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1st Irish Theatre Festival 2012

hard time first irishAh, Irish theater; a proud tradition of strife, nihilism, and eloquence.  A tradition that is being upheld by the 1st Irish theatre festival. Now in its fifth year, 1st Irish, will be happening September 3 to October 1, 2012 (Irish Rep, 59E59 Theaters, the Irish Arts Center, The Cell, and The Drilling Company).

Organized by Origin Theatre Company (who are now celebrating their tenth anniversary) 1st Irish features plays and musicals by 11 contemporary Irish playwrights in productions from Belfast, Dublin, Boston and New York.

Supporting the Festival is Origin’s newest honorary patron, the actor Brendan Coyle (John Bates in Downton Abbey), who joined the company in May, and who, during the Festival, will announce an upcoming 1st Irish project in New York.

 Productions include:

  • Hard Times
  • New Girl in Town (revival)
  • For Love (world premiere)
  • Jimmy Titanic
  • Brendan

There will also be a series of panel discussions, such as Celtic Cross Over: The Impact of Celtic Nations on New York from Broadway to Wall St., studying the role of Celtic people in the formation of New York as both a theatre hub and a city, and Damn Yeats, We’ll Write Our Own Plays, an examination of the evolution of Northern Irish theatre.

The festival includes 1st Irish on Film -- From Stage to Screen, a new series that explores the challenges of adapting plays to film.  The special event features the Irish Rep’s award-wining Ciaran O’Reilly, who performs solo excerpts from Brian Friel’s Dancing At Lughnasa before introducing a screening of the 1998 film version starring Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon. 

1st Irish continues the revered tradition of Irish theatre and brings some fresh acts and writers to New York.

To learn more, go to

1st Irish: A Festival of Irish Theatre
September 3 – October 1, 2012

Irish Repertory Theatre
132 West 22nd Street #2
New York, NY 10011

59E59 Theaters
Chelsea Piers, Pier 59
New York, NY 10011

Irish Arts Center
553 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

The Cell Theatre
338 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

The Drilling Company
236 W 78th St
New York, NY 10024

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