Co-Founder of Portland Theatre Killed in Car Crash Before Christmas; Husband Also Injured | Playbill

News Co-Founder of Portland Theatre Killed in Car Crash Before Christmas; Husband Also Injured Susan Reilly, a Portland-area actor and co-founder of Portland's American Irish Repertory Ensemble, was killed Dec. 23 in a car collision in Charlton, MA, according to the Portland Press Herald. She was 64.

Her husband, Anthony Reilly, 60, a fellow actor and co-founder of AIRE, was severely injured in the crash and was placed into an induced coma to help him recover. He was driving their car when the crash occurred.

The Herald reports that Anthony has lost one and possibly both of his legs, according to friends of the family.

"They've just been great friends and great cohorts," Anita Stewart, executive and artistic director of Portland Stage Company, told the Herald. "The entire theatre community is just reeling."

According to the Associated Press, Massachusetts State Police said the multi-vehicle crash happened on the Massachusetts Turnpike at about 1:40 PM in the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 in Charlton.

Police said that as traffic was slowing to a stop, three vehicles in the right lane, a tractor-trailer, an SUV and the car Tony Reilly was driving, crashed. A second tractor-trailer from the middle lane then struck the car the couple was in. After Susan Reilly was freed from the vehicle, she was taken to a Worcester hospital and pronounced dead. The couple was driving to New York to spend Christmas at the home of Susan Reilly's sister.

The Reillys had no children, but their large, extended family includes "a lot of nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters." The couple moved to Maine from New York in 2003 to found AIRE, which completed its 10th season last spring.

The theatre company has yet to issue a statement on its official website or Facebook page and has not yet responded to's request for comment.


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