YIDDISH "WAITING FOR GODOT" AND YOUTHFUL "BOYS AND GIRLS" SET THE TONE
Two audacious productions — one from the U.S. and one from Ireland — are the first to blast out of the gate this week, as the seventh annual edition of Origin’s 1st Irish gets underway today, Wednesday. The recent Dublin Theatre Festival sell-out "Boys & Girls" takes up residence at 59E59 Theaters starting tonight. Murmur Productions’ U.S. premiere of Dylan Coburn Gray’s hilarious spoken-word play paints the Dublin nightscape in pyrotechnic verse through September 28.
And at the Barrow Street Theatre beginning tomorrow, Samuel Beckett gets a fresh start as New Yiddish Rep renders his
seminal absurdist masterwork "Waiting for Godot" in Yiddish for the first time. The critically acclaimed production, with a translation by Shane Baker, returns to New York for 12 performances only through September 21.
In all six Mainstage productions, two Next Generation Series shows, and one multimedia site-specific production — a total of nine shows — will be vie for the tourney’s jury-voted awards honoring the outstanding performances and productions.
This year’s blue-ribbon panel of judges includes Jonathan Bank (Mint Theater’s artistic director), the casting director Stephanie Klapper, the Fox News senior producer Marvin Himelfarb, and TheaterMania.com managing editor Andy Lefkowitz. The Festival’s Closing Night Awards Ceremony is on Monday September 29 at a location to be announced.
Curated and coordinated by the New York-based Origin Theatre Company, the 2014 edition of Origin’s 1st Irish features plays and productions in a stimulating array of styles from Belfast, Dublin, Los Angeles and New York. The world’s only theatre festival dedicated to Irish playwrights, Origin’s 1st Irish takes place in a number of New York venues; the Mainstage shows will be presented at the Barrow Street Theatre, 59E59 Theaters, The Irish Rep at DR2 Theatre, The Cell, and the Times Square Arts Center. (For tickets and schedule visit www.1stIrish.org)
Next week’s openings include: 1/ "Man in the Moon," starting September 10, Pearse Elliott’s darkly uplifting comedy about suicide in Northern Ireland. Courtesy of West Belfast’s Brassneck Theatre the U.S. premiere stars Ciaran Nolan in a tour de force performance cracking with Belfast sarcasm. 2/ Also starting September 10 the world premiere of "Docks, Jocks and Socks," by and featuring the acclaimed Dublin playwright Anto Nolan, directed by Laurence Lowry. 3/ Starting September 11, the cell presents "The McGowan Trilogy," a new drama by Seamus Scanlon that tells the complicated story of an Irish revolutionary. Directed by Kira Simring, 16 performances through October 5.
In addition to these diverse shows, the 2014 Festival includes music, comedy, and film, all of which add new perspective on the theatrical medium.
Origin’s 1st Irish, the only festival of its kind to focus on the work of contemporary Irish playwrights, is the city’s only all-Irish theatre festival. (NB The Irish-born Samuel Beckett, who died in 1989, is being granted a waiver this year.) Throughout the year, Origin, under the artistic direction of George C. Heslin, produces the New York and American premieres of plays by emerging European playwrights. For festival information visit www.1stIrish.org