The drama about a heroin addict's unlikely friendship with a reclusive farmer featured Sorcha Fox, who won Best Actress. Jo Mangan was named Best Director.
A Night With George, a comedy from Belfast, won the award for Best Play, in online voting. The award for Best Play was presented by the actor Gabriel Byrne, Ireland's cultural ambassador.
1st Irish 2011, "the first and only festival in the world dedicated to Irish playwrights," presented the work of 18 contemporary Irish playwrights, of which eight had full productions. Of the eight, four were from America and four were from Ireland, with six American premieres and one New York premiere.
New York's Origin Theatre Company (George C. Heslin artistic director) hosts and coordinates 1st Irish, which began on Sept. 5 and took place at venues across the city.
Darren Healy, who starred in the American premiere of Noah and the Tower Flower, by Dublin-based Fishamble, won the award for Best Actor. The award for top Production Design went to the designers of Mabou Mines' Lucia's Chapter's of Coming Forth by Day — Jim Clayburgh (set), Julie Archer (projections) and Carter Burwell (music). The festival's jury of five writers and theatre professionals added a new category this year, Best Ensemble, to recognize the achievements of the cast of Dublin by Lamplight. The commedia del arte-inspired vaudeville concoction came to New York from Inis Nua Theatre in Philadelphia. The Special Jury Prize for a unique contribution to the Festival went to Cirque de Légume, the "vegetable circus" from Sligo.
Mint Theater's acclaimed Temporal Powers had the most nominations of any show in the festival, but did not win an award. Its run plays to Oct. 9.
Serving on the 1st Irish 2011 jury were Jacqueline Davis, the executive director of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; Playbill's Harry Haun; film and theatre critic and historian Bernard Carragher; the Irish theatre columnist Kate Kennon; and Sean Noonan, an executive at Mutual of America, where he serves as liaison to New York’s professional theatre. The Awards Ceremony was coordinated by Ciaran Grant.
For festival information and to learn more about the productions, visit www.1stIrish.org.