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THE MCGOWAN TRILOGY and PORT AUTHORITY Win Big at 2014 Origin's 1st Irish Festival

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The 7th annual Origin's 1st Irish Festival handed out its jury-voted honors at an awards ceremony at Papillon Bistro and Bar, 22 East 54th Street, on Monday night. Edging out the competition were "The McGowan Trilogy," produced by the cell, which grabbed three awards (including best actress, best director and best design), and the Irish Repertory Theatre's "Port Authority," which garnered two top prizes -- for best actor and best production.

Among the plays produced outside of New York that received their US premieres at the month-long festival (that began on September 3), the Dublin-born "Boys and Girls" from Murmur Productions also captured two awards.

Dylan Coburn Gray, a recent graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, picked up the award for outstanding playwriting for "Boys and Girls," which he also directed. A scintillating play in modern verse about the nighttime exploits of four college-age Dubliners, the production, which played at 59E59 Theaters, also earned a Special Jury Prize for its ensemble cast of four that included Claire O'Reilly (nominated for best actress), Maeve O'Mahony, Sean Doyle (nominated for best actor), and Ronan Carey.

Veteran New York actor Peter Maloney, who currently appears in "Port Authority," which opens this Thursday, nabbed the Best Actor award. For best actress, newcomer Anna Nugent edged out the competition for her dazzling portrayal in "The McGowan Trilogy," which plays at the cell through Sunday October 5.

Kira Simring, last year's Best Director winner for "McGoldrick's Thread," repeated the feat, winning for "The McGowan Trilogy," which also earned the award for best design. Irish Rep's "Port Authority" was chosen as the Festival's Best Production for its exceptional blending of all the theatre disciplines.

A total of nine productions -- from Belfast, Dublin, L.A. and New York -- were seen in competition this year. Coming up empty-handed were the multi-nominated New Yiddish Rep's groundbreaking production of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" in Yiddish (with five nominations), and West Belfast's Brassneck Theatre Company's "Man in the Moon" (with two nominations).

This year's judges included Jonathan Bank (the Mint Theater's artistic director), the casting director Stephanie Klapper, the Fox News senior producer Marvin Himelfarb, and TheaterMania.com managing editor Andy Lefkowitz.

The list of nominees was as follows: Best actress - Georgina McKevitt ("Waiting for IKEA"); Anna Nugent ("The McGowan Trilogy"); Claire O'Reilly ("Boys and Girls") and Laoisa Sexton ("Waiting for IKEA"). Best actor - Sean Doyle ("Boys and Girls"), Peter Maloney ("Port Authority"); David Mandelbaum ("Waiting for Godot"); Ciaran Nolan ("Man in the Moon"). Best Director - Tony Devlin ("Man in the Moon"); Henning Hegland ("Big Green Apple"); Kira Simring ("The McGowan Trilogy"); Moshe Yassur ("Waiting for Godot") and Ciaran O'Reilly ("Port Authority"). Best Playwright - Shane Baker & Samuel Beckett "Waiting for Godot;" Dylan Coburn Gray "Boys and Girls;" Conor McPherson "Port Authority;" Anto Nolan "Doc's Sock's and Jocks," and Seamus Scanlon "The McGowan Trilogy." Best Design -- "The McGowan Trilogy;" "Port Authority," and "Waiting for Godot." Best Production -- "The McGowan Trilogy;" "Man in the Moon;" "Port Authority," and "Waiting for Godot." A special jury prize will also be handed out on Monday.

Curated and coordinated by the New York-based Origin Theatre Company, George C. Heslin artistic director, Origin's 1st Irish is the only festival of its kind to focus exclusively on the work of Irish playwrights, and is the city's only all-Irish theatre festival. Throughout the year, Origin, now in its twelfth season, produces the New York and American premieres of plays by emerging European playwrights. For festival information visit www.1stIrish.org for information on Origin, visit www.origintheatre.org.

The festival's productions in competition were presented at the Barrow Street Theatre, 59E59 Theaters, The Irish Rep at DR2 Theatre, the cell, the Times Square Arts Center, and the Jefferson Market Library. Other festival events took place at the New York Irish Center in Queens; Arlene's Grocery; NYU's Glucksman Ireland House; ART/NY, and the Cantor Film Center at NYU.

The Awards Ceremony, which was free and open to the public, was coordinated by Ciaran Grant and Antonia Reilly.

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