Ciaran O'Reilly
(© Carol Rosegg)
Ciaran O'Reilly
(© Carol Rosegg)
Programming has been announced for the fifth annual 1st Irish, dedicated to Irish playwrights, which will run September 3-October 1. The month-long theater festival is coordinated by the New York-based Origin Theatre Company, with mainstage shows presented at the Irish Rep, 59E59 Theaters, Irish Arts Center, The Cell and The Drilling Company.

This year's festival features plays and musicals by 11 contemporary Irish playwrights (plus Eugene O'Neill), in productions from Belfast, Dublin, Boston and New York.

American productions include the world premiere musical Hard Times, written by Black 47 frontman Larry Kirwan (The Cell, September 12-29); the current revival of New Girl in Town, the 1957 Broadway musical based on Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie (Irish Rep, through September 14); the world premiere of Laoisa Sexton's For Love, about three women navigating the choppy waters of Dublin nightlife (Drilling Co., September 25-30); Tir Na Theatre Co.'s New York premiere of Bernard McMullan's Jimmy Titanic, featuring Colin Hamell (Drilling Co., September 26-30); Fat Violet's production of Ronan Noone's Brendan, directed by David Sullivan (Drilling Co., September 26 -30); Jimmy Kerr's dark comedy House Strictly Private, presented by Double Decker Productions (Drilling Co.,September 26- 30).

Shows coming from Ireland include the U.S. premiere of writer/performer Pat Kinevane's Silent (Irish Arts Center, September 6-23); the U.S. premiere of Marie Jones' comedy Fly Me to the Moon (59E59 Theaters, September 5 to 30); and the U.S. premiere of Auditions, Zoe's Auditions, Part 2 written and performed by Suzanna Geraghty (Drilling Co., September 5-22).

Panel events will include "Celtic Cross Over: The Impact of Celtic Nations on New York from Broadway to Wall St.," exploring the interplay of the arts and business in the often symbiotic between Ireland and America(Bruno Walter Auditorium, 111 Amsterdam Avenue, September 18, 6:30pm) and "Damn Yeats, We'll Write Our Own Plays" a guided conversation featuring festival artists about the unique perspectives, traditions and characters of Northern Ireland's theatre scene (NYU's Glucksman Ireland House, 1September 6 at 7pm).

Other 1st Irish programming includes 1st Irish on Film (September 7 and 21, both at 7:30pm), a new series that explores the challenges of adapting plays to film. Hosted by the New York Irish Center in Long Island City, in association with The Irish Rep, 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.

There will also be a reading by Tony Macaulay from his best-selling memoir Paperboy (W.B. Yeats Society at The National Arts Club on September 17 at 6pm) and a one-night only staging of Garrett Keough's Setanta Murphy (American Irish Historical Society, September 11 at 7pm).

Click here for more information on 1st Irish.