How It’s New York:  Origin Theatre Company, run by George C. Heslin, produces the 1st Irish Festival every year in NYC– the first festival of Irish theatre in America.  I wrote about its 2008 debut for the New York Times.  The series exists in partnership with NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House.  George was also Irish Examiner (USA)’s Man of the Year; I interviewed him  in Limerick shortly after the Dublin Theatre Festival.
How It’s Irish:  Some of the plays in the reading series are Irish, some aren’t, but Ireland, after all, is part of Europe, and Origin is run by Limerick-man George C. Heslin.  And the plays often feature some of the best Irish talent in New York.
Origin’s mission is to present the premieres European plays in New York–not only Irish (that’s the purview of the 1st Irish Festival that it runs).  The show Origin has in full production right now is Ivan and the Dogs by Hattie Naylor.  Naylor is English, and the show is set in Russia.  I haven’t seen it yet, hope to soon and post my review here!
Tonight there are TWO events– one is a reading of a screenplay that George is directing, not  an Origin project.  That will be at Irish Repertory Theatre, and one of my favorite actors, Tom C. O’Leary, whom I first met in Prague in the 90s, is in it.    The Hidden Wake by Bernard McMullan tells of a US Gaelic Football team that “risks everything to travel to Ireland for the game of their lives.”  The reading is at 7 and is free, but Origin asks that you RSVP (for the other readings as well) by calling (212) 253-8300.
 There are two more readings in the Mondays in May series:  tonight’s, Bal Trap, by French playwright Xavier Durringer (American premiere), directed by Liza Milinazaao, translated by the Institut Francais London’s resident ensemble, about characters in a small French village.  He’s “France’s answer to Kane and Ravenhill,” according to the NYU site.  Glucksman Ireland House is at 1 Washington Mews, near Washington Square.  It’s a little hard to find unless you know:  best entrance is on Fifth Avenue bet 8th St and Washington Square North, a few doors north of the Arch.  The wonderful Blarney Star Concert Series take place there too, so you want to know how to get to Glucksman Ireland House!
Monday, the 23rd– the final Monday in May reading– is a one-woman show, H to He, by Claire Dowle.  Directed by Jo Cathell, it stars Fiona Walsh, comedienne/actress who often performs in Irish Arts Center’s Sundays at Seven (the next one is June 12).  A comic take on Kafka’s Metamorphosis, it’s about a businesswoman who wakes up one day to discover she has turned into a man.
Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.