Everyman Cork: Sophie Motley appointed Artistic Director

Sophie Motley – Image: Courtesy of Everyman Theatre

Sophie Motley has been appointed Artistic Director of The Everyman theatre in Cork. Her appointment follows a competitive recruitment process to fill the position vacated by Julie Kelleher.

Denis McSweeney, Chair of The Everyman Board said:

“We are very pleased, and quite excited, to welcome Sophie Motley to our team as Artistic Director. Sophie is no stranger to us: she brings a wealth of experience from her previous rich assignments to her new role. In making this appointment, the board was quite taken with Sophie’s vision for The Everyman and how she will address, and grow, the many audiences which our theatre commands.

The current difficulty encountered in dealing with the pandemic places limits on what we can attempt on stage; but it also sets challenges to our creativity in how we commit to remaining continually relevant to our audiences. We are confident that Sophie will lead the further development of The Everyman in its position as the beating heart of theatre in Cork.”

Sophie studied at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, Dublin, and trained on Rough Magic’s SEEDS 3 and the National Theatre Studio Director’s Programmes. She founded WillFredd Theatre and was Associate Director of Rough Magic.

Her more recent role, since 2016, is Artistic Director of Pentabus, the UK’s national rural theatre company.

Directing work includes The Tale of Little Bevan, Crossings, Here I Belong, New Futures, Wolves Are Coming For You(Pentabus), Trans, Turning Points: Minimalism, The Garden (London Sinfonietta), Millions of Years (ENO Baylis),BEES!, Jockey, CARE, FOLLOW, FARM (WillFredd Theatre), Tejas Verdes, Vincent River (Prime Cut) The Sleeping Queen (Wexford Festival Opera) and Everything Between Us, Plaza Suite (Rough Magic).

Sophie was Staff Director at English National Opera, and Resident Assistant Director at the Abbey Theatre. As Dramaturg and Associate Director, Sophie worked with Michel van der Aa, ENO and Dutch National Opera on Sunken Garden, Blankout, The Book of Disquiet, and The Book of Sand, between 2011 and 2017.

Commenting on her appointment, Sophie said:

 “I am utterly thrilled to be returning home to Ireland to work with the fantastic team at The Everyman, alongside the extraordinary selection of artists working and emerging across Cork. Whilst this is a difficult time, The Everyman has ever been a beacon, providing imagination and entertainment for its audiences, work for its artists, whilst nurturing ideas for the future. I can’t wait to get started working with the team to develop a programme of work for a new Post-COVID era with emerging and established artists locally, nationally, and internationally, whilst developing new relationships with unheard communities across Cork and beyond.” 

Sophie will take up her role at The Everyman in January 2021, and will step down from her role at Pentabus in February 2021.


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