Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin to step down

04 July 2018 ← return to listing

Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin to step down

Today we announce that Orla O'Loughlin is to step down as Joint Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre to take up the role of Vice-Principal and Director of Drama at London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama this Autumn.

Orla joined the Traverse in 2012, and has nurtured some of Scotland's most exciting new writers and dynamic new work throughout her tenure, as well as curating the theatre's celebrated Festival and year-round programmes.

During her time at the Traverse, the theatre has produced 70 Traverse Theatre Company productions and co-productions, many of which also toured throughout Scotland, enjoyed West End transfers and were seen in New York, welcomed over 300 partner organisations and touring companies to its stages, and been visited by almost 450,000 audience members, as well as forged rich international partnerships with companies in South Korea, New Zealand and Canada.

December's world premiere of Kieran Hurley's Mouthpiece will be Orla's last directing role whilst Artistic Director. Her previous directing work for the Traverse includes acclaimed productions such as Locker Room Talk, Grain in the Blood, Milk, Girl in the Machine, Swallow (Scotsman Fringe First and Scottish Arts Club award-winner), Ciara (Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel and CATS award-winner), Spoiling (Scotsman Fringe First award-winner), Meet Me at Dawn (Herald Angel award-winner), Milk (Tom Erhardt award-winner), The Artist Man and the Mother Woman, and the Herald Angel award-winning, Dream Plays (Scenes from a Play I'll Never Write).

Beyond directing, Orla created the Traverse's landmark Traverse 50 programme to mark the theatre's 50th anniversary, whose participants included now-established Scottish playwrights such as Frances Poet and Martin McCormick, has participated in Federation of Scottish Theatre and Clore Leadership's mentorship programmes, has contributed to playwriting courses at the University of St Andrews and University of Edinburgh, recently supported the University of Warwick on the development of their BA and MA Drama programmes and was a panel member on the review of the BA Acting programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has also been a visiting director and lecturer at RADA and Central School of Speech and Drama.

Orla O'Loughlin said,
"It's been a privilege and joy to lead the Traverse Theatre and work with so many talented and passionate artists, companies and colleagues over the past 7 years. I'm incredibly proud of the work we have produced, the writers we have developed, and all of the awesome companies we have programmed - and I am especially delighted by the international impact our plays and their writers have had on audiences around the world. I'm looking forward to developing new ways to work with the Traverse to continue the discovery and development of the brightest new talent. And, of course, I'll look forward to engaging with the brilliant and compelling work I know the Traverse will continue to create and champion. I'd like to thank everyone who has made my time at the Traverse so special and look forward to thanking them all in person over the coming weeks and months."

Sir John Elvidge, Chair of the Traverse's Board of Trustees said,
"We are immensely grateful for the hard work and creative vision Orla has invested in the Traverse in her time here, and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved together. We wish her great success in her new role and look forward to exploring new ways of working together to expand the Traverse's work as the home of creativity and dynamic new work in Scotland."

Image: Aly Wight


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