Ireland and Beyond

FROM TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT: The Director’s Cut: Irish Repertory Theatre founder/ director Ciaran O’Reilly, Broadway director Doug Hughes, Lieutenant of Inishmore director Wilson Milam, and Michael Colgan, artistic director of Dublin’s Gate Theatre. The star of Faith Healer, Ralph Fiennes applauds. Playwright Martin McDonagh and Brían F. O’Byrne share a laugh. O’Byrne has appeared in all of McDonagh’s plays. The legendary actor Milo O’Shea who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, is pictured with his wife, Kitty Sullivan (left), the director of the Irish Arts Center, Pauline Turley, and Bridin Murphy Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, is pictured with Michael Colgan, artistic director of The Gate Theatre. Brian F. O’Byrne, Michael Colgan, David Wilmot, Ralph Fiennes and Consul General Tim O’Connor. Actor and author Malachy McCourt who is running as the Green Party candidate for New York governor. Ralph Fiennes and Consul General Tim O’Connor Irish actor David Wilmot who made his first Broadway appearance in Lieutenant of Inishmore and received a Tony nomination for Best Actor.

By Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief
August / September 2006

Irish Tony Award Nominees Celebrate

Brían F. O’Byrne summed it up when he said, “It’s beyond Irish.” O’Byrne who is currently starring in Shining City, was speaking at a reception hosted by New York Consul General Tim O’Connor on June 9. The event celebrated the Tony nominees from three Irish plays currently on Broadway (Faith Healer, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and Shining City).

Those in attendance included playwright Martin McDonagh, the author of Lieutenant of Inishmore; Ralph Fiennes, currently starring in Brian Friel’s Faith Healer; and O’Byrne, who won a Tony in 2004 for Frozen, and received a nomination last year for Doubt.

O’Byrne noted that the current crop of Irish plays on Broadway had but a few actors from Ireland and in that sense the culture has gone beyond the island.

He credited Tim O’Connor with bringing everyone together, and noted the importance of such gatherings in focusing attention on the needs of the community. “Plays come and go on Broadway, but the Irish Repertory Theatre, which produces great theater year round, is raising funds to buy its building on 22nd Street,” he said, urging those in attendance to get involved in the effort.

Since taking over as consul general, O’Connor has worked hard at bringing the multifaceted and diffuse Irish community in New York together. Within days of each other in June, he hosted receptions for Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, opposition leader Enda Kenny, and pianist John O’Conner, who is embarking on a U.S. tour with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in October. ♦

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