About Patrick Mason
Born in London in 1951, Patrick Mason was educated at Downside School, and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama (Teacher ’72), where he was awarded diplomas from the Central School, and the University of London.
He joined the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, as a Voice Coach in 1972, before becoming a lecturer in Performance studies at Manchester University in 1975. He returned to the Abbey as a resident director in 1978. His long association with the Abbey culminated in his tenure as Artistic Director from 1993 – 1999. He has worked extensively with Irish writers such as Brian Friel, Hugh Leonard, Tom Murphy, Tom Kilroy, and Tom MacIntyre. His production of Friel’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ won him an Olivier nomination and a Tony Award for Best Director. He is also closely associated with the work of Frank McGuinness and directed the premieres of ‘The Factory Girls’,‘Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme’,‘Dolly West’s Kitchen’ (Abbey/ Old Vic, London), and ‘Gates of Gold’ (Gate Theatre, Dublin).
He first directed at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in 1983 and has returned over the years to direct a series of productions of Anglo-Irish playwrights such as Farquhar, Sheridan, Wilde, and Shaw. In recent years he has directed a series of productions for the Gate Theatre, Dublin, which include ‘The Yalta Game’ (Sydney/Edinburgh Festivals), ‘Hay Fever’ (Charleston Spoleto Festival), and ‘The Speckled People’. Opera work includes productions for Wexford Festival Opera, WNO and ENO, as well as productions for Opera Zuid, Opera Ireland, and Buxton Festival.
In 2000 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Trinity College Dublin in recognition of his contribution to Irish Theatre. He is currently an adjunct professor in Drama at University College Dublin, and was conferred with an honorary doctorate by the university in 2013.
- Fellow in drama, Manchester University 1973-74.
- Lecturer in Performance Studies, Mancheter University. 1975-78/
- Resident Director, Abbey Theatre, 1978-84.
- He served as a member of the Irish Cultural Relations Committee (Department of Foreign Affairs) from 1996-2002.
- He was a member of the board of Music Network (2000 – 2006), and a member of the Arts Council’s working group for Opera (2006).
- In 2002 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Trinity College Dublin in recognition of his contribution to Irish Theatre.
- Adjunct Professor in Theatre Direction, UCD, 2004. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College Dublin.
- The Way to Keep Him by Arthur Murphy. Acting edition, and foreward. Wolfhound Press. 1984.
- Playing with Words. Lecture. Royal Irish Academy. 1998.
- Acting Out: The Theatre of Tom Kilroy. Irish University Review. 2002.
- Brand Abbey. Princeton Review. 2005.
- God is in the Bits and Pieces: The Great Hunger. Caen University Press. 2010.
- Eggs De Valera. Irish University Review. 2010.
- Awaking Faith. Seamus Heaney Lectures.Carysfort Press. 2011.
- Sunday Tribune, Best Opera Production – La Cena delle Beffe – Wexford
- Olivier Nomination Best Opera Production – Il Trittico – ENO
- Olivier Nomination Best Director – Dancing at Lughnasa – RNT
- Irish Times/ Harveys Awards, Best Director – The Pirates of Penzance Olympia Theatre, Peer Gynt, Gate Theatre
- Edinburgh Fringe First – The Great Hunger – Assembly Rooms
- Time Out, Best Director – The Great Hunger – Almeida, London
- Sunday Independent, Best Director – Dancing at Lughnasa – Abbey Theatre
- Critic’s Circle NYC, Best Director – Dancing at Lughnasa – Plymouth Theatre NYC
- Tony Award, Best Director – Dancing at Lughnasa – Plymouth Theatre NYC
- Edinburgh International Festival Critic’s Award, Best Production – The Well of the Saints. King’s Theatre
- ESB/Irish Times, Best Opera Production The Silver Tassie. Opera Ireland.
- Irish Times Special Award
- PPI Radio Awards Best Radio Play: The Dreaming of Roger Casement.