Irish Repertory Theatre to Stage New York Premiere of BELFAST GIRLS

The production is set to run May 11th through June 26th.

By: Mar. 03, 2022
Irish Repertory Theatre to Stage New York Premiere of BELFAST GIRLS

Today, the Irish Repertory Theatre (Charlotte Moore, Artistic Director and Ciarán O'Reilly, Producing Director) announced two productions for their Spring 2022 season. The New York Premiere of Belfast Girls by Jaki McCarrick (The Naturalists) and directed by Nicola Murphy (A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing) will run May 11-June 26, 2022 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage, with an opening night set for May 19, 2022. Two by Synge, by John Millington Synge and directed by Charlotte Moore (The Streets of New York), will run April 13-May 22, 2022 on the W. Scott McLucas Studio Stage, with an opening night set for April 24, 2022.

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Who knows what dreams were born on the Inchinnan, huh? If it's not us who will have those freedoms you talked of...then maybe our daughters will. That's the important thing."

1850, on board a ship bound from Belfast to Sydney. Five young women seek to become "mistresses of their own destiny." But some find they cannot escape the nightmare of the lives they are leaving behind. As they draw nearer to the promised land, their connection to the past grows ever more powerful, eliciting rage, love, despair, and above all, hope.

In the late 1840s, men largely outnumbered women in Australia, and there were not enough people entering the labor force. At the same time, the Great Famine in Ireland had left many young women destitute, with thousands in workhouses. Amid these social crises, Earl Grey, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, arranged to kill two birds with one stone by sending "morally pure" girls aged 14-18 to Australia through the Female Orphan Emigration Scheme. All told, between 1848 and 1850, 4,114 girls voluntarily boarded 20 ships to make the four-month journey and start new lives in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. Belfast Girls imagines the stories of five young women who made the journey.

Jaki McCarrick won the 2010 Papatango Prize for New Writing for her play Leopoldville. Belfast Girls was developed at The National Theatre Studio in London in 2012 and was shortlisted for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the 2014 BBC Tony Doyle Award. Productions have been mounted in Chicago, Portland and Pittsburgh. The cast and creative team for Belfast Girls will be announced at a later date.

The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 3pm & 8pm; Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm & 8pm; Sundays at 3pm. Tickets to Belfast Girls begin at $45 and are available now to Irish Rep members. Tickets will go on sale to the public on March 8 and will be available at


In the Shadow of the Glen opens in the midst of a storm as a Tramp seeking lodging for the night finds the downtrodden young Nora Burke preparing an impromptu wake. Her layabout husband Dan has died suddenly, but not without cursing Nora that none should touch his body. Nora and the Tramp share supernatural tales and dream of what life could be, but when Nora leaves to call for the young neighbor Michael, we learn that there is more to the story. Is all as it seems?

Sarah Casey, the Beauty of Ballinacree, has aspirations to be married by a priest to the tinker Michael Byrne in The Tinker's Wedding. But his mother, the "old flagrant heathen" Mary Byrne, has other ideas. The boisterous Mary steals Sarah's hard-earned savings to spend on a pint, and the two scuffle as the wedding day dawns. When the priest can't be paid the shilling and tin can he has been promised, Sarah turns her wrath on Mary, and we begin to wonder if the pagan rituals of peasants aren't perhaps more honorable than the behavior of a corrupt priest.

Directed by Charlotte Moore, Two by Synge pairs early masterpieces by John Millington Synge, inspired by the stories he heard and witnessed while living among poor Irish peasants (at the behest of none other than WB Yeats) at the turn of the twentieth century. Synge celebrates the hardscrabble lives of country people, especially the headstrong and powerful women.

Synge began composing In The Shadow of the Glen and The Tinker's Wedding in the summer of 1902. Glen was finished first and premiered in 1903 at the Molesworth Hall in Dublin. Wedding was not completed until December 1907. It premiered at His Majesty's Theatre in London in 1909, seven months after Synge's death at 37 from Hodgkin's disease. Wedding was poorly received in its time, and did not receive a performance at The Abbey Theatre until 1971. In the subsequent years, The Abbey Theatre players toured the United States, led by Lady Gregory, and performed Glen in their repertory.

The cast of Two by Synge will include Ciaran Bowling (Les Misérables), Terry Donnelly (The O'Casey Cycle), Sean Gormley (Kingfishers Catch Fire), John Keating (The O'Casey Cycle) and Jo Kinsella (Dancing at Lughnasa).

Two by Synge will feature scenic design by Daniel Geggatt (Crackskull Row), costume design by David Toser (The O'Casey Cycle), lighting design by Michael O'Connor (A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing), and original music and sound design by Nathanael Brown (The Regime is Female). Christine Lemme (On Beckett) is the production stage manager.

The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 2:30pm & 7:30pm; Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2:30pm & 7:30pm; Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets to Two By Synge begin at $50 and are available now to Irish Rep members. Tickets will go on sale to the public on March 8 at 1pm ET and will be available at


Irish Repertory Theatre leapt into digital theatre in May of 2020 with full-length programming created during the COVID-19 shutdown. The resulting Performances on Screen include works by Brian Friel, James Joyce, Conor McPherson, Eugene O'Neill and more. After their initial public release, Irish Rep is proud to partner with Broadway on Demand to offer all productions for rent, allowing theater fans to watch (or re-watch) the productions that inspired Theatermania to call Irish Rep "the leader in streaming theater."

The Performances on Screen that are available to rent include Belfast Blues, written and performed by Geraldine Hughes; Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom starring Aedín Moloney; Give Me Your Hand with poems by Paul Durcan performed by Dermot Crowley and Dearbhla Molloy; The Aran Islands by J.M. Synge, adapted and directed by Joe O'Byrne; and Ghosting by Anne O'Riordan and Jamie Beamish.

Rentals are $25 and will be available for 48 hours from the time of check-out. Irish Rep Members are eligible for discount and complimentary rentals. Learn more at To rent an Irish Rep production, visit


IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE, co-founded by Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, is now in its 33rd season after first opening its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. 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," an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement, and the Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Body of Work," Irish Rep celebrates the very best in Irish theatre, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage.a??Nearly 50,000 audience members annually attend productions at Irish Rep's theatre located in the heart of New York's Off-Broadway community. Once here, they witness Irish Rep's engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama.


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