Ben Barnes, Director

Ben BarnesBen is the Director of the Theatre Royal Waterford where he oversaw the recent restoration of the theatre (2007-2012). He is a former Artistic Director of Opera Theatre Company, the Gaiety Theatre and the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theatre (2000-2005). His award-winning theatre productions have been seen all over the world in cities including New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, Moscow, Sydney, Budapest, Prague, Athens and many more. Productions for the French Canadian Theatre Danser a Lughnasa, The Cripple of Inishmann and En Attendant Godot have won Masque and MECCA awards in Montreal for best production and best direction. He has been the recipient of an Irish Times theatre award on several occasions. He has directed extensively in the United States, most recently productions of The Seafarer, The Cherry Orchard, A Month in the Country and Endgame. Opera credits include productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, Carmen, La Bohème, The Turn of the Screw , La Clemenza di Tito, Albert Herring, Così fan tutte, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, and The Invader, a new Irish opera by Eric Sweeney premiered at the Theatre Royal Waterford and the Wexford Opera House in 2014.

Most recently, he directed new plays from Colm Toibin, John Banville, Billy Roche and Eoin Colfer under the collective title WexFour for the 2014 Wexford Festival Opera. In 2015, Ben will direct an American production of Juno and the Paycock, a co-production of A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill in Ireland and the US and Myra’s Story with Angeline Ball for the Millennium Forum Derry and the Olympia.

Ben has contributed to many theatre publications and is the author of Plays and Controversies (2008) detailing his time at the Abbey. He is a former member and chair of the Council for National Cultural Institutions (CNCI) and is currently a member of the board of the Wexford Arts Centre. He lives in his native Wexford with his daughters.

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