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TheatreNI, a new organisation to support and develop theatre and performing arts in Northern Ireland, is to be launched in the Lyric Theatre, Belfast on Wednesday 7th October 2015.

The new organisation is the result of a merger between the Northern Ireland Theatre Association and the Ulster Association of Youth Drama.

The members of the new organisation include all the main theatres and arts centres in Northern Ireland; theatre and performing arts companies; youth drama groups; and the many freelance individuals who work in the sector, both on the stage and behind it.

As well as the launch, the organisation will host a networking event immediately after to provide an opportunity to connect the theatre and performing arts sector, which in its widest terms can encompassorganisations and practitioners in drama, physical theatre, dance, circus, street theatre, musical theatre and opera.

The chair of the new organisation, Louise Rossington (General Manager of Big Telly Theatre Company) says,

TheatreNI is dedicated to supporting and developing theatre and the performing arts as a force for change, enriching people’s lives and communities. At this time when there have been a series of substantial cuts to theatre venues and companies, it is vitally important that the sector has the opportunity to come together at this launch to connect and celebrate the great work that is ongoing in Northern Ireland. 

Gilly Campbell, Arts Development Officer for Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented:

“The Arts Council welcomes the creation of this new body which champions and advocates for our theatre and performing arts sector.  The arts help put Northern Ireland on the world map for all the right reasons, raising our profile as a vibrant, forward-looking place to work in, live in and invest in.”   

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