Well, it has certainly been a very busy few months here at the Rep. Our productions of Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs, Brian Friel’s The Home Place, and debut actor John McDonagh’s Off the Meter, On the Record all enjoyed an extended run. Jimmy Titanic, the comedic one-man show by Bernard McMullan, is currently afloat in our Studio Theatre, following a successful run of our holiday production of It’s a Wonderful Life. And The Dead, 1904 returned for its second year at the stunning American Irish Historical Society mansion. Not to mention opening and patron nights, film screenings, poetry, and music… Busy, busy, busy!
This third edition of our member newsletter will give you the inside scoop on some of these exciting goings-on behind the scenes here at the theatre. Thank you so much for being part of our Irish Rep family!
DANCING THE DISCO
On January 25th, Irish Rep hosted its patron night for Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs. After the performance, Director of Development Martha Pearson led a talkback discussion with producer Tara Finney, assistant director Nathan Markiewicz, and actors Evanna Lynch and Colin Campbell.
During the talkback, the actors shed light on how they prepare for such a physically demanding show. “We don’t need to go to the gym anymore!” Lynch joked. Before every show, the actors rehearse some of the show’s most athletic scenes and go through several physical warm ups. Markiewicz said “it’s one of the most intense physical, aerobic warm ups I’ve ever seen actors do before.”
Before this 20th anniversary revival premiered in London last July, Lynch and Campbell underwent a grueling rehearsal process. On top of having to memorize their very complex lines, the actors participated in rigorous fitness and dance classes, and had to master very frenetic choreography. Campbell noted that these demanding rehearsals helped the actors bond. “I remember the first couple of days when we were doing all that fitness,” he said. “We were sweating on top of each other, so the boundaries went pretty quickly.”
So do these actors ever get tired? Absolutely. But Lynch explained that even when they feel exhausted before a show, “as soon as you’re saying the words and doing the moves, it invigorates you. It gives you energy.”
Don’t miss your chance to see this “harrowing, exhilarating” (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) production. Disco Pigs closes on March 4.
THE MEANING OF “HOME”
What does “home” mean to the cast and characters of The Home Place? Scroll through the photos to find out!
CABBY-TURNED-ACTOR TELLS ALL
This fall, John McDonagh’s comedic whit, coupled with his unabashed New York bravado, left Irish Rep audiences in stitches. In his one-man-show, Off the Meter, On the Record, John told the true story of his 35-year career behind the wheel of a New York City taxi. During our patron night talkback, John shared even more of his hilarious and poignant New York insight with our members.
On the subject of Times Square traffic—which he avoids at all costs—John jabbed that, as a cab driver, “nothing breaks your heart more than when someone hops in and says, ‘We’re going to Radio City!'” While John’s love for his home city is unassailable, quips like this reveal that, like with any long-term relationship, nothing’s perfect. On a more somber note, John lamented about the lack of conversation between cabbies and riders. “Everybody’s on the phone. They couldn’t care less. When they get in, they give you the address, and that’s it.”
Throughout the evening, John proved that he doesn’t need a script to be funny. In fact, before coming to the Rep, John didn’t even have a script for the show—director Ciarán O’Reilly had to type one up using audio from a video recording. Sticking to a script for the first time was a challenge for the debut stage actor and caused a comedic rift between himself and Ciarán during the rehearsal process. “Any time I didn’t say a line,” John reminisced, “he’d tell me to stick to the script. I said, ‘this isn’t Shakespeare!'”
But clearly, McDonagh proved his acting chops, earning himself an extended run.
THE POWER OF POETRY
Irish poet Micheal O’Siadhail and his beloved wife, Bríd, were married for forty years. Twenty years into their marriage, Bríd was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In his collection of poetry, One Crimson Thread, O’Siadhail shares the challenging yet devotedly amorous details of his experience through a series of 152 sonnets. Reciting from the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage, the passion behind his tragic but heartfelt story revealed the true power of poetry. And Greg Harrington’s beautiful violin selections (including Bach and Philip Glass compositions) perfectly book-ended these chapters, each piece capturing the mood of the poetry.
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
Our new Marketing Director, Frances Howorth, joined the Irish Rep team in November, replacing Jessica Layman, who was an invaluable part of the Irish Rep team for over five years. Originally from Oxford, Mississippi, Frances moved to New York to attend Barnard College and fell in love with the New York arts scene. She has a Master’s Degree in Performing Arts Administration from NYU and has held positions at American Ballet Theatre, The Town Hall, and most recently Jazz at Lincoln Center. She is delighted to work on behalf of Irish Rep – if you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email, you’re already hearing from her! She says she’s grateful for the support and enthusiasm our members provide, and to keep spreading the word about Irish Rep!
THREE SMALL IRISH MASTERPIECES
Thursday, March 22 at 7pm
W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre
Post-show talkback to follow
Thursday, April 26 at 7pm
**Pre-show reception at 6pm**
Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage
Post-show talkback to follow
Patron nights are an exclusive benefit for members at the Associate Level above. Seating is limited. Want to book your tickets or become a qualifying member? Please contact Individual Giving Mangaer Samantha Riney at 212-255-0270 ex 105, or Samantha@IrishRep.org.