Irish American Writers & Artists

January 28, 2015

1/20/15 IAW&A Salon at the Cell: Theatre Artists, A Film from Dublin, Prose, Poetry, & Song!

Filed under: Essay,Film,Literature,Music — by scripts2013 @ 2:48 am

by Mary Lannon
Photos by Cat Dwyer

Tuesday night’s salon at the Cell drew an unusually large number of theater artists along with a film maker, a comedian, a singer and several writers to the latest edition of the always lively bimonthly Irish Writers and Artists event.

pat

Pat Fenton

Playwright Pat Fenton led off the evening with part of his play called Jack’s Last Call Say Goodbye to Kerouac.  It’s Jack Kerouac’s last night in Northport, Long Island, the eve of a dreaded move to St Petersburg, Florida with his mother. He spends this last night drinking and thinking back to all his young years out on the road and the America he saw then. And he realizes that it’s slowly vanishing. The play has been at the Boston Playwright’s Theater and in Jack Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell and Pat hopes to bring it to New York.

jsck-nancy
Jack Dimonte and Nancy Oda in Sheila Walsh’s, “Books”

Playwright Sheila Walsh’s ten-minute play “Books” featured IAW&A members and actors Nancy Oda, Jack DiMonte and Sarah Fearon. The drama takes place in December 1941 in Paris; a German Officer approaches Sylvia Beach and demands her only copy of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.  

patrick Patrick Ssenjovu

Actor Patrick Ssenjovu amazed the crowd, performing a work-in-progress about a South African painter of flowers on rocks, called The Young Wanderer.

jones cast Christy Jones and Cast

Christy Jones presented the first reading of a new work with four actresses (two recruited on the spot) a piece to illustrate the tremendous will and faith it takes for someone who has been sheltered from the world, to go forth and create a whole new world for themselves.  Christy wishes to thank Ryan, Samantha, Cailin and  a young actress he never got a chance to thank.

dj D J Sharp

Actor D J Sharp gave a chilling depiction of Tennessee Williams during the last three days of his life.

nancy Nancy Oda

Nancy Oda gave her second performance of the night in a monologue called “Have I Got a Story” written by Tom Mahon from his collection:  Tomorrow Never Came. The main character, a young woman, has moved with her husband and baby to NYC from West Texas. An elderly ballerina’s obsession with the couple’s baby is the central focus of the strange story the main character tells, ending the monologue with the line, “Is that some story?”

tom Tom Mahon

sarah Sarah Fearon

Actor and comedian Sarah Fearon also returned a second time to the stage to do a set of her comedy. She asks members to pencil in the date of April 12 at the Irish Arts Center where she will be performing on the bill of IAC’s Sunday’s at Seven monthly comedy event.

iris Iris Park

Filmmaker Iris Park showed her short film called “Darren and Lisa” based on a short story she co-wrote of the same name.  Written, directed and produced by Iris Park. Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.  The film follows a young couples search for love and the geographical and personal obstacles they face.

film Darren and Lisa

Singer Ryan Cahill, being passionate about the history of the traditional folk songs she performs, gave a brief history lesson to end the night.  She examined the relation between the obscure Scottish Ballad, “The Elfin Knight”, and the well-known English Ballad, “Scarborough Faire”.  She, of course, sang both for emphasis.

ryan Ryan Cahill

Two prose writers and a poet gave readings from their work.

kelly Christy Kelly

Returning to the salon for the first time in a long while, Christy Kelly, read from his novel in progress.

megan  Megan O’Donnell

Also returning after a absence of a few months, Megan O’Donnell, poet and lyricist for the psychedelic rock band, Sofus, shared a selection of politically charged poems and imaginative soon-to-be songs. The works she read ranged from a call to action against the persistent societal ills of racism and sexism to a morbid but insightful look at the side effects of being a living being. She ended the performance with a Haiku she wrote earlier that week, which sums up her current complex relationship with hope, ambition, and reality. It reads:

Reasons for dreaming:
morning will come either way,
you might as well
jk

John Kearns

Our talented host John Kearns read the conclusion of the story he presented at the last salon. The excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds, tells of college student Paul Logan’s procrastination as he types a research paper while watching the live broadcast of, “The Mystery of Henry Ford’s Secret Underground Chamber.” At the end of the broadcast, the TV host has found nothing in the chamber except another wall, and Paul has typed only two pages.

crowd

See you at Bar Thalia on Thursday, February 5th, at 6 pm for our next IAW&A Salon!

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January 12, 2015

1/6/15 IAW&A Salon at the Thalia: A rousing start for the New Year!

Filed under: Essay,Literature,Music,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 5:43 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

The New Year got off to a lively start, at an IAW&A Salon full of song, laughter, drama, affecting personal essays and acknowledgements of Women’s Christmas, Nollaig na mBan.

The new year will be busy, too, with several members announcing events in the next few weeks. Our talented friend, Richard Butler, will be appearing in a production of Sweeney Todd in New Jersey. Mark Butler will be organizing an IAW&A trip there on February 8. Watch our Facebook page for details.

jk

John Kearns

The night’s host— and the man to thank for organizing and scheduling another Salon year— John Kearns read a brand-new excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds. He’s been covering the deadly sins in this book and in this section college-student Paul Logan gives into sloth by procrastinating on his research paper due the following morning. Instead of writing and typing the paper, Paul makes himself some food and allows himself to be distracted by two M*A*S*H* episodes and a sensationalistic live broadcast, The Mystery of Henry Ford’s Secret Underground Chamber. For the conclusion of this episode, tune into the next IAW&A Salon on 1/20.

sarah

Sarah Fearon

Comic performer Sarah Fearon shared a rant titled “The City Is Going to Be a Sinkhole Soon.” She posed some questions of concern to New Yorkers, such as whatever happened to saying “excuse me,” what happened to tokens, and how many glass towers and people can fit onto the island before it sinks? For the full-on Fearon, come to Sarah’s stand-up show at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd St. on Wednesday January 21 at 7:00pm. Please make a reservation at 212-367-9000. http://gothamcomedyclub.com/index.cfm

maureen

 Maureen Hossbacher

In keeping with the spirit of Nollaig na mBan, Maureen Hossbacher presented four gorgeous poems which evoked the themes of women’s lives:  love, work, motherhood, sisterhood, sexuality and survival — ending with a hopeful salute to the new year:

The river reprises mantras
of sailed ships
Still
The sky is new and blue
and I suddenly ravenous!

brendan

 Brendan Costello

Frequent salon contributor (and new IAW&A board member!) Brendan Costello Jr. read an autobiographical essay about breaking his leg and winding up in the same hospital room he had been in when he was first paralyzed 18 years ago. The experience prompted numerous personal and philosophical insights, challenging ideas of hope, hopelessness, and the value and meaning we place on our personal experience.

mpk

 Mary Pat Kelly

Mary Pat Kelly announced that her new novel Of Irish Blood will be published in February. She gave a spirited description of growing up Irish in Chicago, and why she wrote this historical fiction inspired by the life of her great-aunt. In Of Irish Blood, a young Irish woman goes to Paris in 1903 where she meets artists, designers and Left Bank intellectuals and eventually joins Ireland’s fight for freedom, associating with Maud Gonne, W.B. Yeats, Countess Markievicz, and de Valera, among other historical figures. Mary Pat invites everyone to her reading on Wednesday, February 4 at 7pm at Barnes & Noble on Broadway at 82nd Street.

munnelly

 John Munnelly

Singer/composer John Munnelly notes that he seems to run into snow or storms when he comes to the Thalia but the warm reception to his songs at the IAW&A Salon make up for the weather. Tonight he sang two original songs: “Kings & Jesters” and introduced a thought-provoking brand-new one, “Much Wants More.” Some lyrics:

Pay no mind to the man behind the curtain
pay no heed to the fate we have in store
it’s not a movie,
and there’s no happy ending to much wants more 

Pay no tithes to the idols of distraction
don’t submit your eyeballs to explore
the sweets and fancies that keep us motivated
and working for
much wants more

Join John’s mailing list at http://johnmunnellymusic.com/fans-contact-social-upload/ and mark your calendar for his show at Irish Haven Bar in Sunset Park at 5721 4th Avenue, Brooklyn on Sunday, Feb 15, 8 -11pm.

tom

Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon showed his acting chops by reading a short story from his collection Delusions, called “When Con Men Meet.” A young man discovers he lacks the talent or time necessary to be a great artist and instead works for one and steals the man’s work. He makes a fortune, goes to Mexico, and changes his identity. He sells his beach house to a drug king for twenty million and goes to Rio. Caught in customs, he’s sentenced to ten years; the customs people are promoted, but the money is never mentioned.

jeanne

 Jeanne D’Brant

In keeping with Women’s Christmas, Jeanne D’Brant read a thrilling chapter called “Rage of Purdah” from her second book Heartlands of Islam, about her exploration. She is hard at work on her upcoming two-hour presentation for the American Clinical Board of Nutrition’s national symposium in Fort Lauderdale.

dj

 DJ Sharp

Actor, writer and new IAWA member DJ Sharp delivered a brilliant monologue about Tennessee Williams.

skocik

John Skocik

Singer-songwriter of the group Girl to Gorilla, John Skocik sang two of his original songs: “An Ordinary Life” which he wrote for his wife, and a new song, “Rockaway Baby” that had the crowd laughing.

mark

Mark Butler seeks volunteers for The Weekly

guen

Guenevere Donohue

We welcomed singer/actor/writer Guenevere Donohue back to the Salon and she thrilled us with her version of the Jackson Browne song, “The Rebel Jesus.”

mal

Malachy McCourt

When we’re at the Thalia, the Salon creator, Malachy McCourt, closes the night with song and story. Tonight he had words of inspiration, “Fight to be heard” and news about a new way to hear him: a weekly radio show on Wednesdays at 10 am – noon on WBAI, 99.5FM. Malachy and friends will talk about New York from an Irish/Irish American view on Talk Back: New York, Thee and We.

And he ended by singing a round of “The Bells of Hell.”

Mark your calendar for the Salon at the Cell on January 20th!

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