Born on the west coast of Ireland of Breton parents Yann Fouéré and Marie-Magdeleine Mauger, Olwen Fouéré is an actor, director and creative artist whose extensive practice navigates theatre, film, the visual arts, music, dance theatre and literature. She completed her schooling at the age of sixteen and was drawn towards a life in either medicine or the arts. She began ad hoc training as visual artist until she found herself experimenting as a performer, a practice she has remained committed to for four and half decades.A great deal of her work has originated in Ireland but in more recent years her work and her practice has spread across the globe to Australia, the USA, the UK and several European countries.

She has worked with numerous international theatre directors including the French directors Olivier Py and Roland Auzet, the Spanish director Calixto Bieito, the South African director Yael Farber, the Irish writer/directors Enda Walsh and Mark O'Rowe,the Irish choreographers Michael Keegan-Dolan and Oona Doherty, and the Australian choreographer director Danielle Micich.

She was an artistic director of the music group and theatre company Operating Theatre with the composer Roger Doyle and later established TheEmergencyRoom (a necessary space: for projects in need of immediate attention) for the development of her ongoing projects which have included the creation of riverrun (her adaptation and performance of the voice of the river in Finnegans Wake) and her performance and staging of lessness by Samuel Beckett in 2015-2016; a film project Cassandra (co-directed with Kevin Abosch from script by Anne Enright); her translation, performance and co-direction of Danse, Morob written for her by Laurent Gaudé and Sodome, my love also by Laurent Gaudé (produced in association with Rough Magic).

She has received numerous awards and nominations including Irish Times Best Actress, Dublin Theatre Festival Best Actor, Dublin Theatre Festival Samuel Beckett Award. In 2014 she received the Herald Archangel award of the Edinburgh Festivals, the Irish Times Special Tribute Award for outstanding achievement and contribution to Irish Theatre, and The Stage Award for Acting Excellence.
In April 2016 She received an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Philosophy-Honoris Causa) from Dublin City University for her outstanding contribution to the Arts and Culture of Ireland.

Current and recent appearances in theatre include:

solo performance of iGIRL by Marina Carr directed by Caitriona MacLaughlin world premiere at Abbey Theatre (Dublin Theatre Festival 2021)

Mother in BLOOD WEDDING by Frederico Garcia Lorca in a new adaptation by Marina Carr directed by
Yael Farber (Young Vic Theatre, London 2019)

Self in NOUS L'EUROPE, BANQUET DES PEUPLES by Laurent Gaudé (Avignon Festival 2019)

Woman in UNWOMAN III by The Rabble and Maeve Stone (Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin,2018)

The President in WHAT IF WOMEN RULED THE WORLD by Yael Bartana (Volksbuhne,Berlin June 2017)

Nameless in SALOMÉ by Yael Farber (Royal National Theatre, London, May-July 2017)

3 in BALLYTURK written and directed by Enda Walsh (Abbey Theatre, Dublin; St Ann's Warehouse, New York produced by Landmark and Galway International Arts Festival 2017-2018)

Woman in DANSE,MOROB by Laurent Gaudé (Project Arts Centre, Dublin, January 2017)

Death in DEATH AT INTERVALS adapted and directed by Kellie Hughes (Galway International Arts Festival 2016 and Dublin Theatre Festival 2016)

LESSNESS by Samuel Beckett performed and directed by Olwen Fouéré in collaboration with Kellie Hughes (Barbican Beckett Festival 2015, Galway International Arts Festival & Project Arts Centre 2016)

A TENDER THING by Ben Power directed by Selina Cartmell (Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2014)

RIVERRUN adapted and directed by Olwen Fouéré and produced by TheEmergencyRoom, Galway International Arts Festival and Cusack projects ltd
at The Kennedy Center, Washington DC (May 2016)
at Sydney Theatre Company, Australia (March 12th- April 11th 2015);
at Adelaide Festival, (February 26th - March 2nd 2015);
at BAM Next Wave Festival, NY, USA (September 2014);
at Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh(August 2014);
at the Royal National Theatre London(March 2014);
at Dublin Theatre Festival (October 2013);
at Galway International Arts Festival (July 2013).
The Mother in BLOOD WEDDING by Frederico Garcia Lorca in a new adaptation by Marina Carr, directed by Yaël Farber (Young Vic Theatre 2019)

Films include

Sideline Sue in JOYRIDE by Emer Reynolds (2022)
Ashildur Hofgythja in THE NORTHMAN by Robert Eggers (2022)
Sally Hardesty in TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE directed by David Blue Garcia (2022)
Sideline Sue in JOYRIDE by Emer Reynolds (2022)
Royale in ZONE 414 directed by Andrew Baird (2021)
Jean in SHE WILL written and directed by Charlotte Colbert (2021)
Woman in REUNION written and directed by Stephen Fingleton (2021)
The President in TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT by Yael Bartana (2021)
Violet Gibson in THE WOMAN WHO SHOT MUSSOLINI directed by Barrie Dowdall (2020)
Ciara in SEA FEVER written and directed by Neasa Hardiman (2020)
Melusine in FANTASTIC BEASTS:THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD directed by David Yates (2019)
Mother Marlene in MANDY written and directed by Panos Cosmatos (premiered Sundance 2018)
Theresa Kelly in BEAST written and directed by Michael Pearce (2017)
Eileen in TAKE ME SWIMMING written by Ailbhe Keogan and directed by Claire Dix (2017)
Kathryn in THE SURVIVALIST written and directed by Stephen Fingleton (NI Screen/BFI, premiere Tribeca Film Festival 2015)
Mary's Mother in THIS MUST BE THE PLACE by Paolo Sorrentino (Cannes 2011)
Maggie in THE OTHER SIDE OF SLEEP by Rebecca Daly (2011)
THE WAKE written and directed by Oonagh Kearney
Erina Brady in DANCE EMERGENCY by Deirdre Mulrooney
YELLOW,THE FILM by Amanda Coogan and Paddy Cahill
Trish in SALTWATER by Conor McPherson/Treasure Films
Ella in HARD SHOULDER/Mark Kilroy/ Mirror Films

Televison includes:

Kitty Harrington in HOLDING directed by Kathy Burke - ITV/Lttle Prince (2022)
Sheila in DERRY GIRLS directed by Michael Lennox - Netflix (2022)
Yeva in CURSED (Netflix)
Jane in THE FEED (Amazon)
Connie in NIGHTFLYERS (Episode 6)
Roy Maunsen in IF THOSE LIPS by Pat Mc Cabe (RTE play next door)
Mrs Hughes in ABOVE SUSPICION: THE RED DAHLIA /Gillies MacKinnon/ ITV/ by Lynda LaPlante
Celia in WHEN REASON SLEEPS (Celia)/ R. Wynne Simmons /RTE/ Channel 4
TIME AFTER TIME (Young Nun) /Bill Hays/ BBC
THE IRISH RM (Miss Malone) /Roy Ward-Baker / BBC/RTE
A PAINFUL CASE (Mary Sinico)/ John Lynch /RTE/ Channel 4

Visual arts includes:

Artistic collaborator and performer on THE TOWER by Jesse Jones (2022) for Rua Red Gallery
Artistic collaborator and performer on TREMBLE, TREMBLE by Jesse Jones (2017-2020) which represented Ireland at Venice Biennale 2017; later exhibited in Ireland, Edinburgh, Singapore and at Museo Guggenheim, Bilbao.
APOCALYPSE bu Aurelien Froment
CAMILLO'S IDEA by Aurelien Froment
ROIS_UNRAVEL by Andrew Duggan.Created on Inis Oírr and performed at Dublin Biennial Pop-up 2012
YELLOW RE-PERFORMED. A four hour durational perfromance of Amanda Coogan's YELLOW at St Marys Abbey during Dublin Theatre Festival 2010
Several performances for film and artworks by James Coleman. Their first collaboration So Different and Yet... was created in 1980 and later shown at IMMA inl 2009 as part of a large James Coleman retrospective exhibition.

In conclusion:

She has contributed to a number of publications on contemporary theatre and performance including:
Winter Papers 5edited by Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith
The Dreaming Body edited by Melissa Sihra and Paul Murphy (Ulster Editions and Monographs series. Colin Smythe);
Women in Irish Drama edited by Melissa Sihra (Palgrave MacMillan);
Actors Voices: the people behind the performances edited by Patrcik O'Kane (Oberon Books);
The Theatre of Marina Carr edited by Cathy Leeney and Anna McMullan (Carysfort Press);
Theatre Talk edited by Lilian Chambers, Ger Fitzgibbon and Eamonn Jordan (Carysfort Press)
Operating Theatre 1980-2008 designed by Alan Davis and Zero-G

A documentary of a year in her life, "Theatre in the Flesh" directed by Dara McCluskey, was produced for RTE`s Arts Lives series in 2005.

Olwen Fouéré was artistic director, with composer Roger Doyle, of Ireland's leading avantgarde company - Operating Theatre - from 1980-2008.
Her live performance work with Operating Theatre has included:
The Diamond Body (1984-87) based on a short story by writer Aidan Mathews.
The Pentagonal Dream (1986) from a script by Sebastian Barry.
Angel/Babel (1999) conceived and scripted by Fouéré and created in collaboration with Roger Doyle, Paul Keogan and Leon Ingulsrud.
Chair (2000) conceived and scripted by Fouéré and created in collaboration with Roger Doyle, Paul Keogan and Johnny Hanrahan.
Passades (2004) based on the music of Roger Doyle's 'passades' and directed by Selina Cartmell.
Here Lies (2005-2007) in which Fouéré appeared as the figure of Artaud in a number of performance installations presented in Galway, Dublin and Paris. Created in collaboration with Selina Cartmell and Paul Keogan.
Here Lies in film... created in collaboration with cinematographer Christopher Doyle, a film installation which premiered at Temple Bar Gallery during the Dublin Theatre Festival 2008.

Earlier Theatre in chronological order

A in TERMINUS written and directed byMark O'Rowe/Abbey Theatre world tour 2011

THE REHEARSAL - PLAYING THE DANE (Gertrude)/Gavin Quinn/Pan Pan theatre

MEDEA directed by Selina Cartmell for Siren productions

The Woman in SODOME,MY LOVE (SODOME,MA DOUCE) written by Laurent Gaudé, translated by Olwen Fouéré, directed by Lynne Parker, produced by Rough Magic in association with TheEmergencyRoom

The Cailleach in THE RITE OF SPRING directed by Michael Keegan-Dolan of Fabulous Beast at the ENO London Coliseum

The test tube in UNDER GLASS by The Clod Ensemble with text by Alice Oswald

Solo performance -PAULA SPENCER,LA FEMME QUI SE COGNAIT DANS LES PORTES directed by Michel Abécassis European tour including Bouffes du Nord, Paris, and Project Arts Centre, Dublin / by Roddy Doyle, trans. Ian Monk and Isabelle D. Phillippe

Woman in WOMAN AND SCARECROW by Marina Carr directed by Selina Cartmell / Abbey Theatre

THE BULL / (Maeve) / Michael Keegan-Dolan / Dublin Theatre Festival 2005, Barbicanbite 2007, speilzeiteuropa08 / by Fabulous Beast

CATASTROPHE / (The Assistant) / Selina Cartmell / Gate Theatre Beckett Festival / Barbican / by Samuel Beckett

TITUS ANDRONICUS / (Tamora) / Selina Cartmell /Siren Productions / Project Arts Centre, Dublin / by Shakespeare

Artaud in HERE LIES directed by Selina Cartmell / Galway Arts Festival 2005, Dublin and Paris 2006/ produced by by Operating Theatre

A CRY FROM HEAVEN / (Ness) / Olivier Py / Abbey Theatre, Dublin / by Vincent Woods

THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS / (Mrs Gogan) / Ben Barnes / Abbey Theatre, Barbicanbite and Cork Opera House / by Seán O'Casey

THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD / (Widow Quinn) / Ben Barnes / Abbey Theatre / USA Tour /by John Millington Synge

PASSADES / (self and explorer) / Selina Cartmell / Operating Theatre / Lee's Cash 'n Carry, Dublin/ by Operating Theatre

LA MUSICA / (Woman)/ Selina Cartmell / Siren Productions / SS Michael and John, Dublin / by Marguerite Duras

THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA / (Augustine) / Martin Drury / Abbey Theatre, Dublin/ by Frederico Garcia Lorca, trans. Sebastian Barry

MACBETH / (Lady Macbeth) / Michael Barker-Caven / Second Age / Dublin and Irish tour / by Shakespeare

LESSNESS / (solo) / Judy Hegarty-Lovett / Gare StLazare Irl / Kilkenny Arts Festival, Cottesloe Theatre, Dublin Fringe Festival / by Samuel Beckett

BAILEGANGAIRE / (Dolly) / Tom Murphy / Abbey Theatre, Dublin / by Tom Murphy

CHAIR / (solo) / Johnny Hanrahan / Operating Theatre / Peacock Theatre, Dublin / by Operating Theatre

THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD / (Pegeen Mike) / Niall Henry / Abbey Theatre,Dublin / by John Millington Synge

PEER GYNT / (Solveig) / Conal Morrison / Royal National Theatre, London/ by Henrik Ibsen, trans. Frank McGuinness

ROMEO & JULIET / (Lady Capulet) / Tim Supple / Royal National Theatre, London/ by Shakespeare

THE TEMPEST / (Ariel) / Conal Morrison / Abbey Theatre, Dublin / by Shakespeare

LIFE IS A DREAM / (Rosaura) / Calixto Bieto / Edinburgh Festival '98, Barbican '99, BAM,'99 / by Caldéron de la Barca, trans. John Clifford

THE WAKE / (Mary Jane) / Patrick Mason / Abbey Theatre '98 and Edinburgh Festival '99/ by Tom Murphy. World Premiere.

BY THE BOG OF CATS / (Hester Swane) / Patrick Mason / Abbey Theatre /Dublin Theatre Festival '98 / by Marina Carr. World Premiere.

ANGEL/BABEL / (solo) / Leon Ingulsrud / Operating Theatre / Project@the mint,Dublin'99 / by Operating Theatre

LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN / (Mrs Erlynne) / Alan Stanford / Gate Theatre Dublin'97,Charleston Spoleto Festival '98 / by Oscar Wilde

THE ELECTROCUTION OF CHILDREN / (Margot) / Brian Brady / Abbey Theatre, Dublin / by Chris Lee

FAIR LADIES AT A GAME OF POEM CARDS / (Empress and Moon) / John Crowley / Royal National Theatre /by Chikamatsu Montsaemon, trans. Peter Oswald

PLAY and COME AND GO / Bairbre Ni Chaoímh / Gate Theatre /Lincoln Centre, New York / by Samuel Beckett/

DOUBLE HELIX / John Crowley / Bickerstaffe / Peacock Theatre, Dublin / written by the company

SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR / (Mme. Pace) / John Crowley / Abbey Theatre, Dublin / by Luigi Pirandello, trans. Tom Kilroy

SLAUGHTER CITY / (Cod) / Ron Daniels / RSC, The Pit / by Naomi Wallace

THE MAI / (The Mai) / Brian Brady / Abbey Theatre, Dublin / by Marina Carr. World Premiere

OLD TIMES / (Anna) / Kevin Billington / Gate Theatre Pinter Festival, Dublin / by Harold Pinter

SHEEP’S MILK ON THE BOIL / (The Inspector of Wrack) / Tom Hickey / Abbey Theatre, Dublin / by Tom Mac Intyre

HAMLET / (Hamlet) / Michael Sheridan / Project Arts Centre, Dublin/ by Shakespeare

THE TEMPEST and MACBETH / (Ariel and Lady Macduff) / Michael Bogdanov / English Shakespeare Co. world tour/ by Shakespeare

THE CHERRY ORCHARD / (Varya) / Michael Bogdanov / Gate Theatre, Dublin / by Anton Chekhov

SALOMÉ / (Salomé) / Steven Berkoff / Gate Theatre '88, Edinburgh Festival '89 & Spoleto '90 /by Oscar Wilde

DANCING AT LUGHNASA / (Agnes) / Patrick Mason / Phoenix and Garrick Theatre, London/by Brian Friel

THE MASTER BUILDER / (Hilde) / Paul Unwin / Bristol Old Vic / by Henrik Ibsen, trans. Michael Meyer

BAJAZET /(Atalide) / Peter Eyre / Almeida Theatre, London / by Racine, trans. Allan Hollinghurst

CATHLEEN NI HOULIHAN & THE CUCHULAINN CYCLE / (Cathleen and Aoife) / Jim Flannery / Abbey Theatre, Dublin/ by William Butler Yeats

PEER GYNT / (Solveig and Anitra) / Patrick Mason / Gate Theatre, Dublin / by Henrik Ibsen, trans. Frank McGuinness

LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES / (La Presidente de Tourvel) / Ben Barnes / Gate Theatre, Dublin/by Christopher Hampton (after Laclos)

UNCLE VANYA / (Sonya) / Paul Unwin / Gate Theatre, Dublin / by Anton Chekhov

FOOL FOR LOVE / (May) / Ray Yeates / Abbey Theatre, Dublin / by Sam Shephard

INNOCENCE / (Caterina) / Patrick Mason / Gate Theatre, Dublin /by Frank McGuinness

THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD / (Pegeen Mike) / Garry Hynes / Druid Theatre New York Tour '86 / by John Millington Synge

THE PENTAGONAL DREAM / (solo) / David Heap / Operating Theatre/Damer Hall Dublin/ by Sebastian Barry

THE DIAMOND BODY / (solo) / Brendan Ellis / Operating Theatre / Dublin, Bush Theatre London '84, Avignon Festival'86, Glasgow Mayfest '87 /by Aidan Mathews

THE ANTIGONE / (Antigone) / Michael Scott / Project Arts Centre, Dublin / by Aidan Mathews

THE OLD WOMAN BROODS / Kazimierz Braun / Project Arts Centre, Dublin / by Tadeusz Rosewicz

EXTREMITIES / (Marjorie) / Julian Plunkett-Dillon / Project Arts Centre, Dublin/ by William Mastrosimone

THE MORNING AFTER OPTIMISM / (Anastasia ) / Michael Scott / Project Arts Centre, Dublin / by Tom Murphy

THREE BUNCHES OF BLOOD AND A LUMP OF FOG / Michael Scott /Project Arts Centre, Dublin/ by Sean MacCarthy

THE THREE SISTERS / (Irina) / Stephen Rea / Field Day 1981/ by Anton Chekhov, trans. Brian Friel

TWELFTH NIGHT / (Viola) / Christopher Fitzsimon / Irish Theatre Company / by Shakespeare

WITHERING HYPES and BUBBLEGUM / Thom MacGinty / Grapevine touring company/by the company

THE GLASS MENAGERIE / (Laura) / Paul Brennan / Gate Theatre, Dublin / by Tennessee Williams

RIDERS TO THE SEA /(Kathleen) / Brendan Ellis / Players Theatre, Dublin/ by John Millington Synge

NOT I / (solo) / Brendan Ellis / Focus Theatre, Dublin / by Samuel Beckett. Irish Premiere

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER / (Madeleine) / Peter Sheridan / Project Arts Centre, Dublin /by Steven Berkoff (from Edgar Allan Poe)

THE HOSTAGE /(Teresa) / Sean Treacy / Project Arts Centre and Eblana Theatre, Dublin/ by Brendan Behan

MARAT SADE /(Charlotte Corday) / Michael Sheridan /Project Arts Centre, Dublin/ by Peter Weiss

FAMINE /(Maeve)/ Tom Murphy/ Project Arts Centre, Dublin / by Tom Murphy

DEV /(Mrs DeValera)/ Peter Sheridan/ Project Arts Centre, Dublin/

THE RISEN PEOPLE / (Annie) / Jim Sheridan / Project Arts Centre, Dublin /by James Plunkett

A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY / (Vera) / Mary Elizabeth Burke-Kennedy / Focus Theatre, Dublin /by Turgenev

ENDGAME /(Nell) / Sean Treacy / APE Theatre company, Dublin/ by Samuel Beckett

Fouéré's first professional performance, in a five minute play, occurred in June 1976. The above list omits only a small number of productions and is largely in chronological order, beginning with the most recent.