Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre has announced that Orla O'Loughlin of Pentabus Theatre will be its new artistic director, replacing Dominic Hill, from January 2012.  

Chair of the board Stephen Cotton highlighted O’Loughlin’s “outstanding” credentials in new writing adding, “she has proven herself to be an exceptional director and leader and we feel very privileged to have found her.”

Orla O’Loughlin is currently artistic director of Ludlow-based company Pentabus, which she joined in 2007, moving from the Royal Court Theatre where she was the international associate. Directing work includes: For Once (Hampstead Theatre Studio); Relatively Speaking, Blithe Spirit, Black Comedy (Watermill Theatre); How Much is your Iron? (Young Vic); and The Hound of the Baskervilles (national tour and West End).

She’s a previous winner of the James Menzies Kitchin Directors Award and recipient of the Carlton Bursary at the Donmar Warehouse.

Speaking about her new appointment, O’Loughlin said: “I am thrilled to be joining the Traverse at this exciting point in its incredible history. Leading Scotland’s New Writing Theatre is a wonderful challenge and a creative gift.  Under my artistic directorship, the Traverse will continue the search for new work from Scotland and beyond that resonates with local, national and international audiences.”

Outgoing artistic director Dominic Hill said: "I'm delighted by Orla's appointment to the Traverse. I know she will bring a new and exciting energy to this organisation and to theatre in Scotland. I wish her all the best and look forward to working with her and the Traverse in the future."

Traverse playwright David Greig added: “She has an impeccable track record in new writing. With Pentabus, she put a small regional company on the national map. Her vision for the Traverse is fresh, passionate, full of ideas and connected to community. She's the right person at the right moment. Exciting times ahead.”

The announcement comes as the Traverse launches its Autumn 2011 season which includes two world premieres: The Salon Project devised by Stewart Laing, co-produced by his Glasgow-based company Untitled Projects and The Tree of Knowledge by Jo Clifford, directed by Ben Harrison.