Arts Festival and NUI Galway Announce 2016 Partnership

Niamh Ní Fhlatharta, 3rd Year BA student in Drama, Theatre & Performance at NUI Galway studies the iconic Big Top in preparation for her whirlwind two-week SELECTED internship at Galway International Arts Festival.
Jun 21 2016 Posted: 09:17 IST

Now in its fifth year, the partnership focuses on several initiatives supporting new work, volunteering, the SELECTED internship programme, and hosting major productions on-campus

NUI Galway has announced details of their 2016 partnership with Galway International Arts Festival. The partnership will see the University support two world-class theatre productions, play host to First Thought talks and a major visual art exhibition, and continue to support the Festival’s SELECTED and Volunteer Programmes.

This year NUI Galway is supporting two major theatre productions at the Festival. The world premiere of Death at Intervals, new Irish work featuring Olwen Fouéré, one of the country’s greatest performance artists. It is also supporting the Irish premiere of Song From Far Away, a new production by one of the world’s most exciting theatre companies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, and directed by Ivo van Hove, the internationally acclaimed director whose recent productions include the Broadway hits The Crucible (featuring Saoirse Ronan), Lazarus (by Enda Walsh and David Bowie) and Antigone (featuring Juliette Binoche). 

Theatre post-show talks at the Festival will be moderated by Professor Patrick Lonergan and Thomas Conway from NUI Galway. The University will also play host to key events during this year’s Festival, including its First Thought programme, which examines the theme of Identity, and the campus will house Making Ireland Modern, a major exhibition that explores the relationship between architecture, infrastructure and technology in independent Ireland.

Galway International Arts Festival and NUI Galway will continue its SELECTED internship programme. Exclusively available to NUI Galway students in the Creative Arts (Film, Drama, Arts Policy and Practice), SELECTED is a unique initiative which gives a limited number of students full access behind-the-scenes to many aspects of the Festival. The two-week, whirlwind academy offers students the opportunity to see how a Festival of this magnitude is put together by offering in person meetings with Festival organisers, international and Irish producers, and participating artists. 

NUI Galway will also partner the Festival’s Volunteer Programme where the University is one of the leaders in the field of volunteerism through its ALIVE programme.

Commenting on the partnership, Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, stated that the relationship with Galway International Arts Festival plays a key role in the University’s mission of producing the next generation of creative artists and producers. “SELECTED has been a huge success during its five years, giving emerging artists and producers their first steps into the professional world of the creative industries. We are delighted to be able to continue to offer our undergraduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice in the vibrant setting of one of Europe’s leading Arts Festivals.”

Professor Lonergan added that the University’s support of theatre productions in the Festival was an important element of the partnership. “We want our students to aspire to excellence, so it is hugely important that they can encounter a new production by a brilliant Irish artist such as Olwen Fouéré, while also having a chance to see new work by the world’s most in-demand director Ivo van Hove. This work shows that Galway is a leading centre for the creation of new theatre, and a leading location for the production of international work.”

John Crumlish, CEO of Galway International Arts Festival said: “The partnership with NUI Galway is hugely important to us and we are very grateful to the University for its continuing support. Over the last number of years, the relationship has grown significantly and now impacts across a number of different areas of the festival. All of this is hugely important to the ability to deliver a world class event here in the West of Ireland.”

Mr Crumlish added, “The SELECTED programme is now established as a great learning experience for young artists and producers who wish to forge a career in the creative industries while NUI Galway’s support for the theatre programme ensures we can continue to produce new Irish work while presenting the very best of international theatre in Galway. In addition, the University generously shares its physical resources with us to provide additional festival venues and its human resources to support the Volunteer Programme.”

Celebrating five years of SELECTED, former participant Rachel Ní Fhionnáin said: “Being part of the programme surpassed all of my expectations. We met with the Festival’s directors and were introduced to artists, producers, musicians and background staff, and saw how GIAF works both financially and practically. The programme gave me the opportunity to meet encouraging, inspiring artists and creative minds such as Olwen Fouéré, Enda Walsh and David Mach. Following this unique experience I have gone on to join the committee of Féile na Bealtaine Arts Festival in Dingle and have directed the play An Filleadh by Alan Titley in the Abbey Theatre.”  

Galway International Arts Festival will run from the 11-24 July 2016. For bookings and further details visit or follow #giaf16

For more information on NUI Galway’s Creative Arts visit:


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