Departing the drama of the theatre after 17 dynamic Civic years

By Mary Dennehy

ARTISTIC director Brid Dukes has pulled the curtain on her 17 dynamic years with the Civic Theatre, with the producer, writer and mentor retiring from the theatre she helped to establish and grow into a thriving community and citywide facility.

Brid, who will retire this Friday, was appointed Artistic Director of the Civic Theatre in late 1998, with her extraordinary vision and fortitude growing the Civic into a major asset both locally, citywide and nationally – providing audiences with a range of productions year-round and serving approximately 40,000 patrons a year.

14 Civic Theatre Staff Brid Dukes 

Since becoming Artistic Director, Brid has produced or co-produced 20 productions including Little Gem, Denis and Rose and Attaboy and has cultivated relationships with a host of writers and artists – which has paved the way not only for the development of the Civic, ensuring that local audiences get access to high quality productions, but supported the creation of theatre.

“In addition to her producing work, according to her co-workers at the Civic, Bríd’s tenure will also be remembered for its emphasis on the youth ensemble programme Tenderfoot.

Tenderfoot is an apprentice, free theatre programme for Transition Year students, with forty students from eight different schools, representing the geographic and socio-economic make-up of the region, participating each year – and working alongside theatre professionals on all aspects of stage productions.

Speaking of Brid’s contribution to the arts, Tenderfoot Coordinator, Veronica Coburn said: “It has been Bríd Dukes who has ensured that Tenderfoot has continued to exist from year to year despite the recession and dwindling resources.

Brid Dukes

“Her commitment to the young people of South Dublin County, her belief in the importance of their place in our cultural institutions, and her capacity to put her principles into action is an inspiration.”

Speaking of her departure, Civic Theatre board member, Billy Coman said: “The Board wishes Brid the very best as she embarks on a new chapter in her career and sincerely thanks her for her expertise and dedication to the development of the Civic Theatre and its growth since it officially opened.

“Without her it would not be the success it has been and we congratulate her for her artistic direction that has brought so much entertainment and enjoyment to the citizens of South Dublin.”

Speaking of her time spent as Artistic Director of the Civic Bríd said: “It’s been a great experience setting up the Civic Theatre and working in it for 17 years with the best staff anyone could ever wish for.

“It would be impossible to pick a favourite show but Tenderfoot, with Veronica Coburn at the helm, is I suppose very close to my heart. I wish the Civic every success for the future.”

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