BWW Interviews: Ellen McLaughlin in OUTSIDE MULLINGAR at GSP, 10/7 to 11/2

George Street Playhouse (GSP) will present Outside Mullingar by Oscar, Pulitzer and Tony Award Winner, John Patrick Shanley from October 7th through November 2nd. The production is directed by GSP's Artistic Director, David Saint. The show stars John Bolger, Patricia Conolly, Ellen McLaughlin and David Schramm. had the opportunity to interview Ellen McLaughlin who plays Rosemary about the upcoming show and her impressive career.

Outside Mullingar is a romantic comedy about two introverted misfits straddling the age of 40.
Anthony has spent his entire life on a cattle farm in rural Ireland, and due to his painful shyness it suits him well. Rosemary lives next door, determined to have him, watching the years slip away. With Anthony's father threatening to disinherit him and a land feud simmering between their families, Rosemary has every reason to fear romantic catastrophe. But then, in this very Irish story with a surprising depth of poetic passion, these yearning, eccentric souls fight their way towards solid ground and some kind of happiness. Their journey is heartbreaking, funny, and ultimately deeply moving.

McLaughlin is marking her second appearance at GSP having portrayed Margie in Good People in 2013. She has performed on Broadway in Angels in America and Off-Broadway in Blue Window and String of Pearls among many others. She has extensive regional theatrical credits and television appearances. McLaughlin is also an award winning playwright whose plays have received many Off-Broadway, regional and international productions.

Ellen McLaughlin's first exposure to theatre was in her youth thanks to her parents who enjoyed attending shows in the Washington DC area where she grew up. She fondly recalled the many productions she saw at the Arena Stage in DC that had a great resident acting company. They included Shakespearean classics like King Lear and Macbeth and also one of her favorites, Waiting for Godot. She said that attending theatre was a "rich cultural exposure" and a "great opportunity."

At age 16, McLaughlin interned at the Arena Stage as a set painter and a prop builder. She said, "I realized then that whatever I did with my life, I wanted to do it in the theater."

McLaughlin said she is "blessed with great friendships in the theatre" As mentors, she named Tony Kushner, who she met when he was the Associate Director of the New York Theater Workshop where her play A Narrow Bed was being produced. Kushner is the renowned playwright for Angels in America. She also discussed her close professional and personal friendships with actress, Kathleen Chalfant and Oskar Eustis, the Artistic Director at The Public Theater. She met Eustis the mid-1980's, early in his theatrical career.

We spoke with McLaughlin about her role as Rosemary in Outside Mullingar. McLaughlin said, "Rosemary is a wonderfully fierce, deeply feeling person. She has a great Irish wit and spiritual depth combined with a child-like stubbornness and temper."

McLaughlin once again stars with John Bolger in Outside Mullingar. The two performed together in the GSP production of Good People. She said that the depth and range of working with Bolger is "exhilarating." She also said that there is a great connection between them as they "work in similar ways." She commented, "You need to trust the person you're on stage with and I trust John. It is marvelous to be back on stage with him. Perhaps it's the luck of the Irish? In any case, I feel blessed."

McLaughlin also spoke about performing at GSP. "I love this theatre. It has great heart and extraordinary integrity. The atmosphere has a great sense of collaboration. It is a dedicated community of good people."

George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick in the heart of the city's vibrant theater and restaurant district. Outside Mullingar will be performed from October 7th through November 2nd. For ticketing and information visit their web site at or call (732) 246-7717.

Photo: Courtesy of George Street Playhouse

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From This Author Marina Kennedy