Irish American Writers & Artists

June 25, 2018

6.19.18 IAW&A Salon: CURTAIN UP! IRISH AMERICAN WRITERS & ARTISTS, INC. TREAD THE BOARDS AT THE CELL THEATRE

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 12:52 pm

By Maureen Hossbacher

Photos by Gordon Gilbert, Jr. 

Radiant in white lace on a warm summer evening, IAW&A Board Member Maria Deasy hosted this “salon for the theatrically inclined and those who love them.” For an opening act, she introduced playwright Jenifer Margaret Kelly, who presented the first scene of her play My Brooklyn, which was a finalist for the prestigious National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in Connecticut last summer. The main character of Maggie was brought to life by the amazing Maeve Price, ably partnered by Zack Gafin (known for his appearances on the TV series The Americans) as her husband Danny and Maria Deasy as the Narrator.

000_0133Maria Deasy, left. Zack Gafin, Maeve Price

The Salon was delighted to welcome Limerick author Dan Mooney, who read from his debut novel, Me, Myself and Them on the day before its official North American launch.  Initially self-published before his book was taken up by Harper Collins, Mooney is now looking forward to the publication this August, In Ireland and the UK —  and in the USA sometime in 2019 —  of his second novel, The Great Unexpected.  We expect him back!

000_0134 mooney   Dan Mooney

Also on hand this evening to receive the McCourt Literary Prize was Idiatou Tandiogora. The prize is awarded annually by IAW&A to a graduating senior of Frank McCourt High School who demonstrates an outstanding potential to be a writer.

Larry Kirwan, IAW&A President, performed “Intro/Camptown-Five Points” from his musical Hard Times, which had two Off-Broadway runs at the Cell in 2012 and 2013.  He also premiered “America Slipping Away” from his new musical IRAQ and gave some background to the story.

Larry Kirwan, Maria Deasy

For something entirely different, theatre artist Gia Forakis closed the first half of the salon with an introduction to the principles of OTOA Creative Life Practice. The acronym stands for One-Thought-One-Action, the study and practice of identifying smaller increments of thoughts as smaller moments of physical action. It is taught as OTOA Performance Technique & Training (PTT)™, benefitting performers, and creative thinkers in any field.

000_0152 Gia Forakis

After a break for socializing & refreshments, actor/teacher/producer Billy Lyons screened an excerpt from his documentary, It Takes a Lunatic, about acclaimed director and acting teacher Wynn Handman, founder of the American Place Theatre and master teacher of such successful protégés as Richard Gere, Chris Cooper, John Leguizamo, Frank Langella and many others, including our talented host Maria Deasy.

Wynn Handman on screen, Billy Lyons

Frequent presenter and board member Sarah Fearon, in her usual humorous and stylish way, provided a glimpse into the New York City real estate world through the lives of Bella Astor and her protégé, Sally, with a story titled “You Must Pay the Rent.”

IMG_1341 SF.jpg  Sarah Fearon

Singing is a play with music set in the Appalachian Mountains in 1936 about a young woman’s path to freedom. The author, Shae D’lyn, is an actress, writer/director, teacher, and activist dedicated to freeing the human spirit. With the always superb actor John Keating, D’lyn presented a poignant two-character scene.  She will next appear in Melissa McCarthy’s first dramatic film Can You Ever forgive Me.  Keating was last seen in The Winter’s Tale at Theatre For a New Audience

IMG_1328 shae john .jpgJohn Keating, Shea D’lyn

Dublin playwright Derek Murphy presented a scene from his comic play in development, The Love Parts, with Shane McNaughton and Aoife Williamson wonderful together, as a very troubled couple exchanging some rather inappropriate gifts on what will likely be their last Christmas together.  As Derek’s last play, Dyin’ For It, evolved, scene by scene, at our salons, this was a most appropriate finale to a most entertaining theatrical evening.  Dyin’ For It had its world premiere at The Cell last January, with Aoife Williamson and Maria Deasy in feature roles, and was directed by John Keating, winner of the Best Director Award of the 2018 1st Irish Theatre Festival.IMG_1380.jpgAoife Williamson, Shane McNaughton

Much applause,  and thanks to Maria, the performers and creators for a grand night.

If you’re in town next week, Salon’s on for 7.3 at St. Pat’s Pub.

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June 10, 2018

6.5.18 IAW&A Salon: Bursting with Pride, Celebrating LGBTQ Lives

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 2:23 am

By Karen Daly

Photos by Gordon Gilbert, Jr.

The IAW&A celebrated Pride Month with a rollicking, joyous Salon that introduced new artists to our Salon family and attracted our largest crowd yet at St. Patrick’s Pub. Kudos to Miranda Stinson who championed and produced the event and served as host for the first time.

                      Miranda Stinson, William Leo Coakley

Esteemed poet William Leo Coakley opened the program with several pieces: a view of a rambunctious gay cat and a future of dimmer sight and inheritable old clothes, a tribute to refugees emerging whole in a new country. The last poem was a romp with an active bi-sexual bear in Irish Boston and a straight talking dog in New York. William is shortlisted for the 2019 Hennessy Prize for New Irish Writing. Watch for his poems in the June 30th edition the Irish Times.  

An actor, singer/songwriter, playwright, Sharon Fogarty delivered a touching monologue  “A Kiss for Miss Ellie” from Gordon Gilbert’s play, Monologues from the Old Folks Home. Gordon is grateful for her fine performance, especially as she had little time to prepare. Gordon notes that Monologues from the Old Folks Home will be performed for the 8th time, on Friday, June 29 at 7 pm, at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Christopher Street in the West Village.

                     Sharon Fogarty, Gordon Gilbert

M.C. Neuda stylishly delivered two flash fiction crime stories:  “Newcomer,” in which “una bandida, this senorita” outwits a pair of thugs, and “Looking for Trouble,” where assumptions about the husband in the story (for some people, at least) are upended. M.C’s stories have appeared in e-zines “Shotgun Honey,” “Yellow Mama,” and “Near2theKnuckle,”in print at “Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine” and “Crimespree” and we’re happy to say, at IAW&A Salons.

                    M.C. Neuda, left,  Qassye M. Hall

Qassye M. Hall is a MFA Candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, working in fiction and creative non-fiction. She read from her novella about a girl who has given up everything to care for her father and his mental health. The girl is brought to vivid life  from the moment she’s in the car to the moment she leaves to head out west. Qassye’s work has been published in The Scarlett Leaf Review, Nebo: a Literary Journal, Five Cent Cigar, and a few other magazines.

Wanjiko Eke, a standup comedian based in NY, riffed on a many topics: Texas, sex, relationships, travel (“just taking your phone to different cities”). She appears all around town, and you can find out at jikogram on Instagram.

                     Wanjiko Eke, Brendan Fahy

Brendan Fahy of the Lavender and Green Alliance invited all to join the Pride Parade on June 24.  Register here https://www.lavenderandgreenalliance.org/events/2018-nyc-lgbt-pride-march/form

Playwright Honor Molloy brought down the house and brought us back to 1993 when Time magazine discovered Lesbian Chic.  “Get Real, Camille” is Honor’s hilarious send-up of the feminist theorist and social critic Camille Paglia’s response to Time. Remarkably, the dialogue was mostly Paglia’s own words, and it was a mouthful.

                     Honor Molloy, Max Onofre

Recent Pace University graduate Max Onofre read a charming story, “A Little More,” telling of a couple he viewed as “the epitome of love” making the audience care about them, too.  Max aims to become a full-time political journalist and he’s working on a short-story romance book

Novelist J. L. Weinberg read from his debut novel, True Religion (Chelsea Station Editions), described by Lambda Literaras  “A paranormal adventure packed with occultism, genealogy, past life regressions, and early American history.”  He chose a passage where Seth Davis, a New York City writer, after researching the supernatural, after two encounters with ghosts, decides to be past-life regressed. For more about the book and its author, a film journalist, see jlweinberg.com  

                      KT Mulholland, left, with Ashley Pynn.    J.T. Weinberg

The Salon ended on a high note with a musical performance by KT Mulholland, lead singer of indie alt-rock band kingkween, accompanied on guitar by Ashley Pynn. KT sang a bluesy version of  “Sweet Pea,” as a love song for Ashley.  KT has performed her original tunes in some of New York’s most renowned venues, such as Bowery Ballroom, Gramercy Theatre and Webster Hall, and is set to release her fourth studio album late summer 2018. See her next at Arlene’s Grocery, Friday, July 6. Ashley, an actor who specializes in stunt work, and is the stunt double for The Blacklist‘s Elizabeth Keen (Meghan Boone), and has worked in countless other film and TV features.  KT and Ashley’ s thrilling version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” was a perfect close to the night.

Next Salon, 6/19 at The Cell.

 

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