Cian O'Brien is the Project's new Artistic Director

Cian O'Brien is the Project's new Artistic Director

Cian O’Brien is the new Artistic Director of Project Arts Centre, an appointment that is as welcome, encouraging and refreshing as it is entirely unsurprising. Some career trajectories have a clear logic and unstoppable momentum.

O’Brien leaves Rough Magic Theatre Company, with whom he has served as producer with responsibility towards managing and co-curating its artist development programmes, such as ADVANCE and SEEDS. The latter, in fact, was where he first served a form of apprenticeship with the company, from 2006/7, joining full time shortly after.

With O’Brien’s experience as a freelance producer for such companies as Making Strange, junk ensemble and Brokentalkers, thisispopbaby, Bedrock, and Second Age, he continues a tradition of immensely capable theatre producers at the head of Dublin’s most influential contemporary arts centre, while also being well placed to further artist development through the organisation’s Project Catalyst initiatives.

Willie White, his immediate predecessor and now Artistic Director and CEO of Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival, had similar associations with Loose Canon and a commitment to enabling careers and encouraging risk-taking art. But this is certainly the first time that the position has been filled by the reigning Alternative Miss Ireland.

At the time of writing it was unclear whether the redoubtable Mangina Jones would see out her remaining duties.

“I am honoured and delighted to join the team at Project Arts Centre,” said O’Brien, who is also a theatre assessor for the Arts Council, a Theatre Forum board member and a former Project board member. “I look forward to working with the staff and board over the coming years to deliver a rich programme, inspire audiences and support the development and practice of artists across art forms and generations.”


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