Associate Artists

Our Associate Artist programme is a means by which The Civic seeks to actively support the professional and personal development of an artist over the long term whilst also encouraging and empowering the artist to enrich the creative culture of The Civic.
Current Civic Associate Artists:

Esosa Ighodaro 

Esosa is a British/Nigerian/Irish writer, director, and performer. She makes work for screen and stage. She is a Warner Discovery Scholar and an alumnus of X-Pollinator ELEVATOR, Baptiste Programme and The Writer’s Lab UK & Ireland. Her award-winning film work has been screened at film festivals across Ireland, US and Southern Africa. As well as having TV and film projects in development, Esosa continues to work with Irish theatres developing new work.
Her farce, DOWN WITH JAZZ received Arts Council Theatre Project Award funding in 2022 and has been selected for Screen Ireland’s Stage Spotlight Stage to Screen award. Her play, LET ME IN, was developed through Smock Alley’s Rachel Baptiste programme in 2022, and is currently being developed with The Everyman Theatre, Cork.
Esosa is currently developing TV projects with Deadpan Pictures and TriMoon Pictures. As a vocalist, Esosa works in a wide range of styles, in particular earning acclaim for her soulful renditions of traditional Irish music – soul ceol! She recorded her debut album “You Won’t Believe It” after touring extensively as a solo artist as well as a guest and backing
Her work aims to highlight black talent and tell more varied stories of black experiences.According to Esosa “I am particularly interested in this idea of what a Black Irish identity is – and feel like Tallaght and the Civic could be a great place to explore this. I am keen to encourage the creation of a larger body of work from Black Irish people. I’d love to get more people writing and thinking about what sorts of stories they want to tell of themselves and guide them through the process and possibilities”.

Rob Murphy

Rob has just completed his masters degree in Theatre Practice at University College Dublin finishing with a first class honours. Bull Alley Theatre Training Company and Trinity Guildhall London were among his former institutions of training. Rob has been working professionally for the past seventeen years, and his work encompasses acting, performing, theatre directing, choreographing, producing, and writing.

He is well renowned for his performance as panto dame "Buffy" in the yearly pantomime production at Dublin’s National Stadium (previously The Tivoli Theatre) ‘Queen Of The Panto Dames’ (Irish Times). Other Career highlights include premiering the one man show ‘69 Shades Of Gay’ for Zac Productions at Smock Alley Theatre, playing the Wicked Witch in the Wizard Of Oz at the Helix, The Olympia Panto Dame in ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ 2006 at the Olympia Theatre for Spotlight Productions and his own comedy cabaret show
‘Rob Murphy Let Loose’ which recently sold out at Dublin’s legendary Vicar St.

Since 2018 he has written, directed and produced in partnership with The Civic the annual professional panto production at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght which has been highly successful, entertaining over 16,000 patrons annually.  Rob has been an associate artist with the Civic for the last five years. Other collaboration work with the civic includes the Civic Theatre Summer Camp the musical theatre course has been running every Summer since 2013, a lot of past students have gone onto train in the performing arts full time both here and abroad. Last Halloween Rob collaborated on our inaugural Halloween Spooktacular a Halloween family musical show which played for 10 performances.  Rob is the artistic director of Dramatic Action Stage School with classes in Dublin, Kildare and Kilkenny and in 2018 won ‘Best School Director’ at the All- Ireland Dance Awards.

According to Rob ‘I have a profound belief in the transformative power of theatre. In a world filled with constant challenges, theatre serves as a captivating tool for escapism and not only entertainment but a catalyst for empathy, discussion, and societal reflection. As I continue to grow and develop new work I am most excited about creating theatre that breaks the rules and leaves audiences debating and discussing’.

Veronica Coburn

Veronica Coburn is a theatre artist of some 40 years’ experience. She founded Barabbas Theatre Company back in the 90s with Mikel Murfi and Raymond Keane. She has been Programme Director of TENDERFOOT, The Civic Theatre’s apprentice theatre programme for transition year students since its inception in 2007 and a Civic Theatre Associate Artist since 2017. Veronica is particularly interested in the idea of artistic voice. Specifically, she believes that people are inherently creative and that it is through creative endeavour that we seek to understand ourselves, our lives and the world in which we live. We do that by reflecting back on the past, exploring the here and now and imagining as yet unknown futures. This idea underpins her work with Tenderfoot which has seen in excess of 600 young people write original plays for the stage with approximately 90 produced on The Civic’s Main Stage.

Veronica is also interested in the rich territory that is revealed when professional artists and community participants collaborate and she has embedded this practice in a number of major projects that she has overseen as Artistic Director. Projects such as 2018’s
HOME THEATRE (Ireland) in Draíocht Arts Centre saw 30 professional playwrights paired with 30 people, Hosts, who lived in Dublin 15.

Having spent time together each playwright wrote an original piece, 20 minutes long, inspired by their Host. All 30 original plays were then produced in the Hosts’ homes, their kitchens, their living rooms, mapping the stories of people of D 15. Home Theatre plays performed to an audience of the Hosts’ friends, neighbours and families.

Veronica is currently working on NEST, Draíocht’s follow up to Home Theatre (Ireland). Nest will see 24 performance artists write original pieces inspired by 24 new Hosts. All Nest hosts will be children and young people, the youngest Host will be 20 days old and the oldest Host will be 20 years old. Nest will culminate in a festival, Spréacha SOAR, which will celebrate all 24 Nest works in Draíocht in March 2024.

Veronica has completed a number of big participatory projects in The Civic. Songs of Change, a response to life under lockdown, which culminated in 10 original songs inspired by the lived experience of people in South Dublin County and Ghost Hares, a celebration of the landscape and people of South Dublin County using spoken and sung text and original song – a SDCC Public Art Commission.

Veronica is in early development on a piece exploring the legacy of Article 41 of our Constitution in collaboration with Sinéad Diskin, Joe Lee and Sibéal Davitt. She will also work with Sibéal Davitt later this year to explore Full Body Mask with Amanda Coogan. She is currently working on works in development with a number of artists including Louise Lewis, Noelle Brown, Niamh Lawlor, Lesley Conroy & Gabrielle Breathnach. And she has worked with Niamh McGrath on a new version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, entitled Fools’ Macbeth, for 5 th /6 th class students.

Veronica is the author of Clown Through Mask – The Pioneering Work of Richard Pochinko As Practised By Sue Morrison, written in collaboration with Sue Morrison and published by Intellect Press. She has been awarded the Prix Europa/Radio France, World Gold Medal Status New York, and a Writers’ Guild of Ireland Zebbie Award for her work in radio drama.

As a Civic Theatre Associate Artist Veronica is interested in further exploring the idea of participation and play in collaboration with and inspired by the people and landscape of South Dublin County.

Davey Kelleher

Davey Kelleher is a theatre-maker, director, producer and dramaturg, passionate about collaborative, mixed-media arts-practice, building relationships and creating new and reimagined dramatic work through collaborative engagement. He works across commercial and independent theatre production, opera & musical theatre, with an interest in visual storytelling, integrating movement and music.

Recent directing credits include The Magic Flute for Cork Opera House 2023, ISLA for Dublin Theatre Festival 2023 (Verdant & Four Rivers, Civic Theatre & Garter Lane), the award-winning Tom Moran is a Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar for Dublin Fringe 2022 & Edinburgh Fringe 2023 awarded the Fishamble Best New Play Award 2022, and Bang! By Michelle Read for Dublin Theatre Festival; a collaboration with writer Michelle Read, and movement director Eddie Kay, 2021.

He is a frequent guest tutor and director at the Lir Academy, Dublin, directing productions of Absolute Hell, The Laramie Project, Twelfth Night, and As You Like It. He was a director member of Irish National Opera’s ABL Aviation Studio 2020-22; work with the company includes Cosí fan tutte, Tosca, Carmen, The Ring (A Message for Marty) by Conor Mitchell, Aida, and The Barber of Seville.

He is a member of the Dramaturg’s Network of Ireland; has been an associate Dramaturg with Fishamble the New Play Company; and a Mentor Dramaturg for Galway Theatre Festival.

Other directing credits include: A Short Cut To Happiness for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Nominated – Scotsman Mental Health Award 2019), the solo play, Seahorse, (Everyman) multi-form puppet shows, Glowworm (Project Arts) and Birdy, (Peacock) spoken-word sci-fi, These Lights, (BAI) and the geopolitical allegory The Olive Tree, which has toured internationally.

He has worked as an Associate Director with the Cork Opera House since 2016 (ProdiJig: The Revolution, The Wizard of Oz, and The Cork Proms) and continues to work with their emerging outreach programme.  Davey is an associate artist with the Civic Theatre, and has extensive experience working with  established and emerging creative artists, writers and performers in the development of text and new material for performance. Since 2018 he has been a director and playwriting mentor for Tenderfoot: Youth Arts Apprenticeship Programme, alongside Veronica Coburn, and Gavin Kostick.

He is the current Artistic Director of Dublin Youth Theatre.

Charlene Gleeson

Charlene, from Tallaght, graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2006. She appeared in stage productions at Ireland’s national theatre, The Abbey, and transitioned to television in 2007 with the leading role in “Trouble and Paradise.” She starred in various Irish TV shows like “Sarah and Steve”
and “Raw.” Charlene co-founded the film company Deadly Films and is a producer and writer. Charlene recently produced and won the Best Film award at The Women in Film and Television Irish awards for the short film “Panto” Directed by Kate Brennan.

Additionally, she works with the Gaiety School of Acting as a tutor and Director. Charlene is actively involved in the civic community, recently launching The Civic Culture Crew. This group, consisting of members from the Tallaght community, aims to connect people to theatre and bring the arts to the wider community. Charlene is excited to be part of this initiative and welcomes The Civic Culture Crew to participate in drama workshops throughout the year.

Laura Macken

Laura is an Irish dance artist whose practice spans choreography and dance education in a variety of contexts. Working primarily through the contemporary ballet style, she has created original works for stage and screen and has received Arts Council Dance Projects awards in 2018, 2019 and 2021.
Her works Connections and Lift have been performed at Project Arts, and her dance film The Ballet Hold screened at The Wicklow Screendance Festival and at Dancer From the Dance Festival. In 2023 Laura began research and development for a new work which examines the journey of being a dance artist in Ireland and the challenges it presents. This exploration is based on her own experience of surviving as an artist here in Ireland and that of other artists interviewed for her thesis while completing her MA in dance at the University of Limerick in 2017. Laura hopes to continue with this R&D in the future.

Through her artist associate with Civic, Laura‘s looks forward to engaging with dance schools and groups in the area and aims to promote the use of classical dance in a contemporary way, encouraging young dance practitioners to include classically based movement when developing contemporary dance.
Laura has 35 years of dance experience as a performer, choreographer, and dance educator. She is a regular teacher for Dance Ireland’s professional programme and teaches Coisceim Dance Theatre company classes. Her dance education also spans to full-time dance students at The College of Dance, Coisceim Broadreach senior dance classes, and she has worked extensively in school programmes. As a qualified psychotherapist, Laura‘s work in schools has a focus on positive mental health benefits through dance.  Laura has experience working with special needs adults and children throughout her career and trained in Autism movement therapy in NY through an Arts Council Travel and Training award.

“I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in dance with the communities surrounding the Civic Theatre and using this opportunity to cultivate further engagement with contemporary dance “.