The Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival celebrated the close of another year with its 12th annual award ceremony February 3. Among the evening's winners were Seanie Sugrue’s world-premiere play The 8th, Irish Repertory Theatre's production of London Assurance, and playwright Honor Molloy, who was the recipient of the Best Playwright honor for Round Room, a piece about childbirth in the wards of Dublin’s infamous Rotunda Hospital.
The 8th, a new comedy-drama about a family’s tensions around the 2018 repeal of Ireland's 8th Amendment outlawing abortion, is written and directed by Sugrue and played a limited run at The Secret Theater in Long Island City. The play was nominated for seven Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival Awards, winning Best Production.
The most awards of the night went to the Irish Rep production of Dion Boucicault‘s high-spirited farce London Assurance, which continues its extended Off-Broadway run through February 9. The production won for direction by Charlotte Moore, for acting by Rachel Pickup, and for Best Design.
The other acting award was offered to Ciaran O’Brien, who co-starred with Eva O’Connor in the American premiere of O'Connor's Maz and Bricks at 59E59 Theaters. The play, which was imported from Dublin by Fishamble: The New Play Company, ended its four-week run February 2.
The Festival’s Special Jury Prize went to The Scourge’s Michelle Dooley Mahon. The American premiere of her solo play, produced by the Wexford Arts Centre in partnership with Irish Rep, was directed by Ben Barnes and wrapped up performances February 2.
The Bairbre Dowling Spirit of the Festival Award, given by the Origin Theatre Company’s board of directors to a standout participant in the Festival, was given to Sarah-Jane Scott, the actor and writer of Appropriate. Dublin’s Gúna Nua brought the comedy to the New York Irish Center in Long Island City for a week of performances.
Origin 1st is an annual month-long festival showcasing productions from both Ireland and New York across multiple venues. This year’s Festival jury included Cynthia Darlow, Harry Haun, Kate Kennon, and Sadhbh Walshe.