The Sutton & Hughes Residency

About Sutton and Hughes | Schedule | Presenting Partners | Contact Us | Download the schedule (pdf).

Irish theatre artists Patrick Sutton (director, playwright, teacher, arts administrator) and Charlie Hughes (actor, musician, teacher) will be in residence on the UW-Madison Campus from Sunday 9/9 through Sunday 9/16.  Activities include multiple theatre workshops, Irish Language sessions, a Celtic session with local musicians, a performance of the one man play “Iscariot,” and more. 

Coordinated by UW Continuing Studies, the residency has been generously supported by the UW-Madison Anonymous Fund and the University Lectures Committee.

Presenting Partners include UW Celtic Studies, Madison Celtic Cultural Center, UW-Madison Department of Theatre and Drama, UW-Madison Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, Young Shakespeare Players, South Asian Sisters, Bolz Center of Arts Administration, and Overture Center for the Arts.


SuttonPatrick Sutton has extensive experience teaching students of all ages, from youth to seniors.   Director of The Gaiety School of Acting-The National Theatre School of Ireland and of Smock Alley Theatre-1662 (founded in 1986), Sutton is a noted playwright, director, and educator. He regularly teaches in the USA and is also the director of COMMUNICATE, a communications company working at a senior level in politics, industry and the arts, and is a former Government appointee to the board of The Irish Museum of Modern Art.  Additional credits include work on the Beckett Festival produced by Dublin’s Gate Theatre (1994); master classes and residencies at Julliard, NYU, and Carthage College; and over a decade as the communications coach with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. 



Charlie Hughes is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting-The National Theatre School of Ireland.  Theatre credits include "Who by Fire" (Gibraltar and two national tours), "Judas in Iscariot" (USA and national tour, winner of a distinction at Moldovian International Festival), "The Corner Boys" (national tour), "Spring Awakening" (national tour), Vladimir in "Waiting for Godot" (Northeastern University), "Songs of Mama Cass" (Liberty Hall Theatre), "Othello" (Civic Theatre), "War of the Roses" (Dublin Corporation), and "Pygmalion" (Abbey Theatre).  In addition to his work on stage and in film and television, Hughes is a gifted teacher, musician, and storyteller.


Download the schedule (pdf).

Sunday, September 9

Youth Theatre Workshop
Presenting Partners: UW Continuing Studies, Young Shakespeare Players
Location: Young Shakespeare Players Building, 1806 West Lawn Ave, Madison
Time: 5 pm to 7 pm

Guest Artist Charlie Hughes will lead this two hour workshop which uses improvisation and drama to help participants learn to explore and enhance their imaginations. The course is both enjoyable and challenging, enabling students to express themselves in a creative and constructive manner.

This free event is open to youth ages 18 and younger, however, a reservation for participation is required.  Limit 20.  Reserve a spot by contacting Young Shakespeare Players at


Monday, September 10

Smock Alley Theatre/Arts Admin Talk
Presenting Partners:  UW Continuing Studies, Overture Center for the Arts, UW-Madison Bolz Center for Arts Administration
Location: Overture Center for the Arts, Promenade Hall
Time: 7 pm

Patrick Sutton will talk about leading the charge to renovate and reopen Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre, the oldest theatre in Europe. Director of Smock Alley Theatre and Gaiety School of Acting—The National Theatre School of Ireland, he’ll share his experiences working with both organizations and as the director of COMMUNICATE, a communications company working at a senior level in politics, industry, and the arts.

This free event is open to the public.


Tuesday, September 11

“Stillness and silence: The presence of the actor” - A Beckett Masterclass with Patrick Sutton
Presenting Partners:UW Continuing Studies, UW-Madison Department of Theatre and Drama, University Lectures Committee
Location: 1153 Vilas Hall
Time: 10 am to 12:30 pm

Patrick Sutton will work with UW-Department Theatre and Drama Class of Acting/Directing MFA students and advanced undergraduates.   Faculty member Professor Patricia Boyette, whose credits include co-founding The Beckett Project, will direct the first production to feature the new class of MFA acting/directing specialists.  Produced by University Theatre October 18-November 3, “I can’t go on. I’ll go on—A Collection of Short Plays by Samuel Beckett” will run in the Hemsley Theatre in Vilas Hall.

This session is limited to UW students who are part of the Theatre & Drama Program and have received approval to attend.


Wednesday, September 12

“An Evening at Brocach”
Presenting Partners: UW Continuing Studies, UW Celtic Studies, Madison Celtic Cultural Center
Location: Brocach, 7 West Main Street, Madison
Time: 6 pm to 10:30 pm

Starting at 6 pm, Patrick Sutton and Charlie Hughes will participate in an informal supper conversational session with adult Irish Language Learners who have taken or are currently enrolled in courses through UW-Madison Continuing Studies or the UW Celtic Studies program. At 8:30 pm Charlie Hughes will join local musicians in their weekly Celtic session.  

This free event is open to the public.


Thursday, September 13

Performance of contemporary Irish play “Iscariot” with Audience Talkback
Presenting Partners: UW Continuing Studies, UW-Madison Department of Theatre & Drama, UW Celtic Studies, UW-Madison Department of Comparative Literature & Folklore Studies
Location: Hemsley Theater in Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave, Madison
Time: 7:30 pm Performance with Audience Talkback afterwardsSutton

Written and directed by Patrick Sutton and starring Charlie Hughes, “Iscariot” tells the story of a man who has walked the world for 2,000 years unable to die because of his guilt.  There will be a post-show discussion with Sutton and Hughes.

This free event is open to the public.   No tickets or reservations required.


Friday, September 14

A Trip to American Players Theatre
Patrick Sutton and Charlie Hughes will spend the afternoon and evening at American Players Theatre touring APT and visiting with fellow theatre artists.


Saturday, September 15

Workshop for Youth Theatre Practitioners
Presenting Partners: UW Continuing Studies, UW-Madison Department of Theatre & Drama
Location: Vilas Hall, room 1153
Time: 1 pm to 4 pm

Led by Patrick Sutton and Charlie Hughes, this workshop will provide tools to engage youth participants in theatre by using their own personal narratives to create new theatrical work. 

This free event is open to UW students and members of the Madison community, however, a reservation is required.  Limit 20.  Call Sarah Marty at 263-2790 to reserve a spot.

Sunday, September 16

“What We Leave in Our Wake” Film Screening followed by Audience Talkback
Presenting Partners: UW Continuing Studies, South Asian Sisters, UW Celtic Studies, UW Madison Department of Theatre and Drama
Location: Union South, Varsity Hall
Time: 2 pm to 5 pm

What We Leave in Our Wake, directed by Pat Collins and nominated for an IFTA Best Documentary Feature in 2011, is a filmic essay which unfolds as a series of conversations on Ireland, exploring themes such as emigration, mythology, consumerism, socialism, the place of the church in Irish life, the central role of land in Irish history and the sense of a civic society. Combining images of contemporary Ireland with an evocative blend of archive, What We Leave in Our Wake questions what persists rather than the temporary fluctuations and trends, and talks to some of those uniquely placed to comment on how this country has evolved. UW Professor Mary Trotter (UW Celtic Studies, UW-Madison Department of Theatre and Drama) will be joining Patrick Sutton for the audience discussion following the film.

This free event is underwritten by support from the UW-Madison University Lectures Committee.

Presenting Partners

UW Continuing Studies supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea by providing nontraditional students, lifelong learners, and the community access to educational resources and programs.

UW Celtic Studies is a multidisciplinary field encompassing the history and culture of those peoples who presently inhabit the northwestern perimeter of Europe, including Ireland (both north and south), Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and the Isle of Man. Since peoples speaking Celtic languages once occupied a much larger geographical area than this, Celtic Studies also addresses the prehistory and early history of continental Europe.

UW-Madison Department of Theatre and Drama is a collaborative community of artists and scholars – faculty, staff, and students - aiming to achieve the highest level of excellence in their teaching, learning, research, creative endeavors and outreach to the community and state.  They provide an intellectual, practical and experiential knowledge of the performing arts, a working knowledge of the craft, discipline, and the critical thinking it requires, and a deep appreciation for the collaborative art of theatre. They aim to prepare their graduate students for successful 21st Century careers in the theatre both as practitioners and scholars and so provide focused, professionally-oriented study of theatre practice and scholarship.

South Asian Sisters-Madison  is a diverse collective of progressive South Asian women dedicated to empowering woman-identified individuals of South Asian heritage on the UW campus and greater Madison community. They resist all forms of oppression through art, dialogue, conscious alliances, and grassroots political action, and aim to achieve social change by confronting and deconstructing institutions and relationships that marginalize women.

Founded in 1969, the Bolz Center for Arts Administration is now in its fourth decade of preparing administrative leaders of arts and culture. Housed in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, the Bolz Center combines an intensive focus on business disciplines, theory, and practical application, with a deep and dynamic exploration of mission-driven management.  The Bolz Center is closely connected to the arts on campus and off, providing students with exceptional opportunities to learn, to experience, and to contribute their talents.

Overture Center for the Arts is a stunning architectural landmark in the heart of Madison’s thriving cultural arts district.  In addition to housing ten resident organizations and presenting more than 200 performances, art exhibitions, and educational and community events each year, Overture offers a variety of venues for performances, corporate meetings, conventions, trade shows, weddings, banquets, and receptions.

Celtic Cultural Center of Madison is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing together events which showcase the rich and varied traditions of Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales.  In the few years they have been in existence they have sponsored lectures, film festivals, Irish language classes, performance festivals, and a Celtic book group.

The Young Shakespeare Players (YSP), a non-profit theater program founded in 1980, invites youth, ages 7-18, to perform full-length, original works of Shakespeare, G.B Shaw, and Charles Dickens. There are no auditions or rejections. Any young person who registers will receive one or more substantial speaking roles. Designed to show participants, their families, and the community that these plays are delightful, accessible, and fun, YSP is the only year-round program of its kind. Actors learn to appreciate both the language and the drama in these great works as well as the technical aspects of acting and stagecraft.

UW-Madison Department of Comparative Literature & Folklore Studies - The dynamic and ever-emergent Folklore Program engages varied comparative and interdisciplinary approaches in a broad range of courses on oral, material, social, and spiritual aspects of African, Middle Eastern, Asian, European, American Indian, North, Central, and South American folklore, on theory and the history of scholarship, and on the public presentation of folklore through archives, exhibits, festivals, media productions, and other modes of representation.

Contact Us

Sarah Marty, theatre education programs, 608-263-2790 or email: