Joe Dowling (born 27 September 1948) is the Artistic Director for the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. He is also well known for his work as Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre in Ireland, and has directed plays in all the major theatres in Ireland as well as theatres in London, New York, Washington D.C., Montreal, and Alberta.
Educated at the Catholic University School, Colaiste na Rinne and at University College Dublin, Dowling has been long connected with Irish theatre having founded Ireland's premier drama school, the Gaiety School of Acting, served as artistic director of the Irish Theatre Company and the Peacock theatre and founded the Young Abbey, Ireland's first theater-in-education group.
He became the Guthrie's Artistic Director in 1995 and has directed productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Playboy of the Western World, Much Ado About Nothing, The Importance of Being Earnest, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Amadeus.
He directed Hamlet, the Guthrie's last production in its original location next to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Hamlet was also the first play produced by the Guthrie in 1963, directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie himself.
Following the announcement of the 2012 Guthrie Theatre lineup, Dowling was criticized for the lack of diversity in the selection of directors and playwrights. In an interview with MPR, he said "this kind of drip drip drip of complaints about the Guthrie - I'm not certain that it's constructive."
In April 2014, Dowling announced that he would be retiring from the Guthrie Theater after the 2014/2015 season. Dowling himself will direct productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Crucible and finishing with Juno and the Paycock, which he had previously directed on Broadway in 1988.
- American Theatre Wing. "Biography: Joe Dowling". Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "Joe Dowling returns to stage with Faith Healer". Midmorning (broadcast). Minnesota Public Radio. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Royce, Graydon (19 April 2012). "Guthrie's 2012 lineup starts diversity debate". Star Tribune.
- Combs, Marianne (25 April 2012). "Joe Dowling responds to criticisms of Guthrie's season". MPR.
- "Guthrie Director Joe Dowling Announces Farewell Season". Guthrie Theater. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
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