Who We Are


Corrib Theatre’s mission is to bring Irish playwrights’ unique perspective on oppression and empowerment, and conflict and resolution, to Portland in order to change our world for the better.


Corrib Theatre engages, inspires, entertains, and challenges audiences with theatrical productions dealing with universal issues filtered through the Irish experience.

We celebrate Ireland’s dramatic transformation in the recent decades of the 21st century and its emergence as a world leader in social and progressive arenas.

We foster a diverse theatre community in our artists and patrons, including the LGBTQ, Deaf, disability, immigrant, incarcerated, and formerly incarcerated communities, and celebrate the essential power of the theatre to illuminate our common humanity.

We draw on Ireland’s history of colonialism, genocide, famine, and immigration and its post-independence systems of oppression, inequality, and misogyny, and through dramatic presentations spark recognition, raise awareness, and create discussion which can lead to action and change.


Corrib Theatre began in 2012 with a reading of A Night in November by Marie Jones, and now produces a full three-play season. Founding artistic director Gemma Whelan is Irish born and raised, and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as a freelance director and educator for over 25 years before moving to Portland.

In 2016, Corrib added the annual Irish Theatre Tour, which brings a group of theatre-goers to experience contemporary and cutting-edge theatre in Ireland. This yearly trip to Ireland has also helped Corrib to foster relationships with numerous Irish playwrights and theatre practitioners and to bring their work to the Portland stage.

Corrib Theatre is the only professional Irish theatre company in the western United States.

What Does Corrib Mean?

Corrib is a river and a lake on the west coast of Ireland. According to place name lore, Corrib was a god of the sea.

Our Commitments to Racial Equity

At Corrib, we commit to being an anti-racist organization and working to dismantle white supremacist systems.

We commit to listening to BIPOC voices and continue to educate ourselves on the history and legacy of racism.

We commit to speaking up and speaking out when we see racism and injustice inside and outside our theatre.

We commit to a 40% BIPOC Board by the end of the 20/21 season.

We will create a safe space with clear guidelines for communication and expression towards BIPOC in our rehearsal rooms, on our stages, in talkbacks and panels, and in our audience.

We will amplify BIPOC and other marginalized voices by casting at least 40% BIPOC artists (actors, directors, designers, stage managers) and POC Irish immigrants.

In the context of repairing the damage caused by systemic racism, we will remove financial barriers to communities of color so that our audiences reflect the full spectrum of our community.

At the close of each show, we will send a report to the board that details how we did or did not meet these commitments and how we can activate ourselves to do better.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledges that the Portland metropolitan area rests on the traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other Tribes who made their homes along the Columbia (Wimahl) and Willamette (Whilamut) rivers. Today, Portland’s diverse and vibrant Native communities are over 60,000 strong, descended from more than 380 tribes, both local and distant. We offer respectful recognition to the Native communities in our region today, and to those who have stewarded this land throughout the generations.