Lisa Dwan.

Athlone's Lisa Dwan to open 2024 All Ireland Drama Festival

Athlone native Lisa Dwan will officially open the 2024 RTÉ All-Ireland Drama Festival tomorrow (Thursday).

Lisa is an award-winning Irish performer, director, writer, and scholar. Having originally trained in the UK as a ballet dancer — dancing with Rudolf Nureyev in Coppelia in Dublin and with The London Lewis Ballet Company — she began acting professionally in her teens.

She has worked extensively in theatre, film, and television, both internationally and in her native Ireland.

Hailed by Ben Brantley in The New York Times as “the nonpareil interpreter of Samuel Beckett,” Lisa is best known for her critically-acclaimed one-woman performances of Beckett’s plays, including The Beckett Trilogy & No’s Knife, both of which have sold out throughout the globe.

Lisa recently starred in the lead role as ‘Fia Lucy’ in the new BBC Studio’s & RTÉ drama Blackshore. She also returned as ‘Lizzie’ in the second series of Top Boy for Netflix and starred in BBC’s Bloodlands.

Lisa is most well-known internationally for her one-woman performances and adaptations of Samuel Beckett’s works such as No's Knife at the Old Vic and a Royal Court, West End and world tour of Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby, and, most recently, playing Winnie in Happy Days directed by Trevor Nunn.

She also starred as Pale Sister, in the one-woman film, directed by Trevor Nunn, which was aired as part of the BBC 4 Lights Up Season. Prior to this, she starred in Harold Pinter's The Lover & The Collection at STC in Washington DC where she won the 2019 Emery Battis award for outstanding contribution to acting.

Lisa Dwan writes, presents, and lectures regularly on theatre, culture, and Beckett for BBC Radio and Television, NPR, The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Independent.

She has written and presented several documentaries for both tv and radio for both BBC & SKY Arts on Samuel Beckett, Dante and Ovid.

Lisa has also lectured at the following institutions: Columbia University, Princeton University, New York University, MIT, École Normale Supérieure, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Barnard, UCLA, Georgetown University, Guildhall, Reading University, and the Royal Academy in London. Visiting University Positions; Princeton University (2017) Visiting Fellow, School of Art and Ballet, New York University, (2017-2018), Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow, Institute of Women and Gender Studies Columbia University, 2017-2019 , CAST Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist MIT 2018-2020 & Georgetown University visiting professor in Theatre & Irish Studies 2020 & (2020 - 2021) long-term visiting professor in Princeton University.