Solas Nua's Program Staff

Rex Daugherty, Artistic Director, Theatre

Daugherty, a native of Oklahoma City, has been a company member with Solas Nua since 2008. He has worked with many theaters in the D.C. Metro area, including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Warner Theatre, Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Folger Theatre, No Rules Theatre Company, 1st Stage, Adventure Theatre, Imagination Stage, Rorschach Theatre, Arts on the Horizon, Charter Theatre, Source Festival, Capital Fringe, WSC Avant Bard, Forum Theatre, and Constellation Theatre Company.

Daugherty has received three Helen Hayes nominations as part of Outstanding Ensembles. He is also a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Daugherty’s work with Solas Nua includes an Off-Broadway run at 59E59 Theatres of Enda Walsh’s play Disco Pigs and was praised by N.Y. Times critic Charles Isherwood as “exciting” and “talented...with Mr. Daugherty in particular finding all sorts of robust comedy.” Rex also directed and choreographed Wild Sky, which Washington Post critic Peter Marks said "Solas Nua...has a new artistic director, Rex Daugherty, a Washington actor who appeared on Solas Nua’s stages. He’s restoring theater to the group’s menu, and, if his first entry is any indication, there’s hope for this group to re-plant its imaginative flag forcefully on the city’s theater map." www.rex-daugherty.com

Pat Reilly, Director, Capital Irish Film Festival

Pat, who serves as publicist for Solas Nua, has extensive experience running a non-profit, Friends of Liberia, which has done international development work in Liberia for more than 20 years. She was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years, at The Washington Post, New York Newsday and other regional newspapers. She has been a spokesperson and web content manager for enforcement units at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Pat has a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio University and a bachelor’s in education from Truman University. She is a former chairman of the board of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), the alumni organization for the U.S. Peace Corps, in which she was a volunteer teacher in Liberia. Both parents were born in Killybegs, County Donegal, and immigrated to the New York City area. She grew up within 40 minutes of Broadway and got there every chance she had.

Jackie Hoysted, Director, Visual Arts

Jackie is a native of Ireland, currently residing in Bethesda, Maryland. She has a degree in computer science from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and a fine arts degree from the Corcoran College of Arts & Design, Washington DC., USA.

She has had multiple solo shows of her artwork throughout the US, including Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Nevada and Illinois and has been featured in several notable publications, including: the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Express, the Gazette, the Washington City Paper, The Pittsburgh Review and the Richmond and Baltimore Examiners’. The digital media author Scott Ligon selected her work for inclusion in his book The Digital Art Revolution.


Solas Nua's Board of directors

Paddy Meskell, Chairman  

Brought up and educated in Ireland, Paddy came to the U.S. in 1988 and has lived most of the time in Washington D.C. He started two software companies in Ireland, worked on Wall Street and with Sallie Mae and has recently retired as Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Silver Diner. He has a BA in European Studies and an honorary Masters in Philosophy from University of Limerick. He currently works as an independent consultant specializing in helping small entrepreneurial companies grow successfully.

Dennis Houlihan, President

Dennis is a policy analyst for a national public sector trade union, where his work involves advising members and leaders on labor relations, public finance and public service provision. He has also worked for the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. House of Representatives and served as consultant on city planning, fiscal and government organization issues in San Francisco. He received a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and was selected as the Alumni of the Year by the San Francisco State University Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from San Francisco State University.

Michael Henry Kirlin - vice president

Mike is a native of Philadelphia, PA whose paternal grandparents emigrated as teenagers from farms outside Derry, Northern Ireland and reconnected in the US. After earning an AB in English Literature from St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, Mike received a Master's degree in Comprehensive Health Planning from George Washington University.  Over a forty year period, he was a hospital administrator and medical practice executive in the Baltimore and Washington communities. Mike is a former Board member of Ronald McDonald House in Washington, DC and served a term as its President during the expansion of the "home away from home" in Northeast Washington, near Children's National Medical Center.

Kate Meenan-Waugh, Treasurer

Kate is an educator who has worked in secondary schools for more than 30 years, most recently at the Washington International School. She has taught and developed global education and community service programs which have included extensive, purposeful travel for both students and teachers. She is also an interviewer, mentor and organizer for the ASSIST student exchange program, as well as a teacher of ESL to recent adult immigrants in the Washington DC area. 

Born in New York City, Kate is a first-generation Irish-American, with deep roots in Donegal, Tyrone and Belfast. She holds a BSFS from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and has done extensive graduate work at New York University in international education and counseling.

Pat Reilly - Secretary

Pat, who serves as publicist for Solas Nua, has extensive experience running a non-profit, Friends of Liberia, which has done international development work in Liberia for more than 20 years. She was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years, at The Washington Post, New York Newsday and other regional newspapers. She has been a spokesperson and web content manager for enforcement units at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Pat has a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio University and a bachelor’s in education from Truman University. She is a former chairman of the board of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), the alumni organization for the U.S. Peace Corps, in which she was a volunteer teacher in Liberia. Both parents were born in Killybegs, County Donegal, and immigrated to the New York City area. She grew up within 40 minutes of Broadway and got there every chance she had.

Norah Quinn

Norah is a nonprofit fundraising professional, currently working for the University of Maryland, College Park. She previously worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and prior to that was with the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. She has interned with several performing arts organizations, including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Norah has professional experience in relationship building, philanthropy, board development, special events, and volunteer management, as well as a passion for the arts. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Minor in Electronic Media and Film from Towson University, and is pursuing graduate coursework in nonprofit management at the University of Maryland.

Rex Daugherty

Daugherty, a native of Oklahoma City, has been a company member with Solas Nua since 2008. He has worked with many theaters in the D.C. Metro area, including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Warner Theatre, Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Folger Theatre, No Rules Theatre Company, 1st Stage, Adventure Theatre, Imagination Stage, Rorschach Theatre, Arts on the Horizon, Charter Theatre, Source Festival, Capital Fringe, WSC Avant Bard, Forum Theatre, and Constellation Theatre Company