I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW, THE CURE and More to Open This Week at Origin's 1st Irish Festival
Three offerings from the U.S. and an Irish import begin performances this week as the sixth annual edition of Origin's 1st Irish hits its stride.
Joining the already opened "The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle" at 59E59 Theaters, is the comedy "I Can See Clearly Now (The Wheelchair on my Face)," Sonya Kelly's gutt-busting comedy, from Dublin's esteemed Fishamble: The New Play Company. Begins Tuesday September 10.
The U.S. entries are Conal Creedon's unhealthy "The Cure" (begins tonight), Marianne Driscoll's yarn "McGoldrick's Thread" (begins Wednesday September 11) and the footloose site-specific "The Compass Rose" by Ronan Noone (begins Thursday September 12).
Curated and coordinated by the New York-based Origin Theatre Company, George C. Heslin artistic director, Origin's 1st Irish features plays and productions in a stimulating array of styles, by contemporary Irish playwrights from Belfast, Dublin, Boston and New York.
The fest's six world premieres and two American premieres all vie for the tourney's jury and audience-voted awards honoring the outstanding performances and productions. This year's blue-ribbon panel of judges includes the actresses Sarah Rice (Broadway's original "Sweeney Todd") and Geraldine Hughes (Broadway's "Jerusalem," "Belfast Blues), and the theatre journalists Andy Lefkowitz and Leslie (Hoban) Blake. The Festival's Closing Night Awards Ceremony is on Monday September 30 at a location to be announced.
This year's mainstage shows will be presented at 59E59 Theaters, the Green Room at Ryan's Daughter, and Theatre 80 St. Marks. The 1st Irish Next Generation Series, a programming initiative launched last year, will consist of three world-premiere-first-look productions, all at The Cell.
The Next Generation shows -- that are more than workshops but small enough to allow for continued experimentation and development -- begin performances during the festival's last week. These promising upstarts include "The Morons" by Dan McCormick, Anto Nolan's "A Lady is Waiting," and "The International" by Tim Ruddy. The three go head to head with the Festival's larger-scale productions for the Festival's awards.
Origin's 1st Irish, the only festival of its kind to focus exclusively on the work of new Irish playwrights, is the city's only all-Irish theatre festival. Throughout the year, Origin, now in its eleventh season, produces the New York and American premieres of plays by emerging European playwrights. For festival information visit www.1stIrish.org.