The recently developed Lime Tree Theatre, housed in Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Limerick, today announced the appointment of its first ever Theatre Manager, Louise Donlon.
Louise Donlon is no stranger to the arts scene in Ireland having worked in the sector for over 20 years. A native of County Longford, she holds a BA in Music and History, a Diploma in Arts Administration and a Masters in Public Administration. She began her career in the arts at the City Arts Centre and at the Arts Council’s offices in Dublin. In the early 1990s she worked in Limerick as administrator of Island Theatre Company before moving onto the internationally acclaimed Druid Theatre Company in Galway where she worked as General Manager. She was with the company during a time of major international success when Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane (as part of The Leenane Trilogy) toured to London, Sydney and New York, where it won four Tony awards on Broadway.
Since 1999 she has been the Director of the Dunamaise Arts Centre, a multi-disciplinary arts centre, comprising of a theatre and exhibition space, in Portlaoise, Co. Laois. During her tenure here she programmed such prestigious acts as The Chieftains, the Gate’s award winning production of Waiting for Godot in addition to various touring productions from Druid and the Abbey Theatre Company, thereby ensuring the Centre’s place as one of the premier regional arts venues in Ireland. She is currently a member of the Arts Council, having been appointed in 2008.
Speaking on her appointment Ms. Donlon said “I am delighted to be returning to Limerick to what is a really exciting opportunity. Mary Immaculate College is an institution of great standing and I look forward with immense anticipation to playing a part in bringing the Lime Tree Theatre to the heart of the artistic and cultural life of the city. I also very much look forward to re-joining many friends and colleagues in the arts sector in Limerick and will work very hard to ensure that the city and county continues to get access to the very best in the performing arts.”
Brendan Lane, Chairperson of the Lime Tree Theatre, said of her appointment; “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Louise Donlon as Theatre Manager of our new state of the art multi-purpose 500-seat theatre. Louise brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise and will make a very welcome addition to the cultural life of Limerick city and county”.
Also speaking on her appointment was Prof. Michael Hayes, President of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, who said “Ms. Donlon’s appointment, in conjunction with the imminent opening of the Lime Tree Theatre, marks a very important chapter not only in the on-going development of the College but also in the future history of the arts scene in Limerick”.
Echoing sentiments he recently expressed during his inaugural lecture last month the President said “Mary Immaculate College wishes to re-assert its position at the heart of Limerick city and the wider egion. The imminent opening of the Lime Tree Theatre, the lowering of the campus’s boundary walls, along with other recent developments, are all symbols of this desire and are intended as a statement that says ‘Mary Immaculate College is open for business.’ It says: ‘This place is part of our shared heritage.’ It says: ‘We belong to your community and you are part of ours.’ It says: ‘Come in. You are welcome here. This is your space’.”
Concluding he said he looked forward to welcoming Ms. Donlon when she took her position next month and wished her all the best in her new role. Louise’s move back to Limerick is a sort of homecoming for her and her family as her husband, Jim O’Brien, is a native of Kildimo, Co. Limerick.