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, 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. In 2021, on its 20th anniversary, SEEDS became part of the new COMPASS programme combining artist development and new play development at Rough Magic.

Awards & Nominations

Lynne has won many awards in Ireland and abroad, including two Edinburgh Fringe Firsts, a London Time Out Award and four Irish Times Theatre Awards for Best Production. Lynne was also awarded teh Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Director for two productions and received the 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.

Recent Productions for Rough Magic include:


All the Angels 2021
Solar Bones 2020
Hecuba 2019
Cleft 2019
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2018. Irish Times Best Ensemble
Melt 2017
Northern Star 2016
Famished Castle 2015
The Train 2015
Jezebel 2014
The Critic 2013
Travesties 2012
The House Keeper 2012. Irish Times Best New Play
Peer Gynt 2011
Phaedra 2010. Irish Times Nomination: Best Production
Sodome, My Love 2010
Don Carlos 2007. Irish Times Best Production
The Taming of the Shrew 2006. Irish Times Best Production, Nomination: Best Director
Improbable Frequency 2004. Best Production, Best Director
Copenhagen 2002. Best Production, Nomination: Best Director


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