Posted in #festivital, 1st Irish Origins Festival, comedy-drama, dark comedy drama, festival, Festivals, Irish, Irish drama, Irish theatre, one-woman show

Irish Feast

The 8th written and directed by Seanie Sugre. Photo by Reiko Yanagi

Or that should be fest, as in the 12th Annual Competition in the  2020 Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival which includes six mainstage productions across various venues across town. This is the only festival dedicated exclusively to producing the plays of contemporary Irish playwrights from around the globe.

The locales in which the productions from playwrights from from Belfast, Dublin, Wexford, Manhattan and Queen will be presented include the Irish Repertory Theatre, 59E59 Theaters, The NY Irish Center, The Secret Theatre, and The Alchemical Studios. 

In addition to the competing productions, there are 9 special events during this festival–concerts, readings, talks, screenings. These out of competition events will take place at The American Irish Historical Society; Scandinavia House; A.R.T. New York; The National Arts Club; The Cutting Room; Symphony Space, Torn Page and The Irish Consulate. A total of 15 contemporary Irish writers are represented with work in the Festival.

Eva O’Connor’s acclaimed Maz and Bricks gets an American premiere and opens the festivities, running from January 7th through February the 2nd at 59E59. The provocative comedic drama is directed by Jim Culleton, and features Ciaran O’Brien and Eva O’Connor.

Also kicking off the Festival on January 7th is the he world premiere of The 8th, a new play written and directed by Seanie Sugre. Produced in New York by Locked in the Attic Productions with Five OHM Productions, the play stars Julia Nightingale (“The Ferryman” on Broadway), Una Clancy, and Gerard McNamee.  The 8th, referring to Ireland’s 8th Amendment, since repealed, outlawing abortion, ran through January 18th at The Secret Theater.

The Irish Rep’s production of Dion Boucicault‘s London Assurance, directed by Charlotte Moore opened on December 6th and runs through January 26th. The classic farce, which premiered in London in 1841, is given a classy treatment at the Irish Repertory.

Another American premiere, The Scourge, is written and performed by Wexford native Michelle Dooley Mahon and directed by Ben Barnes, former artistic director of The Abbey. The solo show detailing her mother’s slide into Alzheimer’s is produced by the Wexford Arts Centre in association with the Irish Repertoy where it will run from January 22nd through February 2nd.

Honor Molloy’s Round Room, directed by Britt Berke, with music by the Grammy Award-winning Irish singer/songwriter Susan McKeown is a play in development. It will be presented in three performances on January 27-28 at The Alchemical Studios. The New York-based cast features Gina Costigan, Brenda Meaney, Rachel Pickup, Maeve Prive, Zoe Watkins, and Aoife Williamson. 

On January 27th, Dublin’s Gúna Nua presents another American premiere with Sarah-Jane Scott’s dark comedy Appropriate at the NY Irish Center, running through February 1st. The story addresses the sports obsessive in a funny and timely manner.

For all Festival info visit

Posted in drama, festival, theater

A Very Gala Gala


Photo by Ben Asen
Photo by Ben Asen

The 8th annual Origin’s 1st Irish launch party took place August 26, 2015 at the elegant Park Avenue space of Mutual of America. The party provided a wonderful opportunity for attendees to learn more about some of the extraordinary projects and people that make this excellent, well-curated Festival such a rich cultural feast. This year’s productions will take place from September 2 to

Partiers. Photo by Ben Asen
Partiers. Photo by Ben Asen

October 4 at venues around New York City.

George C. Heslin, artistic director of Origin’s 1st Irish,  began his welcome remarks by  thanking Festival sponsors including  Mutual of America, McVicker and Higginbotham, The Northern Ireland Bureau, Tourism Ireland, The American Ireland Fund, New York State Council for The Arts and The Irish Government. He also gave a shout out of appreciation to Origin’s “passionate” board members, volunteers and patrons.


Origin Artistic Director George Heslin at the podium. Photo by Ben Asen
Origin Artistic Director George Heslin at the podium.
Photo by Ben Asen

By the end of this year’s Festival, Heslin observed, 1st Irish will have presented more than 100 Irish playwrights to New York audiences. Representatives of several sponsors also spoke before the evening became an opportunity to enjoy the bountiful food and drink and mingle with  playwrights, actors and other, associated members of the Festival theater-going community.


 (left to right) Origin Artistic Director George Heslin, American Ireland Fund's Pat Tully, Deputy Consul General Anna McGillicuddy, Norther Ireland Bureau's Norman Houston and Lorraine Turner, Tourism Ireland's Bill Condon. Photo by Ben Asen.
(left to right) Origin Artistic Director George Heslin, American Ireland Fund’s Pat Tully, Deputy Consul General Anna McGillicuddy, Norther Ireland Bureau’s Norman Houston and Lorraine Turner, Tourism Ireland’s Bill Condon. Photo by Ben Asen.

Origin Theatre Company premieres a diverse range of contemporary European theatre in New York City. Since its inception in 2002, Origin has been devoted to discovering, nurturing, and introducing new exciting voices from Europe, whose work provide unique perspectives on national identity, cross-cultural relations, and global understanding.

For tickets and schedule visit

Posted in events, festival, party, theater

Festivals and celebrations: it’s summer in the city

South Street Seaport: Dock Rocks
South Street Seaport: Dock Rocls: CANCELLED

Free Shakespeare in the Park and the Mobile Theater Unit courtesy of our friends at The Public Theater is just the tip of the ice-cone for a great New York City summer. Please visit to learn more.

Hamish Linklater, Teagle F. Bougere, and Jacob Ming-Trent in rehearsal for The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Cymbeline, directed by Daniel Sullivan, running at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park July 23 through August 23. Photo credit: Tammy Shell.
Hamish Linklater, Teagle F. Bougere, and Jacob Ming-Trent in rehearsal for The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Cymbeline, directed by Daniel Sullivan, running at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park July 23 through August 23. Photo credit: Tammy Shell.

Of course, it’s not all free but it is all fun.

On August 4th, the first annual fundraising bash in support the South Street Seaport features Duran Duran and Wyclef Jean for a five hour celebration. Dock Rocks  – Party on the Piers begins at 5pm on Pier 15 and Pier 16 at South Street Seaport with tickets starting at $55.

Visit and for more information on how you can participate. Due to issues at the site, this event has been cancelled.

Unity (1918), written by Kevin Kerr and directed by KJ Sanchez. begins performances on Thursday, August 6 for a limited engagement through Sunday, August 23 at The Gene Frankel Theatre. Part Gothic tale, part romance, part pandemic horror story, Unity (1918) recounts a historic moment in WWI when the “Spanish flu” killed more people than had been cut down in battle.

The small town of Unity takes drastic action, sealing off its borders and even burning incoming mail.  For more information on Unity (1918), which won the Canadian Governor General’s Award for Drama in 2002, please visit


Not strictly speaking at the height of summer: join The Wild Project for the fifth annual Between the Seas festival beginning on September 8th. Between the Seas is the only festival in New York celebrating Mediterranean performance, and presenting some of the most acclaimed and innovative performers– both theatrical and dance– from the region. Highlights from Between the Seas includean absurdist exploration on the nature of tyranny in The Dictator by Lebanese playwright Issam Mahfouz; The Dictator is offered in its English language premiere during the festival. Catalan artist Borja Gonzales performs a piece based on puppetry and sand drawing; Esperimenti, the Italian dance company is inspired by Italian songs of the 60s and 90s for its presentation; and Rebecca Tomas dances a vibrant flamenco for the Between the Seas audience. For more information, please visit

 The 27th Annual Festival Of New Musicals at New World Stages in October 15-16 is not yet ready for prime time.  NAMT’s goal is to expand the musical theatre repertoire, bringing new musical theatre to thousands of audience members around the world. In the meantime, the Festival connects producers with writers, so that their shows can continue their development trajectory. The 27th Annual Festival Of New Musicals, overseen by NAMT New Works Director and Festival Producing Director Branden Huldeen and Festival General Manager Lisa Dozier King, presents eight musicals in 45-minute presentations before an audience of over 600 industry professionals.

The general public is invited to join by making a donation to The National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

Visit to see about ticket availablity; there is also a day-of stand-by line for the general public for free admission (based on availability).