2020 Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival Nominations Have Been Announced

By: Jan. 31, 2020
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2020 Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival Nominations Have Been Announced


Productions and plays from Ireland face off against several homegrown New York productions as the 12th annual Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival hands out its awards at a closing night ceremony at Rosie O'Grady's Manhattan Club, 800 Seventh Avenue, on Monday February 3 at 6:30pm.

Leading the nominations is the locally produced world premiere of Seanie Sugre's "The 8th," which received 7 nominations and ran for 13 performances at The Secret Theatre in Queens. (Locked in the Attic Productions, with Five Ohm Productions produced.) Right behind, with 5 nominations each, are the American premiere of Eva O'Connor's acclaimed comedy-drama "Maz and Bricks" (imported from Dublin by Fishamble: The New Play Company, and which runs at 59E59 Theaters through Sunday), and the Irish Repertory Theatre's hit comedy "London Assurance," directed by Charlotte Moore, which began its successful run on December 6 and has been extended through February 9.

The world's only theatre festival dedicated to showcasing the work of contemporary Irish playwrights from around the world, the month-long 2020 Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival began on January 7. Among the productions in competition, three are American premieres; two are world premieres. 15 contemporary Irish writers are represented with work in the Festival. (Open to the public a free event, for info visit www.origintheatre.org

"The 8th" -- about a family's tensions around Ireland's recent epic referendum to overturn the 8th amendment outlawing abortion -- is nominated in all categories, including two best actor nods for Phil Burke and Shane McNaughton. Included in "Maz & Bricks'" five nominations are best actress and best playwright nods for Eva O'Connor, as well as best production. "London Assurance" has two actor nominations (Rachel Pickup and Colin McPhillamy); Charlotte Moore for director; and for Best Production and Best Design.

The list of nominees is as follows:

Best actress - Julia Nightingale ("The 8th"); Michelle Dooley Mahon ("The Scourge"); Eva O'Connor ("Maz & Bricks"); Sarah-Jane Scott ("Appropriate), and Rachel Pickup ("London Assurance"). Best actor - Ciaran O'Brien ("Maz & Bricks"); Phil Burke ("The 8th"); Colin McPhillamy ("London Assurance"); Shane McNaughton ("The 8th"). Best Director - Seanie Sugre ("The 8th"); Charlotte Moore ("London Assurance"); Jim Culleton ("Maz & Bricks"); Britt Berke ("Round Room"). Best Playwright - Seanie Sugre ("The 8th"); Honor Molloy ("Round Room"); Michelle Dooley Mahon ("The Scourge"); Eva O'Connor ("Maz & Bricks"). Best Design - "London Assurance," "The 8th," and "The Scourge," Best Production -- "Maz & Bricks," "London Assurance," and "The 8th."

Announcement of the Special Jury Prize and The Bairbre Dowling Spirit of the Festival Award will be made at the Festival's Closing Ceremonies.

This year's Festival jury includes New York stage and television actress Cynthia Darlow; famed theater writer Harry Haun; college administrator and theatre writer Kate Kennon, and the international journalist, filmmaker and US television writer Sadhbh Walshe.

The mix of productions from both sides of the Atlantic (either imported or produced locally) will have been seen at the Irish Repertory Theatre (two theatres), 59E59 Theaters, The New York Irish Center, The Secret Theatre, and The Alchemical Studios. Participating producers are Fishamble (Dublin); Gúna Nua (Dublin); Wexford Arts Centre (Wexford); The Lyric (Belfast), and local companies Locked in the Attic Productions with Five Ohm Productions ("The 8th"), and the Cuala Foundation ("Round Room").

In addition to the six mainstage production in competition, 9 special events were part of the festival, including concerts, screenings, talks and readings seen out of competition 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.

Recognized for its focused size, and emphasis on audience engagement through plays, parties, panels and workshops, Origin 1st Irish has been called "an important event that offers New York theatergoers the chance to see fascinating new work" by The NY Times. Under the artistic direction of George C. Heslin, Origin Theatre Company (now in its 17th season) also produces the "European Month of Culture NYC," in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, in May.

Since its founding in 2002, Origin has introduced works by over 250 playwrights to US audiences, from such countries as the Netherlands, Sweden, Romania, Macedonia, Norway, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

For all Festival details, schedules and to reserve your ticket for the Closing Night Ceremonies, visit www.origintheatre.org



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