Each year, Dublin Fringe Festival selects fifteen experts from Irish cultural life to become Fringe Award Judges. Their job is to select the nominees and recipients of the prestigious awards. Fringe Awards recognise, reward and celebrate the talent on display in the festival each year. This year, 789 artists are involved in making work at Fringe. We want to celebrate the stand-outs. Some awards are tied to cash or further presentation opportunities. Others involve support from other organisations and some are worth the laurels themselves. We're thrilled to have two new awards this year: the Spirit of Wit Award and the Georganne Aldrich Heller Award.
Take a look at the amazing 2017 judges lending Fringe their brains, energy and heart:
Aoife Spillane-Hinks is a director who works in Ireland and the United States. She is the co-founder of Then This Theatre and an associate artist with PICT Classic Theatre.
Bee Sparks is an arts professional currently working for Gilded Balloon in Edinburgh. She has previously worked as Programming Assistant at Dublin Fringe Festival and is incredibly excited to see what's in store this year!
Clare Monnelly is an actor and theatre maker. She trained at the Gaiety School of Acting. She was recently awarded the Jim McNaughton Tilestyle Bursary for Commissioned Artists.
Dara MacDomhnaill has been attending Dublin Fringe Festival since the late 1990s when he first moved to Dublin. He has held on to every ticket, flyer and programme for all the shows he's ever seen - around 300 shows! This year, he made a founding donation to the inaugral Young Radicals programme in his daughter's name.
Fuchsia MacAree is an illustrator and educator living and working in Dublin. Her practice involves drawing, editorial illustration, mural painting, risograph and screen printing. Her work has appeared in exhibitions and publications worldwide and has been commissioned by magazines and agencies in Europe, America and Asia.
Jamie Tuohy works in marketing and communications in the Irish film industry and previously held the position of Marketing Assistant at Fringe, as well as serving as a contributor to various publications. A graduate of English Literature from Trinity College Dublin, Jamie also holds an M.Phil in Theatre and Performance from TCD.
Jan Schneider is a creative producer living in Dublin. From 2011-2017 he has worked in the Abbey Theatre, primarily in the role of Casting Assistant. For the Fringe he produced the multi-nominated Our Island (2015) and the sellout success Dinner and a Show (2013). He worked with the Paperdolls on their award winning Constellations (Spirit of the Fringe 2012).
Laoisa Sexton is an actress and playwright. She has appeared in theatre, film and TV in Ireland, the US and the UK and has written 3 plays that were all produced Off Broadway NY.
Lisa Connell has been working in the Irish Arts, Culture & Activist spheres with a focus on LGBT and feminist issues for the past decade.
Lívia Páldi is the Curator of Visual Arts at Project Arts Centre in Dublin. She has been director of Baltic Art Center, chief curator of the Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest and has edited several exhibition catalogues.
Luca Truffarelli graduated in photography in 2011 and in the past few years has been involved mostly in contemporary dance and theatre work not only as a photographer/video maker but also as a visual designer and artistic collaborator.
Margaret Mc Auliffe is an actor and writer, twice former Dublin Fringe Festival participant and 2016 recipient of the Bewley's Café Little Gem Award for her Show in a Bag developed show, The Humours of Bandon which has just finished a very successful run at Edinburgh Fringe '17. She has attended the Dublin Fringe Festival every year since 2010.
Mollie Mollumby is a director, facilitator and the artstic director of Bombinate Theatre, a collective of emerging artists making work for families and young audiences. Bombinate's debut play Half Light was winner of The First Fortnight Award at Dublin Fringe Festival 2016.
Orla Moloney has extensive experience in arts management, policy development, and evaluation, and has held senior management roles in organisations such as Project Arts Centre, Droichead Arts Centre, The Arts Council, Bealtaine Festival, and Music Network.
Ronan Phelan is a freelance theatre director based in Dublin. He was recently appointed Associate Director at Rough Magic Theatre Company and has completed a year as Resident Assistant Director at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.