Irish playwright Friel passed away Oct. 2 at age 86. He wrote 24 published plays, including the Broadway productions Philadelphia, Here I Come; The Loves of Cass McGuire; Lovers; The Mundy Scheme; The Freedom of the City; Faith Healer; Translations; Dancing at Lughnasa; and Wonderful Tennessee. In addition to plays, he wrote short stories, screenplays and adaptations.
Irish Rep, a company that has staged several of his plays Off-Broadway, will honor Friel's life and legacy through a memorial celebration next month that is free and open to the public. The event, taking place at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre at 4 PM, will feature remembrances and readings from colleagues and friends Gabriel Byrne, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Barry Grove, Gregory Harrington, Doug Hughes, Todd Haimes, Geraldine Hughes, Barbara Jones, John Keating, Emily Mann, Lynne Meadow, Charlotte Moore, Paul Muldoon, Ciarán O'Reilly, Bill Whelan and more.
The theatre's artistic director, Charlotte Moore, said in a press statement, "Brian Friel was our hero. He was as generous as he was gifted and gave our company life and breath and golden words."
Meadow, who is the artistic director of MTC, also added: "Brian Friel, one of the great playwrights of the modern age, brought 20th century Ireland onto world stages, finding in Irish culture aspirations and experiences common to all mankind. I knew when I first read Translations in 1981 that it was the work of a genius...Brian was one of the great humanists and artists of our time who will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him." RSVP to the Irish Rep event is mandatory and can be made by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.