Fionnula flanagan rsz

1st Irish schedule packed with special events

Fionnula Flanagan, who is starring on Broadway in “The Ferryman,” will participate in a panel discussion on Monday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m. as part of the 2019 Origin’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival. SAM BOAL/ROLLING NEWS.IE

By Irish Echo Staff

A celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a documentary about the 25-year history of the Cork City Ballet and a panel discussion with “The Ferryman” stars Fionnula Flanagan and Dearbhla Molloy will be among the “special events” at Origin’s 11th Annual 1st Irish Theatre Festival, which begins in New York City on next Wednesday, Jan. 9.

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The first two special events will both take place on Thursday, Jan. 17, beginning at 7 p.m. and both are free admission. At the American Irish Historical Society (991 Fifth Ave.), the Lyric Theatre of Belfast, in a new partnership with Origin Theatre Company aimed at building a new cultural bridge between New York and Northern Ireland, presents “Vital Voices.” This year, it features “Frances Brown – In My Mind’s Eye” by Shirley-Anne Bonner, read by a group of New York-based actors.

At Glucksman Ireland House NYU (1 Washington Mews), Origin hosts “Welcome to New York, Emer Martin!” in which author Emer Martin reads from her latest novel, “The Cruelty Men.”

On the following night, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. (venue to be announced), Origin presents for the third year “Scór on Broadway,” a cross-over event in which members of New York’s Irish community of all ages and backgrounds come together to showcase and celebrate their performance skills.

The theatre will be dark the next Monday, which will give Flanagan and Molloy, starring in the Broadway hit “The Ferryman,” the chance to discuss “Irish Women Lighting Up Broadway” with Geraldine Hughes from “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.” It will be moderated at the American Irish Historical Society at 1 p.m. by the TV and print theatre journalist Patrick Pacheco.

Two special events are listed for the following night, Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. At the Irish Arts Center (553 West 51st St.) the Irish American Writers & Artists will stage a “Martin Luther King Celebration,” an artistic tribute to the life, memory and international legacy of Dr. King. Meanwhile, at Scandinavia House (58 Park Ave.) Cork City Ballet presents a special screening of “Breaking Pointe,” Alan Foley’s documentary celebration of the company and a look at how its policy of engaging dancers from international companies has impacted Cork.

A.R.T. Studios (520 Eighth Ave., at 36th Street) is the venue on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 3:30 p.m., for “Listen to Your Irish Dreams,” an interactive workshop conducted by intuitive healer and shamanic practitioner Jacques Burgering. Participants will be “encouraged to listen to the drum, to the air, to the earth breathing and to stars crossing the sky.”

The festival’s six mainstage events are: John Breen’s drama “Alone It Stands,” at 59E59 Theatres, 59 East 59th St., from Jan 10 through 27; the Dublin-based Fishamble’s production of Sebastian Barry’s “On Blueberry Hill,” 59E59 Theatres, from Jan 8 through Feb 3; Dublin’s Gúna Nua presentation of “The Morning After the Life Before” by Ann Blake, at the Cell, 338 West 23rd St., from Jan. 20 to 27; Derry’s Sole Purpose Theatre Company production of Patricia Byrne’s “Blinkered” at the NY Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Ave., in Long Island City, from Jan. 21 to 26; also at the Cell – from Jan. 14-21, the New York-based Fat Violet Theater presents “The Smuggler,” by Galway-born Ronan Noone; Derek Murphy’s new comedy, “Inside Danny’s Box,” at the Cell from Jan 14 to 27.

In 2015, the New York Times called Origin’s 1st Irish “an important event that offers New York theatergoers the chance to see fascinating new work.” As part of that new work, this year’s Breaking Ground Series will showcase six New York-based Irish writers’ responses to the theme of migration at A.R.T. Studios on Sunday, Jan. 13, at 4 p.m.

This year’s Origin’s 1st Irish culminates in a closing-night ceremony on Monday, Jan. 28, at Rosie O’Grady’s Manhattan Club, (800 Seventh Ave.), at which the Best of Festival Awards, chosen by a panel of judges, will be handed out.

For tickets and more details about the festival schedule, visit Origin's website here.