The Board of the theatre referred to by the Deputy appoints the Director(s) and sets overall strategy policy. On artistic programming, the Board's role is to ensure the Directors’ programming choices reflect strategy, showing creativity, diversity and ambition while maintaining financial sustainability and meeting the Board’s commitment to increased gender equality. Artistic decisions and the day-to-day running of the theatre are the remit of the Directors.
As Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, I acknowledge the necessity for the theatre referred to by the Deputy, as with all theatres, to have a level of artistic freedom in terms of its programming. However, I also recognise the necessity for a strong working relationship with all stakeholders including theatre practitioners. This is vital for the continued success of theatre in this country.
The theatre is a recipient of public funding from both my Department and the Arts Council. The Board and Directors of the theatre concerned have stated that their commitment to supporting the widest range of artists, making best use of its resources to bring their work to a growing and diverse audience.
The theatre's Board regularly engages with the Arts Council and with my Department, and some of the issues raised in the letter I received from theatre practitioners on 7 January had already been under active discussion between the theatre and the Arts Council in recent months. The Board of the theatre Board has also stated that the Directors’ programming over the past two years, and into 2019, reflects the policy and strategic direction.
The theatre's five-year strategy (2019-2023) is published on its website. Central to the vision is for creativity to drive the theatre, developing the artists and audiences of the future.