|Origin Theatre Kicks Off 19th SEASON This Month|
|Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:38 am EDT 09/13/21|
|ORIGIN THEATRE LAUNCHES 2021-22 SEASON WITH NEW-PLAY READING SERIES BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 19
4 NEW PLAYS FROM EUROPE WILL BE SEEN IN STAGED READINGS. SERIES CONTINUES OCT 24, NOV 17, AND DEC TBD
(September 13, 2021) Origin Theatre Company, which introduces impactful new plays from Europe to New York audiences, kicks off its 19th consecutive season with a monthly new-play reading series beginning this month.
The first in the series running through December is Irish playwright David Gilna's "My Bedsit Window," which will be presented outdoors in a unique staging along James Cagney Way (East 91st Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues) on Sunday September 19 at 3pm. Directed by Michael Mellamphy, with incidental music by Sean O'Neil, the play about a young actor's knack for traveling farther than his feet can take him, features a cast that includes Alan Kelly, Sarah Ryan and Omari Soulfinger. The free event, taking place along the pedestrianized (and tree-lined) James Cagney Way, is presented in association with the "City Canvas" arts initiative of Community Board 8 which is charged with bringing publically accessible art to the district. "My Bedsit Window" received its first US exposure in a reading produced by Origin for the truncated 2021 European Month of Culture this past May. When it premiered in Ireland, The Sunday Independent called it "surreal, kaleidoscopic and bursting with energy."
"We are starting this new season with a commitment to developing new theatre," says Mellamphy, who was appointed Origin's new artistic director in April. "And we will not be shy about how we stage our work, and how we partner to make things happen in innovative new ways."
An actor, producer and former Upper East Side business owner, Mellamphy co-curated (with the actor Sarah Street) an all-virtual 13th annual Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival in January, which, despite the handicaps of the pandemic, reached a significantly expanded international audience. "We will continue to locally produce the American premieres of new voices from Europe, who otherwise would not be seen in New York. Every stage of the process, from development to production, is important."
The other announced plays in the series are "Made by God" by Irish Ciara Ni Churic , to be directed by Olivia Songer (October 24); and "A Kid Like Rishi," a morally intense docu-play about racial profiling in the Netherlands by Dutch playwright Kees Roorda, directed by Erwin Maas (November 17). "Made by God," a play that focuses on Ireland's recent epic referendum to overturn the 8th Amendment outlawing abortion, will be performed at Ryan's Daughter. Based on a true story, the critically acclaimed and explosively relevant "A Kid Like Rishi" was first seen in the US in a reading that was part of Origin's first European Month of Culture in 2018. (Location TBD.)
The casts for these two plays (as well as the to-be-determined fourth play in December) will be announced soon.
"Our 19th season, like our 18th that ended June, will take shape gradually," says Mellamphy, who promises to announce, in the coming weeks, a hybrid in-person-and-virtual 2022 Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival, and a mostly in-person European Month of Culture in May of 2022, and a Mainstage production in the spring. Adds Mellamphy: "Our goal is to develop these plays with casts and directors who can nurture the projects with us so that we can ultimately produce them as Mainstage productions for their US premieres." Another season fixture, the newly renamed "Bloomsday Revel," celebrating James Joyce's modernist cornerstone "Ulysses," will also continue as part of Origin's 2021-22 season.
Mellamphy took over the reins of Origin Theatre Company from George C. Heslin who founded the company in New York in 2002. Heslin became the new Executive Director of the New York Irish Center in October 2020. For more info visit www.origintheatre.org
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