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Garry Hynes (Director)
Received a Tony Award for Best Director in 1998 for Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, and has the distinction of being the first woman ever to win a Tony for directing. The following year she received a Tony nomination for her direction of Mr. McDonagh’s The Lonesome West.

Garry Hynes was born in Ballaghadereen County, Roscommon, Ireland. She co-founded the Druid Theatre Company, the first professional company established in Ireland outside Dublin, and served as Artistic Director of the company between 1975 and 1990 and again since 1994. The company quickly came to the forefront of Irish theatre in the 1980’s. In their first trip abroad in 1980, the company won a Fringe First at The Edinburgh Festival for Island Protected by a Bridge of Glass and The Pursuit of Pleasure, both written by Ms. Hynes in collaboration with the company. There followed a series of productions of plays by, amongst others, M.J. Molloy, Dion Boucicault and J.M. Synge, which became part of theatrical legend in Ireland. In particular the Druid production of Synge’s classic The Playboy of the Western World, which The Irish Times described as “definitive,” became the company’s signature production and stayed in the repertoire throughout the eighties. Around this time Garry Hynes began the partnership with the writer Tom Murphy which resulted in a series of new plays including Conversations on a Homecoming and culminating in what was to be Siobhan McKenna’s swan song the “magnificent” Bailegangaire.

Since 1984 Garry Hynes has been directing for The Abbey Theatre and her productions there include The King of the Castle by Eugene McCabe, A Whistle in the Dark and A Day in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant by Tom Murphy and The Shaughraun by Dion Boucicault. In 1990, Garry Hynes was appointed Artistic Director of The Abbey Theatre and her productions during that time included The Plough and The Stars by Sean O’Casey and The Power of Darkness by John McGahern and Famine by Tom Murphy. While Artistic Director at The Abbey she was also responsible for premiering the work of new writers including Marina Carr and Jimmy Murphy. Garry Hynes has also directed for the Biltmore Theatre (New York), the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-on-Avon and London, The Royal Exchange (Manchester), The Royal Court Theatre (London), Signature Theater (New York), Second Stage (New York), and The Gate Theatre (Dublin). She has received many awards including Director of the Year, a Time Out Award for direction and a People of the Year Award. She has three Doctorates in Letters (Honoris Causa), for her services to the Irish theatre, the first from The National Council for Educational Awards (1988), the second from The National University of Ireland (1998) and the third from Dublin University (2004).


Productions include: Leaves (Galway and Royal Court Theatre, London), Playboy of the Western World (Tokyo International Arts Festival), Empress of India (Galway and Dublin Theatre Festival), The Year of the Hiker (Galway, Dublin and National Tour), DruidSynge (Galway Arts Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and Inis Meáin 2005; Minneapolis and Lincoln Center Festival New York 2006), Sharon’s Grave, Sive, On Raftery’s Hill (Royal Court Co-Production), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Royal Court Co-Production), The Leenane Trilogy (Royal Court Co-Production), Lovers’ Meeting, Conversations on a Homecoming, Bailegangaire, The Shaughraun, The Wood of the Whispering.


Abbey Theatre

Productions include: King of the Castle, The Plough and the Stars, The Power of Darkness, Famine, A Whistle in the Dark, Portia Coughlan.


Other Theatre

Productions include: Translations (Biltmore Theatre, New York); The Man of Mode, Song of the Nightingale (Royal Shakespeare Company); Mr Peters’ Connections (Signature Theatre, New York); Crimes of the Heart (Second Stage, New York); My Brilliant Divorce (West End); Crestfall (Gate Theatre, Dublin); 16 Wounded (Broadway); A Streetcar Named Desire (Kennedy Center, Washington).



Garry has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Dublin (2004), the National University of Ireland (1998) and the National Council for Education Awards (1988).  In 1998 on Broadway, she became the first woman to receive a Tony Award for Direction for The Beauty Queen of Leenane. She is a recipient of many other theatre awards, including The Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Award for Best Director (2002) and a Special Tribute Award for her contribution to Irish Theatre in February 2005.   



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