Origin Theatre Company's Sixth Annual 1st Irish Festival Set for 9/2-29

The sixth annual edition of Origin's 1st Irish, the world's only theatre festival dedicated to Irish playwrights, runs from September 2 to 29. Curated and coordinated by the New York-based Origin Theatre Company, the month-long festival features plays and productions in a stimulating array of styles, by contemporary Irish playwrights from Belfast, Dublin, Boston and New York.

The mainstage shows will be presented at the Irish Rep, 59E59 Theaters, the Green Room at Ryan's Daughter, Theatre 80 St. Marks, and the Cell. The 1st Irish Next Generation Series, a programming initiative launched last year, will consist of three world-premiere-first-look productions.

These shows, that are more than workshops but small enough to allow for continued experimentation and development, will go head to head with the Festival's larger-scale productions for jury-voted awards honoring the outstanding performances and productions. At the Festival's Closing Night Awards Ceremony on Monday September 30 the festival's prestigious Audience Awards will also be handed out. In all, four world premieres and three American premieres will be seen.

The American productions include:
Poor Mouth Theatre Company presents, "The Cure," written Conal Creedon, directed by Tim Ruddy. Set at the height of Ireland's Celtic Tiger boom, Michael Mellamphy plays a man who has just spent the last three days drinking away his annual Christmas bonus while his wife and kids are home. Part of Creedon's "Second City Trilogy", September 9 to 25 at The Green Room at Ryan's Daughter; Man Behind the Curtain Productions presents the world premiere of "McGoldrick's Thread," a new play by Marianne Driscoll, directed by Kira Simring, that dramatizes in original ways the Irish immigrant story as if follows the O'Reilly family from Clonmel to the Bronx. This fascinating yarn is both taut and expansive, mixing drama, dancing and fantasy. At Theatre 80 St. Marks, September 11 to 29; Fat Violet Theater presents the world premiere of the site-specific "The Compass Rose," about an Irish bartender who agrees to take off on trip across America with a wayward customer. From the acclaimed Boston-based Irish playwright Ronan Noone, directed by David Sullivan, at Ryan's Daughter's Pub, September 12 to 29;

The shows coming from Ireland include:
The multi-award-winning 15th Oak Productions (Dublin) presents the U.S. premiere of "The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle," Ross Dungan's hilarious comedy about a man who barely lived enough to have regrets. Hot on the heels of its hugely successful runs in London, Edinburgh and Dublin, the play was nominated for the Irish Times' 2013 Best New Play Award, September 4 to 29 at 59E59 Theaters; Dublin's Fishamble: The New Play Company presents U.S. premiere of "I Can See Clearly Now (The Wheelchair on my Face) the delightful story of a myopic seven-year-old played by the actor and comedian Sonya Kelly. The winner of the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, The Irish Times gave it four stars, saying it was "delightfully whacky, hilarious... a tight script and engaging performance," at 59E59 Theaters, September 10 to 29.

Next Generation Series (3 universal premieres)
New York-based Rafter's Road Theatre Co. & LAF Theatre Co. team up to bring us the world premiere of the acclaimed Dublin playwright Anto Nolan's "A Lady is Waiting," directed by Laurence Lowry, and featuring Fiana Toibin. The third in a series of one-act plays, it tells the story of a middle-aged woman whose life seems to have come to a full stop. Will so many of her questions about love, loss and lust go unanswered before she moves on? You'll have to wait to find out. The Cell Theater, September 23 to 29; The New Millennium Theatre Co. brings us "The Morons," a dark comedy by Dan McCormick, directed by Christopher Scott, about the stupid lengths an American family will go to become the next big reality TV sensation. A shocking theatrical experience. The Cell, September 23 to 29; Ranach Theatre presents "The International," a new play by Tim Ruddy. In a series of intersecting monologues, three strangers - a farmer, a truck driver and a soldier - recall a time of conflict and peril that changed their lives forever. The Cell, September 25 to 29

This year's Special Events include:
"An Evening with Tony Macaulay" presented by the NY Irish Center, a monologue by Tony Macaulay taken from "Paperboy," his best-selling memoir about growing up in West Belfast in the 70s, The premiere US reading of "Paperboy" (a sequel to "Breadboy," published in Ireland to great acclaim in 2010 and now available worldwide from Harper Collins), is followed by a Q&A and light refreshments. Thursday September 12, free.

"Belfast to Boston" with Colin Broderick & Michael Patrick Presented by The American Irish Historical Society. Two magical writers embark on an evening of truth-telling and compare notes on the nature of heritage. Michael Patrick -- the author of "Family Story" and "Southie" -- recalls the memories of a precarious life in a Boston ghetto. Colin Broderick renders the conflict in the North of Ireland with intimacy and honesty in "That's That." Thursday September 12, free.

The Walk of the Town Walking Tour Follow in the footsteps of New Yorker writer Maeve Brennan (the alleged muse of Capote's Holly Golightly) on a guided tour of the Greenwich Village landmarks and haunts that inspired her "Talk of the Town" pieces and famed short stories. Presented by the Irish Arts Center as a foretaste of their upcoming US premiere of The Abbey Theatre's production of "Maeve's House," by Eamon Morrissey beginning October 17. Sundays September 15 and 22, 2pm, $16.

A Reading of "The Chicken House" In Bernard McMullen's finger-licking comedy a man with nothing to live decides he's got nothing to lose by shacking up with the Chicken Man, who takes him on a dark and hilarious journey to find salvation in the unlikeliest of places, somewhere where you can't hear yourself think... the chicken house. Monday September 16, 7pm, ART New York Bruce Mitchell Studio, free.

Origin's 1st Irish on Film:
Origin's 1st Irish on Film -- The New York Irish Center presents a special screening of Hugh Leonard's "Da," directed by Matt Clark. Leonard's screen adaptation of his award-winning play starrEd Bernard Hughed, William Hickey, and Martin Sheen, in what many believe to be his finest performance. Friday September 20, 8:15pm, $15.

Origin's 1st Irish Music
Arlene's Grocery presents Ireland's greatest acoustic singers perform in a festival evening of song, catapulting us through the ages and past today into the future. Featuring Mary Courtney, Ashley Davis, Gareth Dunlop, Allen Gogartry, John Gribbon, and John Munnelly. Friday September 20, 8pm, $20.

Origin's 1st Irish Music
The Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts welcomes a surprise group of artists and musicians who will show and tell, as they play and discuss the process of making music for film and theatre. How are the decisions made, how do we collaborate, and how do professional success and artistic expression mingle in that vital dance. Saturday September 21, 2pm, at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, free.

A Screening of "Journey's End" and an Appearance by George Mitchell The Norther Ireland Bureau presents a special screening of "Journey's End" a documentary in which former U.S. Senator George Mitchell returns to Northern Ireland with his 14-year-old son to assess how life has changed since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Senator Mitchell and National Book Award winner Colum McCann, moderated by Loretta Brennan Glucksman. Monday September 23, 7pm, location TBA, free

Origin's 1st Irish Poetry
The WB Yeats Society presents Padraig O Tuama, in a reading of his new and powerful collection of poetry, which arises from his work in reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Called "an extraordinary person whose influence extends quietly and gracefully across the world" by NPR's Krista Tippett, Tuama encourages people who lived through the Troubles to tell their stories of personal pain and political which he encapsulates poetically to breathtaking effect. Tuesday September 24, 6pm, The National Arts Club, free.

A Reading of "Maybe" by Jimmy Kerr Double Decker Productions, in association with NYU Glucksman Ireland House, presents a reading of "Maybe" by Jimmy Kerr, the New York-based playwright from Northern Ireland, about a New Yorker who finds his world has been turned completely upside down by a voice in his head. Glucksman Ireland House, Thursday September 26, 7pm, free.

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