1916 Events:
A Transcontinental Commemoration


By Irish America Staff
February / March 2016

The program for the 2016 U.S. commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising launched in January with members of the Irish and American governments and Irish celebrities in New York City. On hand to mark the occasion was Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan, Irish Ambassador Anne Anderson, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, chair of Culture Ireland Mary McCarthy, author Colum McCann, singers Anthony Kearns and Maxine Linehan, and Liam Neeson.

“It is highly appropriate to have this launch here in New York because no other city, and no country, played a more important role in the Easter Rising and the subsequent one hundred year journey for a lasting and just peace settlement, than the United States,” Minister Flanagan said.

Over 200 commemorative events will take place across the U.S. over the year, including over 70 events in New York. The highlights will include The Bloody Irish, a musical drama set Easter week in 1916, for a potential two-week run on Broadway (April 10-24) followed by an East Cost tour, and a three-week Irish Arts Festival taking place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. from May 16 to June 5, that will feature contemporary Irish artists, actors, dancers, and singers, including actress Fiona Shaw, dancer Jean Butler, writers Colum McCann, Anne Enright, and Colm Tóibín, as well as the contemporary trad group The Gloaming.

Here is a sample of the year’s highlights. For more, visit ireland.ie/programmes.

February 28

Irish band Téada sets historical musical and song material beginning from the early 20th century to a backdrop of archival video and still images from the Rising. Yuma, AZ. Additional performances in Phoenix, AX (March 10 & 11).


March 21

The North American premiere screening of the Notre Dame-produced documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion. Chicago, IL. Additional screenings in Ann Arbor, MI (April 15); Cleveland, OH (April 7); Atlanta (April 15); Charleston, SC (April 17); Long Island City, NY (April 22); and New York, NY (September 23).


March 10 – 13

The 16th Annual Irish Film Festival of Boston will award a piece of work that best represents Irish film in the 100 years since the Rising. Short fiction and animation films highlighted. Boston, MA.



Macnas has a big rabbit.


March 12 – 17

Macnas, an internationally acclaimed Irish performance and spectacle company, will perform at the South by Southwest festival. Austin, TX.


April 15 – 17

“Easter 1916: Pittsburgh Remembers” – A three-day event featuring educational, athletic, cultural, entertainment, social and interactive sessions. Pittsburgh, PA.


April 21 – 22

“Independent Spirit: America and the 1916 Easter Rising” – A symposium at NYU featuring 20 acclaimed scholars investigating the role of Americans and of New York in the Easter Rising.

Fionnula Flanagan delivers the Proclamation at the Washington Square Arch. New York, NY.


The Plough and the Stars 2012 Abbey Theatre, Barry Ward and Kelly Campbell, Photo Credit Ros Kavanagh.

The Plough and the Stars 2012 Abbey Theatre, Barry Ward and Kelly Campbell, Photo Credit Ros Kavanagh.

June – November

The Abbey Theatre’s production of Seán O’Casey’s 1916-themed The Plough and the Stars tours the U.S. Washington, D.C.; Cambridge, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Montclair, NJ; Columbus, OH.



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