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14th Annual 1st Irish Festival: Irish History, Fantasy, & Reality on Stage

Encompassing Irish theater and cinema, the 1st Irish Festival runs January 9th to the 31st, 2022. The festival is put on by the Origin Theatre Company, which promotes European theater in New York. The festival is held online as well as at the Irish Arts Center (726 11th Ave, New York, NY 10019) and other locations.

Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Enquiry is a reading of a play based on direct testimony, marking the 50th anniversary of this seismic turning point in the history of Northern Ireland.  Rising, a film by Fallen Angel Theatre’s Aedín Moloney, was shot during COVID and contemplates the question, “what does rising from the dark into the light mean to you right now?” 

Boann and the Well of Wisdom is a more modern spin on an Irish myth as a young girl contemplates what to do with her family’s pub she stands to inherit. In A Bolt from D’Blue (in his New York acting debut) at 1st Irish, David Gilna recounts his electrifying story of being hit by lightning on a beautiful sunny day in Boston. Performed at the Irish Rep, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, based on Eimear McBride’s highly acclaimed novel, stars Jenn Murray following the inner narrative of a girl from birth to the age of 20, as she navigates the crushing Catholicism and hardship of her childhood with astonishing intelligence.

For those looking to mingle but unable to come to the theater, there’s  Origin's 2nd, "1st Irish" Zoom mixer. An opportunity to connect with artists from Newry to New York. This free event will take a look at "Working from Home". It is hosted by Vivant Global Talent Development manager Christine McKenna-Tirella & AboutFace Ireland Co-Artistic Director Anna Nugent.

To learn more, go to:

1st Irish Festival
January 9 - 31, 2022

Various Locations & Online

Fall Forward Fest from Vineyard Theatre Takes Arts Online & In Person


The Vineyard Theatre (108 E 15th St, New York, NY 10003) has commissioned a slate of in person and streaming events as part of their Fall Forward Festival. Running October through December, 2021, the festival features a mix of live-in person, live virtual, filmed, and audio performances, some fully realized and some in process.

Aunt Lillian, written by Kirsten Childs and directed by Awoye Timpo is an audio musical available online until December 31 and delves into a story from Childs’ own life. When Aunt Lillian travels from North Carolina to Los Angeles to help care for Kirsten and her siblings, a battle of wills begins.

Maybe Dorothy Was Right, a short film from playwright and actress Ngozi Anyanwu (GOOD GRIEF), and director Alfonso Johnson features Ngozi as she  takes us to the neighborhoods and theatres that have been part of her NYC journey. This film is available to view on the Vineyard website until December 31, 2021.

56 Flowers, written by Obie Award-winning composer Polly Pen and directed by Dustin Wills is a new musical, about a receptionist at a small animal hospital who finds herself drawn to the story of Carrie Jacobs-Bond, a relentlessly cheerful yet obstacle-prone early 20th century composer, whose heart-filled songs brought her fame and fortune. Performances are on October 24th and 25th.

In December, Madeline Sayet will put on a live, in person reading of The Fish, a new full-length play following two Mohegan-Jewish siblings on a search to find out what their ancestors never meant for them to know.

 To learn more, go to:

The Vineyard Theatre
108 E 15th St.
New York, NY 10003


Content Hub ALL ARTS Launches A New Multi-Cultural Initiative This September

Enda Walsh

ALL ARTS, the New York-based Emmy-winning arts and culture hub, has just launched The First Twenty — a timely and topical content initiative. In doing so, it has announced its initial fall lineup featuring three original specials.

Launched in May on ALL ARTS with “Michael Mwenso Honors George Floyd” (now streaming), it is a powerful concert homage featuring some of today’s greatest Black artists, on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s killing.

Created by The WNET Group, parent company of New York’s PBS stations, ALL ARTS is breaking new ground as the premier destination for inspiring creativity and art of all forms. Aiming to be accessible to viewers everywhere, ALL ARTS’ Webby-nominated programming — from digital shorts to feature films — is available online nationwide.
The First Twenty is curated by ALL ARTS Artistic Director James King. By inviting artists from traditionally underserved communities to create culturally-relevant content, the new effort works to break down barriers and make the arts more accessible to those communities – as well as bringing their cultures, perspectives and voices to a broader society. Uncovering the ways that the first two decades of this century have impacted American art, culture and the collective consciousness, ALL ARTS premieres these three original specials this fall.

Each of these specials, created by a trio of diverse artists, illuminate how their unique cultures – Irish American, Native American and Asian American – have been affected by the first two decades of the 21st century. The other two are “Ma’s House” from Native American visual artist Jeremy Dennis and “20 Years of Asian American Playwriting” from Ralph Peña and the Ma-Yi Theater Company.

In association with Irish Arts Center’s Programming and Education Director Rachael Gilkey, the first program is titled “The First Twenty: Afterwards," a short work created by noted Irish writer Enda Walsh (“Disco Pigs,” “Once,” “Hunger.” “Lazarus” with David Bowie, “Sing Street”) in partnership with the Irish Arts Center. Having premiered on September 7th, 2021, the compelling monologue — an emotional look at how we absorb our past and how the past is a part of us — is performed by veteran actor Sarah Street (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit).

The second is an exploration of the evolution of Native American art from photographer and Shinnecock Indian Nation member Jeremy Dennis, debuts on October 11 in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In this verité short doc, he discusses the evolution of Native American art and building Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio, an artist retreat and communal art space on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, N.Y., that will provide a safe space for free creativity and healing.

The third —The First Twenty: 20 Years of Asian American Playwriting — is a revealing documentary from Ralph Peña and the Ma-Yi Theater Company featuring interviews with Tony winner David Henry Hwang and playwright, director and filmmaker Young Jean Lee. This 30-minute documentary film — which premieres in November — showcases the evolution of the Asian American playwright over the last 20 years. It takes a close look at the shift in how Asian American plays are broadly perceived, as well as the widening scope of subjects tackled by Asian American writers that move far beyond identity politics.

All three specials will stream nationwide on the ALL ARTS app and, and premiere in the New York Metro area on the ALL ARTS TV channel (channel lineup). The free ALL ARTS app is available on all major streaming platforms and @AllArtsTV on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. New York area TV viewers can also watch the 24/7 broadcast channel.

For all ways to watch, visit

26th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

Theater for the New City presents the return of the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. Running May 28 to the 30th, the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts takes place at 155 1st Avenue, New York witha return to live in person performances (with Covid protection protocols in place). Now in its 26th year, the festival encompases film, comedy, music puppetry, plays, musicals cabaret, children’s programs and more as over 180 artists take part in the three day event.

The festival schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, May 28: Inside Performances 6PM - 11PM
  • Saturday, May 29: Outside Festival 1PM- 5PM; Inside Film Festival 12PM - 6PM; Inside Performances 6PM - 11PM
  • Sunday, May 30: Inside Poetry Readings 4PM - 7PM; Inside Performances 6PM - 11PM

Special guests appearing will include: James Rado (composer of Hair), Penny Arcade, Phoebe Legere, Vinie Burrows, and Reno. David Amram, Art Lillard, Mister Pablo, and Rob Varcony/Star 69 will head the list of 36 musical acts. There will be over 25 works of theater, 30 mixed-performance events, and 11 modern dance events. Eleven films, curated by Eva

To learn more, go to:

26th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts
May 29 - 30, 2021

Theater for the New City
155 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003

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