WillFredd Theatre was founded in 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. We are Co-Artistic Directors Sophie Motley and Sarah Jane Shiels, and Producer Kate Ferris.

WillFredd’s work engages with contemporary culture, actively inviting new audiences into the theatre. Through ethical encounters between artists and communities of place, space and interest, the company develop theatre which responds to and represents elements of these communities.

WillFredd believe in constant evaluation and interrogation of our work through extensive Research and Development phases where work is shown back to communities we develop it with.

The company have made three full productions to date: FOLLOW (2011) , FARM (2012) and CARE (2014). We are currently in production with Jockey which will premiere at VISUAL, Carlow and Dublin Dance Festival in May 2015.


Sophie Motley


Sophie’s directing credits include:

CARE, FOLLOW, FARM, The Truth of The Moon (WillFredd Theatre), Tejas Verdes, Vincent River (Prime Cut),The Sleeping Queen (Wexford Festival Opera), MICE WILL PLAY (Caoimhín O Raghallaigh & Nic Gareiss) Man On Bicycle ’73, Burger Burger Death Burger, Manchester, The Well Made Life (Miniaturists, Arcola and Soho Poly Festival), Plaza Suite (Rough Magic), The Party, Corners (ANU), Extremities (Spark to a Flame), Invisible Atom (ShinyRedChocolatePaper), Autobahn (DYT), The Gleaming Dark (Old Vic Productions) and Pilgrims of the Night (Rough Magic SEEDS3).

Sophie is a regular Staff Director at English National Opera and was Resident Assistant Director at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. She studied at Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, Dublin, trained with Rough Magic’s SEEDS and the National Theatre Studio’s directing course.

She is Associate Director of Rough Magic Theatre Company and Co-Artistic Director of WillFredd Theatre.

Upcoming work includes new  projects for Rough Magic, ENO,  as well as developing two new projects with WillFredd, BEES and JOCKEY.




Sarah Jane Shiels


Sarah Jane began working in lighting design as a member of Dublin Youth Theatre, going on to complete a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin, and afterwards was accepted as a participant in the Rough Magic Seeds3 programme.

Recent designs include;

The Cunning Little Vixen (RIAM), Sea Lavender (Andy Hinds), The Critic (Rough Magic), Dusk Ahead (Junk Ensemble), Mice Will Play (in association with Nic Gareiss and Caomhín Ó Raghaillaigh), Distance from the Event (Collapsing Horse), The Factory Girls (Millenium Forum), Albert Herring (Royal Irish Academy of Music), A Christmas Carol (The Ark),The Yellow Wallpaper (Then This Theatre), The Scarlet WWWeb (Big Telly Theatre), Shibari (Peacock Theatre), The Boys of Foley Street (ANU Productions), Have I No Mouth (Brokentalkers), Farm (WillFredd Theatre), The House Keeper (Rough Magic), The Fall (Ella Clarke), East Balkan (Barka Shinhaz), The Blue Boy (Brokentalkers), Laundry and World’s End Lane (ANU Productions), Follow (Willfredd Theatre), The Lost Opera (Genisis), Blackbird (Prime Cut Productions), The Plaza Suite (Rough Magic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream? (Loose Canon), Hamlet (Second Age), Bocíní Bothat Kilburn (An Taibhdhearc), The Truth of the Moon (WillFredd Theatre), Vincent River (Prime Cut Productions), The Colleen Bawn (Bedrock), Idir an dá Shúil (An Taibhdhearc), Still the Blackbird Sings (Derry Playhouse), Offplan (Raw Productions), The Party (Willfredd Theatre), Silver Stars (Brokentalkers), Johnny Patterson (Barabbas…the Company) and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Making Strange Theatre Company).




Kate Ferris


Kate is WillFredd’s Producer. She is also currently Producing the national and international tour of Solpadeine Is My Boyfriend (With An F Productions).

Throughout 2013 and 2014 Kate is Head of Stage Management in The Lir Academy. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Production and Stage Management) at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Since graduating, Kate has worked as a Production, Stage and Event Manager with Australian companies and festivals including C!RCA, Queensland Theatre Company, LaBoite Theatre Company, Brisbane Festival, Malthouse Theatre Company and David Atkins Enterprises (15th Asian Games, Doha, Qatar).

Since relocating to Ireland Kate has worked as Company Stage Manager with The National Theatre of Scotland, The Gate Theatre, Opera Ireland, Pan Pan Theatre Company, Fishamble Theatre Company and The Corn Exchange.