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  The 8th, referring to Ireland’s 8th Amendment, since repealed, outlawing abortion, ran through January 18th at The Secret Theater.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 www.origintheatre.org.

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Shine

via Daily Prompt: Shine with thanks to Ben Huberman, The Daily Post for the inspiration

NoLateSeatingThose who crave the spotlight most often become entertainers. Their talent demands it. It is their calling to shine.

We applaud them, and in so doing bask in the glow of their accomplishment. They are center stage with the footlights on them, but we are illuminated by their performance.

Their light shines on us as they render and interpret and presnet their truths. Greater  performers shine brightest, and we shine brighter too.

Posted in family, memories, My Mind Is Like An Open Meadow, one-woman show

Remembering Her Grandmother, Sarah

Photo by Kate Sanderson Holly
The loss of a loved one can be a powerful impetus for a story-teller.
In ” My Mind is Like an Open Meadow,” at 59E59 Theaters through August 19th, Erin Leddy memorializes her grandmother through a recorded interview with Sarah Braverman and in song and dance. The one-woman production has a unique style:  Erin Leddy’s grandmother, Sarah Braverman  is her co-cast member, speaking through a boom-box.   
My Mind is Like an Open Meadow” is the briefest of excursions, lasting just about 60 minutes, and is sufficiently diverting. The symbolic significance of the carefully laid-out set is sometimes hard to comprehend.  
Photo by Kate Sanderson Holly

 While it is abundantly clear that Erin Leddy is mourning her grandmother in “My Mind is Like an Open Meadow,”  it is far from evident that she has created a cogent story line from her grief.
For more information on “My Mind is Like an Open Meadow,” please visit www.59e59.org 
Posted in comedy, family, one-woman show

How Is A Tree Like a Strong Woman?

Dulcy Rogers plays Claire and her aunts in “I Am A Tree” at Theatre at St Clement’s. Photo © Carol Rosegg.

Do our life choices or our genetics make us strong? Can a descent into madness be inevitable?

In “I Am A Tree” at the Theatre at St. Clement’s through June 30th, Claire (Dulcy Rogers) is in search of the truth about her mother’s slide into insanity. Claire is seeking to find her better and fearless self, as she explores her family’s past.


Dulcy Rogers as Claire’s aunt Lillian in “I Am A Tree” at Theatre at St Clement’s. Photo © Carol Rosegg.

Claire’s quest leads her to visit her long-lost aunts (all played by Rogers, who also wrote the play), each of whom remember her mother differently.

Aunt Aurelia recalls her as an ethereal being. Lillian reminisces about partying and flirting. Only Aunt Lou admits to the possibility that Claire’s mother may have gone mad. Unfortunately, the charm of these encounters wears thin. “I Am A Tree” quickly devolves into a pretentious ramble.

Dulcy Rogers makes too many claims for exceptionalism for Claire. Her father is a renowned scientist; her mother may have invented the fuzzy navel (for those of you not up on your bartending, equal parts peach schnapps and orange juice are the favored ingredients.) Her aunts are also extremely accomplished; Aurelia is some sort of UN ambassador, Lillian is vaguely theatrical, and Aunt Lou a cross-dressing wise woman. Many of these assertions in “I Am A Tree,” which is subtitled “an unstable comedy,” are in the interests of humor, of course, which is very broad.

Each aunt is a distinguishable character, or perhaps caricature, with distinct physical quirks and vocal ticks, which to be fair, Rogers pulls off well enough. High marks in this production go to Neil Patel whose minimalist set is both simple and dramatic.

For more information and for tickets for “I Am A Tree”, visit “Iamatreetheplay”