Irish Repertory Theatre Presents BELLE OF BELFAST, 4/26


The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) continues its seventh season of the Irish Rep Reading Series, with a free reading of Nate Rufus Edelman's THE BELLE OF BELFAST on Friday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m. at the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street).

In THE BELLE OF BELFAST, personal, political and papal agendas conflict in Belfast in 1985. At the height of "the troubles," 17-year-old Anne Malloy turns to the comforts of her parish priest and forces them to re-evaluate the meaning of faith and love in a time of crisis.

THE BELLE OF BELFAST will be directed by Claudia Weill, who directed a production of the play in Los Angeles last year, and it will be read by Patch Darragh (The Jammer, Kin); Terry Donnelly (Donnybrook!, The Shaughraun); Katie Fabel (Mary Broome, The Shaughraun); Annie Funke (If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, SILENCE! The Musical); and Billy Meleady (The Belle of Belfast, LA production; The Lonesome West).

Playwright Nate Rufus Edelman is a writer and director for the stage and screen who divides his time among New York City, Los Angeles and Ireland. His stage plays have been produced and developed at The Cherry Lane Theatre, The Vineyard Theatre, Firstlook Theatre, the Celtic Arts Centre, FirstStage, EST/LA, Antaeus Theatre Company, Bank of Ireland Theatre, Samuel Beckett Theatre and the Road Theatre. His screenplay, "The Scavengers," was on "The Black List" and is in development. Nate was educated at University of California, Santa Cruz, Trinity College Dublin and received his MFA at New York University.

Director Claudia Weill is a film, television, and theatre director. After graduating Harvard in 1969 where she majored in History and Literature, she made 30 short films for "Sesame Street" (still on the air) and directed documentaries, notably "The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir," with Shirley MacLaine, 1975 (Academy Award Nomination) and "This Is the Home of Mrs. Levant Graham" (Kennedy Journalism Award). She produced and directed her first feature, "Girlfriends," in 1979 (with Melanie Mayron, Chris Guest, Bob Balaban and Eli Wallach), which she sold to Warner Bros. after winning multiple awards at Cannes, Filmex and Sundance. Next she directed "It's My Turn" for Columbia Pictures (with Jill Clayburgh, Michael Douglas and Charles Grodin), winning the Donatello (European Oscar) for Best New Director. Claudia has directed television since 1983, most recently 2nd season of HBO's "Girls," Episode 6 aka "Boys." She is also known for multiple episodes of "thirtysomething" (Emmy, Humanitas Awards), "My So-Called Life," "Chicago Hope" (Reynolds Award), "Once and Again" and TV/Cable movies "Johnny Bull" (with Jason Robards, Colleen Dewhurst and Kathy Bates) and "Face of a Stranger" (with Tyne Daly and Gena Rowlands, who won an Emmy.) As a theatre director, she has worked at Williamstown, The O'Neill, Sundance, ACT, Empty Space, MTC, Circle Rep, EST and The Public Theatre, where she was nominated for the Drama Desk Best Director Award for the premiere of Donald Margulies' Found A Peanut. Most recently she directed What A Pill (Atik) for the EST Youngbloods and before that, among others- The Belle of Bellfast (Edelman) at EST LA, Memory House (Tolan) with Kathy Baker, End Days (Laufer) with Amy Aquino, Tape (Belber) with Michael Urie, Adam Baum and the Jew Movie (Goldfarb) with Tony Shaloub at The Vineyard Playhouse, Huck and Holden (Rajiv Joseph) at the Black Dahlia, La Bella Famiglia at ACT, Twelfth Night and Act Like A Lady (Harrison) at Antaeus and the West Coast Premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner, Doubt with Linda Hunt at the Pasadena Playhouse. She created and teaches the Advanced Directing Class in the Graduate School of Cinema at USC. Other classes she specializes in are Comparative Directing in Film, Television and Theatre, Telling the Story: Staging Actors and Camera (hand on exercises, plus lectures with clips) and Directing for Writers. She has guest taught at Harvard, NYU, Bard and Cal Arts among others and regularly mentors young writers and directors around the country. She serves on the Directors Executive Committee for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and directed several of the "Game Changers" films for the DGA 75th Anniversary. She is preparing a documentary about the Art and Craft of Directing and is producing a New Play Reading Series (January 2014) for The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

Literary Manager Kara Manning hopes that the Reading Series will "give playwrights, both emerging and more established, the invaluable opportunity to develop their new work in a supportive, safe environment and will also introduce some Irish playwrights, especially those who might not yet have the New York recognition they merit, to an American audience." The Irish Repertory Theatre's 2007 production of Stuart Carolan's Defender of the Faith and 2010 world premiere of Kelly Younger's Banished Children of Eve were alumni of the Reading Series.

As part of its mission, The Irish Repertory Theatre "encourages the development of works focusing on the Irish and Irish-American experience, as well as a range of other cultures."

Founded by Ciarán O'Reilly and Charlotte Moore, The Irish Repertory Theatre opened its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars and is celebrating its 24th Season. The Irish Rep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage. Recognized with the Jujamcyn Theatres Award, a special Drama Desk Award for "Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama,"and the Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Body of Work," The Irish Rep has celebrated the very best in Irish theatre for over twenty years, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage. Nearly 40,000 audience members annually attend productions at our theatre located in the heart of New York's Off-Broadway community. Once here, they witness The Irish Rep's engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama.

Nate Rufus Edelman's THE BELLE OF BELFAST on Friday, April 26 at 3:00pm. is FREE and open to the public at The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street). Seating is limited. RSVP by calling 212-727-2737. For more information visit

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