Lynne Parker has been the Artistic Director of Rough Magic Theatre Company since 1984.


Lynne Parker was born in Belfast and educated at Strand Primary School, Strathearn Grammar School and Trinity College Dublin, where she studied English Literature. She was an active member of Dublin University Players, where she met Rough Magic co-founder Declan Hughes and many of the people who became founder members of the company.

She is the niece of playwright Stewart Parker.

Career to Date

As Artistic Director and co-founder of Rough Magic, Lynne has directed over fifty Rough Magic productions, comprising contemporary international work, classics and new Irish writing. She has worked with many of the leading companies in Ireland, including the Abbey, the Gate, Druid, the Lyric Theatre Belfast, Corn Exchange and Theatre Lovett. She was an Associate Artist of Charabanc in Belfast.

She has directed for many major theatres outside Ireland, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Almeida, the Old Vic and the Bush in London, the Traverse in Edinburgh, the Tron in Glasgow, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Birmingham Rep and the Teatrul National in Bucharest.

She is a leading mentor of emerging artists, through Rough Magic’s pioneering artist development initiatives. She has commissioned and produced many award-winning playwrights, including Elizabeth Kuti, Morna Regan, Sonya Kelly, Gina Moxley, Declan Hughes, Mark Cantan, Arthur Riordan, Shane Mac an Bhaird. She has also mentored many leading theatre practitioners, including Tom Creed, Matt Torney, Sarah Jane Sheils, Sophie Motley, Cian O’Brien, Zia Holly, Rosemary McKenna, Ronan Phelan.

Lynne is the co-founder of the SEEDS programme, begun in 2001 and now in its seventeenth year, which has identified and supported a generation of new theatre makers – writers, producers, production managers, designers, directors and composers – many of whom have gone on to work for Rough Magic – also the ADVANCE programme, which supports the work of established artists such as Peter Daly, Olwen Fouéré and Denis Clohessy.

Awards & Nominations

Lynne has won many awards in Ireland and abroad, including two Edinburgh Fringe Firsts, a London Time Out Award and four ITTA for Best Production. Was also awarded Best Director for two productions and received the ITTA Special Tribute Award in 2008. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2010 by Trinity College Dublin.

Other Roles

Lynne has previously served on Board of Directors of Dublin Fringe Festival, Theatre Forum, and the Abbey Theatre. She is a Trustee of the Stewart Parker Trust, which supports emerging writers.

Productions for Rough Magic include:

Melt Dublin Theatre Festival 2017
The Train
Northern Star
The House Keeper Irish Times Best New Play 2012
Famished Castle
The Critic
Peer Gynt
Phaedra Irish Times Nomination: Best Production 2010
Don Carlos Irish Times Best Production 2007
The Taming of the Shrew Irish Times Best Production, Nomination: Best Director 2006
Improbable Frequency Best Production, Best Director, 2004
Copenhagen Best Production, Nomination: Best Director 2002
Three Days of Rain
The Sugar Wife
Spokesong & Pentecost Dublin Theatre Festival: Best Irish Production 1995
Is This About Sex? Winner: ZeBBie Award for Theatre 2008
The Bonefire
The Life of Galileo
Take Me Away Scotsman Fringe First Awards 2004
The Whisperers
Halloween Night
New Morning
The Dogs
I Can’t Get Started
Tom and Viv
Aunt Dan and Lemon
The Country Wife
Top Girls
Victory: Choices in Reaction
No End Of Blame: Scenes of Overcoming 
Hidden Charges
Down Onto Blue


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