New Faces at the Eastgate

Deborah Gallagher comes to the Eastgate with a wealth of experience in arts programming, theatre management and teaching storytelling. Born in Edinburgh, she has worked across the UK, most recently managing a successful Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue where she staged two premiere musicals.

Before returning to Edinburgh, she was General Manager of Farnham Maltings in Surrey, an arts complex comprising a 400-seat theatre, cinema, community arts centre, rehearsal studios and café/bars. One of the highlights of her career was running a celebration festival for 3,000 people to mark the venue’s 50th anniversary.

Deborah has also worked as the Operations & House Manager for the 650-seat Theatre Royal Windsor and as the Community Arts Officer for a local council, where she developed the annual arts programming for all ages.

“I have been visiting Peebles for the last few years since returning to Edinburgh as it brings back many happy childhood memories for me,” commented Deborah. “I am so thrilled to be given this opportunity as Director of the Eastgate Theatre.

“The last few years have been a challenge for theatres and arts centres but now is the time to look forward to a creative future, building on the great work already achieved at the Eastgate and working with the staff and Board members to create many memorable experiences for the local community and beyond.  “I look forward to meeting all the Eastgate’s current friends and those we make in the future – see you in January.”

Jamie Hill is new – just pre-lockdown – to Peebles, from over the watershed, Lanark on the Clyde. Jamie, who lives just a 10-minute walk from the Eastgate and is a frequent visitor, describes it as “the hidden additional personal cost of deciding to move to Peebles”. He added: “We are so fortunate to have such a brilliant facility in the town, with top quality concerts, theatre and film, and a real local asset for caring for the needs of young and old in the community.”

 Courtenay Drakos arrives as the Eastgate’s temporary Technical Manager from Northern Ireland where she was Scenic Construction and Workshop Manager at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Born and raised in New York, she has also worked for several years in Scotland as a production manager for everything from one-person shows and universities to large-scale Edinburgh fringe productions.

Erin Hogan Thompson joins the theatre to work across programming and digital marketing. Originally from Ohio, her previous appointments in Scotland centred on Leith and included Marketing and Admin Manager for Pianodrome, Producer for two LeithLate festivals and Marketing and Events Coordinator for Leith Theatre.