Dublin Fringe Festival seeks applications for two key roles following its 2017 edition

Festival Director Kris Nelson and General Manager Amy O’Hanlon – both departing from Dublin Fringe Festival

  • Two of the top arts jobs in Ireland to open for applications – Festival Director and General Manager
  • Festival Director Kris Nelson to become Artistic Director and Joint CEO at LIFT, London’s world-renowned biennial festival
  • General Manager Amy O’Hanlon to join The Ark, a dedicated cultural centre for children, as General Manager
  • Dublin Fringe Festival is celebrating its 23rd edition with 81 presentations this September 9-24 2017

Following its 23rd edition in 2017, Dublin Fringe Festival will seek applicants for two of the top arts jobs in Ireland. After four years at the helm, Director Kris Nelson will depart to join London’s world-renowned biennial theatre festival, LIFT, and General Manager Amy O’Hanlon will join The Ark, a dedicated cultural centre for children, as General Manager. Both will take up their new roles later in 2017.
Recruitment for the new Festival Director and General Manager of Dublin Fringe Festival will begin in the coming weeks. As the home to bold ideas, brave performing arts and adventurous audiences, the door is open for daring, determined and passionate individuals to lead Ireland’s largest multi-disciplinary arts festival into 2018 and beyond.
Kris Nelson and Amy O’Hanlon started their Fringe journeys together in September 2013. Looking back at their impressive tenure, Fringe’s artistic ambition and audience numbers have grown from strength to strength. The festival’s dynamic team has flourished and the organisation has evolved under robust and collaborative leadership.
Dublin Fringe Festival Board Chair, Mary Moloney, commented: 
“Kris’ impact on Fringe and the cultural heartbeat of Dublin over the past four years has been a joy to witness. His achievements during his time as Festival Director have enabled Fringe, its artists and its audiences to thrive and grow. The festival Board and team wish Kris the very best as he moves on to his next big adventure in the new year. Amy’s organisational talents have enabled Fringe to cement its place at the centre of Ireland’s cultural resurgence. Her management skills have allowed Fringe to bring together hundreds of artists and create performances that moved audiences. Everyone at Fringe wishes Amy success at The Ark.”
Including the 81 shows opening on Dublin stages this September, Nelson has curated a total of 308 shows over four editions of the country’s leading multi-disciplinary arts festival.
Audiences have witnessed countless incredible Fringe moments: brave large-scale outdoor work like 2Fik’s photographic performance art/fashion shoot revision of The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife and HARP | A River Cantata with Ulysses Opera Theatre on Samuel Beckett Bridge; lighting the spark of unstoppable shows such as Dublin Oldschool, How to Keep an Alien, and Charolais; the triumphant return of the Spiegeltent first to Dublin’s Northside in 2015, then in a sumptuous sixteen-day garden party in Merrion Square in 2016; bold avant-garde masterstrokes from Brokentalkers, Junk Ensemble, Emily Aoibheann, Philip Connaughton, Aoife McAtamney and Ruairí Donovan;  theatrical adventures from Collapsing Horse, Louise White, Shaun Dunne and Company SJ; a group of 21-year olds commissioned with carte blanche to mark the festival’s 21st birthday; the first steps of sky-rocketing careers for Irish comedians Alison Spittle and Al Porter; the championing of brave new Irish voices such as Malaprop, Maud in Cahoots, Red Bear and Seán Kennedy; eclectic encounters with late night circus in the treetops of Phoenix Park from Loosysmokes and high-octane body slams and melodrama from Over The Top Wrestling; stellar presentations from international trailblazers Tanya Tagaq, Matija Ferlin, Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Kim Noble, Company 2, Hot Brown Honey and Claudia Dias; great craic from Lords of Strut, Eleanor Tiernan and Foil, Arms and Hog; important new collaborations with artists, institutions and festivals in North America, Australia and Europe; the first ever appearance of Fringe on the Abbey Theatre’s stages; the co-production by Fringe of THISISPOPBABY’s RIOT – the first Irish show to headline the Spiegeltent – in a year that saw the highest festival attendance in over a decade.
Topping off an astonishing term at the heart of Ireland’s performing arts scene, Nelson brings a distinctive Irish and Canadian touch to Fringe 2017, with a series of exciting collaborations between artists from Vancouver, Ottawa and Gatineau, and their Dublin counterparts.
Upon the announcement, Kris Nelson said:
“My time as Festival Director of Dublin Fringe Festival has had a profound impact on me. Being at Fringe has given me artistic freedom, a place to test my heart and mind every day, an incredible team to flourish alongside and an opportunity to have an impact on the Irish and international arts scene. I’ve loved collaborating with Irish artists and colleagues, who are always willing to test the limits and push for the best. Ireland has a tremendous cultural scene and it has been a privilege to contribute to its growth and development as Fringe’s leader. I’m proud to be taking my experiences in Dublin with me as I take this next step and move to the UK and I’m very happy that I’ll never be too far away from a city that’s now home.”
Bernard Donoghue, Chair of the LIFT Trustees, was pleased that Kris was to become Artistic Director of LIFT, saying:
I am delighted that Kris has accepted our invitation to be the next Artistic Director of LIFT and Joint CEO with Beki Bateson.  Kris has the most fantastic track record in programming and producing provocative, entertaining, disruptive, energising theatre and events. His work most recently at Dublin Fringe Festival has been inspiring and I know he will be a wonderful new addition to the London and UK festival and theatre scene.  The team and I are very excited to be working alongside Kris when he takes up the role next year.”
Dublin Fringe Festival reveals its ambitious 2017 programme on 12 July. It’s an uproarious sixteen days of thrilling, provocative events. Shaking up Dublin 9-24 September with new perspectives, urgent ideas and unforgettable moments, it’s a city takeover, showcasing the brightest stars from near and far. Be sure to catch Kris Nelson and Amy O’Hanlon’s final contribution to this vital festival.
The festival launches on Wed 12 July, and all festival shows go on sale on 13 July 2017.

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