include “This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing” and “The Sleep that Ceased to Settle” by Finegan Kruckemeyer, “Human: A Robot Musical” by John McCarthy and “Trasna” a bilingual piece devised by the company. He also acted many years ago in a production of “The Lost Ones” directed by his predecessor, mentor and Graffiti founder, Emelie FitzGibbon. He is the former Chair of Youth Theatre Ireland and a committee member of TYAI.

  • Lesley Conroy Hi Res

    Lesley Conroy, Artist and member of Mothers Artists Makers (MAMs) Ireland


    Central to Theatre Forum’s current artistic policy is a commitment to represent & respond to the needs of independent artists. In 2021 as part of Theatre Forum’s Independent Artist Working Group I worked with a diverse group of artists to compile the CUAN report – an ambitious blueprint of recommendations encouraging an interdependence between artists & strategically funded resource organisations.

    Dissemination of these findings is crucial if we are to stimulate systemic change. As a board member, I would undertake to share these findings widely, to effect implementation of the CUAN Report’s recommendations.

    I am passionate about access – for all members of the Arts Community – and the roll out of robust DEI policies in the Arts.

    For more than 25 years, I have worked as a freelance actor. Maintaining this   career since becoming a mother has proved difficult. As a steering member of Mothers Artist Makers Ireland, I am well placed to assist Theatre Forum in its endeavours to encourage Family Friendly practices within the sector. Part of this would be to identify how organisations can facilitate greater flexibility, and be mindful of the access needs of artists with caring responsibilities, ensuring we do not lose valuable, experienced, Artists and Makers.


    Lesley Conroy is a writer/performer from Cork, currently based in Dublin. She trained at The Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin. Over the course of her 25-year career she has worked with The Abbey, Corcadorca, Loose Canon, Fíbín & Decadent among others.

    Pivoting to writing in recent years, her monologue ‘Cleaner’ was the 2020 Scripts Ireland Competition winner. Her upcoming solo show ‘my connection is unstable’ was developed under the Cork Midsummer Festival/Jane Anne Rothwell award for emerging talent from Cork.

    Her artistic development has been supported by the Arts Council Agility awards, The Everyman, CMF Theatre Exchange, The Pavilion, The Mermaid. She was a 2021 Axis Assemble participant, and most recently took part in the female centric mentored playwright development programme MAVENS. In early 2023 excerpts from her work will be performed by leading Irish actors, directed by Maise Lee in The Mill Theatre Dublin.

    She was a member of Theatre Forum’s Independent Artist Working Group in 2020. As a steering member of MAM Ireland she advocates for social justice and systemic change within the industry, to ensure that parenting artists are supported and equally represented within the industry and canon.

  • Photo Orlam

    Orla Moloney, Project Arts Centre

    If appointed to the Board, I would bring a wide range of experience of the arts sector, having worked for many years in arts centres, festivals, performing arts organisations, and youth arts programmes – as employee and freelancer.  I am interested in offering whatever skills and experience I have built up to assist Theatre Forum in strengthening Ireland’s performing arts community, advancing its interests and ensuring a sustainable future.  It seems to me that these aims have never been more relevant.  From the housing crisis, to rising energy costs, and from post-pandemic anxiety to environmental sustainability, artists continue to make and present exciting, challenging work in an increasingly precarious environment.  We will all need solidarity and support to survive and thrive over the coming years.  In many ways it is an exciting as well as a challenging time, with a far greater diversity of voices and perspectives contributing to the creative mix each year.  But we still have a way to go to ensure our organisations are also structurally diverse.  One priority I would have if I joined the Board would be to assist Theatre Forum in fulfilling its commitment to being an equitable, diverse and inclusive organisation.


    Orla Moloney is Executive Director at Project Arts Centre, a multidisciplinary space in Dublin, which promotes exchange, experimentation and the presentation of extraordinary work that inspires and provokes. Orla manages human and financial resources and works closely with the Artistic Director, Board and executive in developing and implementing policy and strategy. In the last two years, Orla played a key role in the development of a new policy Towards Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, which sits at the heart of Project’s new five year strategy.

    Previously, as Head of Arts Participation with the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealíon (2007 – 2013), Orla managed funding relationships and application processes, and led on the development of new policies in Cultural Diversity, Arts and Disability, and Arts and Health. She has extensive experience in arts management, research, policy development, and evaluation, having worked both as an independent arts consultant, and in senior arts management roles e.g. Director, Bealtaine Festival; Acting Director, Droichead Arts Centre; Regional Development Manager, Music Network.

    Orla holds a BA in Pure English and an MA in Adult and Community Education. She has served on the Boards of Dance Limerick, Create, and Barnstorm Theatre Company, and is currently on the Board of Music Network.


  • Ronan B&w Vignette

    Ronan Phelan, Rough Magic

    I have been working as an independent theatre director for the past 10 years. During that time I have worked on projects of a wide variety of scale and style at numerous venues and festivals including, Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Cork Opera House. I am currently Associate Director of Rough Magic Theatre Company and I sit on their Board of Governor’s Strategy Subcommittee.

    My practice as an artist has always been audience focused. I seek to make work that is affirmative, challenging and inclusive. I believe strongly in theatre as a civic and political act of communion and empathy, and that in a time of increasing polarisation and individualism its unique ability to bring people together is needed more than ever.

    I believe that Theatre Forum should be the first port of call for artists, companies, producers and venues – even more so than it is already. I want to help increase its profile and make people more aware of the valuable work they do and resources that are there to be utilised. In the wake of the last few turbulent years, as the industry begins to renew and we all seek alternative ways of working, Theatre Forum is uniquely positioned to help create greater dialogue between theatre makers and presenters across the country. This is a moment of opportunity to find new pathways to production that will help create better resourced work to be seen by more people at venues all around the country.

    I believe I have the skills and experience necessary to make a valuable contribution to the Theatre Forum board. My understanding of the position of independent artists is complemented by my role at Rough Magic where I am involved in strategic planning and programming. I have seen from the inside the potent value of Strategically Funded Organisations as a key nodal point between artists, venues and audiences and believe that more can be done to further utilise this position.

    Ronan is a freelance theatre director based in Dublin working across a variety of scales and styles including new writing, reimagined classics and musical theatre. Since 2017 he has held the role of Associate Director at Rough Magic Theatre Company.   In 2020 he was nominated as Best Director at the Irish Times Theatre Awards for his production of Much Ado About Nothing for Rough Magic and Kilkenny Arts Festival. Previous directing credits include KITCHENSINKDRAMA (The Collective), Much Ado About Nothing and  Tonic  (Rough Magic and Kilkenny Arts Festival), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Rough Magic, Dublin Theatre Festival and National Tour), All Mod Cons (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Some Names Were Changed (15th Oak and Dublin Fringe Festival ), Annie (Cork Opera House). Ronan is a former participant of the Abbey Theatre’s Resident Assistant Director programme and is a graduate of the TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama.