In June of 2020, we pledged to listen, to learn, and to support; we, our staff, and our board will continue to do this separately and together. We are exploring the deep and painful history of violence and injustice against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in America and in Ireland, and we see how institutionalized racism has permeated our own practices.
As we reopen, we want to acknowledge the work we have done in the past year, but also the long road ahead of us as we focus on reopening and bringing new work to our stage. As an Irish institution, we acknowledge the particular responsibility we hold in the telling of anti-racist stories, both through the many intersections of Irish- and African-American history – tragic and joyful – and the history of Irish theatre itself. Irish theatre historically was developed as a tool of revolution – an artistic call to arms from the voices of the oppressed.
To further our pledge to commit ourselves not just to the stories of our past, but to the intent behind them of fostering equity, understanding, and power for all, we are excited to announce a new development program that will allow us to discover work by new Irish and Irish-American artists. This program will include a mix of staged readings and workshops from new voices that fulfill Irish Rep’s mission and feature diverse casts and creative teams. These readings will provide opportunities for playwrights to further develop their work and enable us to discover new plays and musicals for future production.
“We are committed to this journey and believe this is the best path to showcase the incredible new work being created by Irish and Irish-American playwrights. At the same time, we must continue to focus on change and equity on our stages and behind the scenes. We’ve spent 18 months evaluating all aspects of our organization, and while there is always more work to be done, we are confident this new play-development program will be a good next step. We are eager to work with young artists to develop exciting new work. As we continue to broaden our understanding of what it is to be Irish, you will see more diversity in our casts, creative teams, staff, and playwrights., We are proud to announce the launch of our new play development program, and we hope you will join us for the opening week featuring a new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband on September 27.” – Charlotte Moore and Ciarán O’Reilly
We are also proud to partner with Ace Pictures and Irish Folklore Tours to create Only Connect. This feature-length performance/documentary is Mick Moloney and Lenwood Sloan’s story and was inspired by their great show Two Roads Diverged: Irish & African American Common Grounds through Music, Dance, & Humor. Together, from very different perspectives, they reveal the hidden history, and parts of our national narrative that most people know little about. This production will be available from Irish Repertory Theatre’s streaming platform in March 2022 followed by worldwide distribution.
We look forward to announcing more productions as part of our New Play Development Program soon, including how to attend workshops and readings. For the most up-to-date information, please continue to visit this page.