"Nature, home, family and community are very important and inspiring for us. We want to bring art into our everyday and the everyday into our art."



We are artists and theatre makers with a passion for making and sharing stories in many different forms. We have been creating theatre, immersive worlds and interactive experiences for adults and children for twenty years.  

Drawing from  themes of home, childhood and nature we use our art as a lens to explore and a means to reawaken and rediscover human connections to one and other and to the world around us. 

We are passionate about the collaborative process and work with a close team as well as wide range of collaborators: from internationally renowned artists, scientist, researchers, thinkers and educators to communities, families and children

We take a dynamic think tank approach to our artistic process.  We explore and investigate, respond and create, reflect and share our discoveries in a wide range of mediums.  These include performances, events and instillations, blogs, podcasts, films, illustrations and animations as well as books, poems, publications


Monkeyshine People


We work as an ever changing ensemble of artists, musicians and theatre makers. Over the years we have worked with many wonderful and talented people who have all played a role in creating Monkeyshine’s vibrant story.


Kareen Pennefather

Joint Artistic Director

Kareen Pennefather was born in the highest market town in England and grew up with the remote north Pennines as her playground. She went to university on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. In 1999, the day after handing in her theatre studies dissertation she started Monkeyshine Theatre with a group of friends.  She has lived on the island of Ireland ever since working almost exclusively for Monkeyshine.

Kareen is an actor, dancer, puppeteer, writer, and director.  She is passionate about the value of imagination and is always on the look out for opportunities to stimulate creativity. She is known nationally and internationally for her innovative and responsive work for young audiences.

Jim Jobson

Joint Artistic Director

Jim Jobson is an actor, designer and theatre maker, drawing on a rich and varied skill base. Jim was born in Dublin and grew up on a farm in Co. Wicklow. He has a great love and understanding of the natural world, which flows through his work. He studied Geology in Oxford Brookes University and has spent time living and working with gauchos on estancias in Argentina.

After studying with Song of the Goat, Poland, Forkbeard Fantasy U.K. and Zippos training circus in the U.K. Jim joined Monkeyshine Theatre in 2005 and is joint artistic director. He has recently qualified as a forest school leader and is a founding member of Creative in Nature.

Jim is Monkeyshine’s lead designer as well as a regular performer unofficial chef.

Nicholas Kavanagh

Associate Artist 2019

Nicholas is an actor, director and theatre maker. Born in Waterford City, he came up through the ranks of Waterford Youth Drama before studying Drama at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Nicholas works nationally and internationally, performing, writing, directing, teaching and developing new work both in theatre and street Arts. He is the Artistic Director of Moo Cow Productions.

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Kate Powell

Associate Artist 2019

Kate started learning Suzuki violin at the age of three and has continued ever since. She has performed with a number of UK bands and has worked in theatre and film. Kate moved to Ireland in 1997 . She is a multi-instrumentalist and is most happy as an improviser, playing in the style of whatever is needed in any given context, be it in a cathedral, round a camp fire, or in a theatre.


 "We gather ideas from the world around us, from the beauty of nature, to treasures found on brica-a-brack stalls, from memories shared and time spent together."