McLaughlin, named Best Director at the Irish Times Irish Theater Awards 2019, has been the Abbey’s deputy director since 2017.
As artistic director, the theater says, she will explain the goals in terms of art and audience in the Abbey Theater’s strategy.
O’Brien is currently director of the Axis Arts Center in Ballymun, Dublin, where, according to Abbey, he developed theater as the engine of cultural and community engagement. He has more than 25 years of experience in theater and culture.
As Executive Director of the Abbey, he will lead the commitment to the local, national and international communities, the day-to-day operations of the theater and the renovation program to create a new Abbey Theater building as a resource center for Irish theater.
The board of the National Theater decided in July 2020 to hold an open competition to fill two different leadership roles and implement its strategy and ambitions over the next five years.
The two new directors, who will join the Abbey staff in early May, will succeed Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, who continued the joint approach to the roles they developed at the National Theater of Scotland during their time at the theater.