Druid to undertake largest US tour by Irish theatre company

Galway locals Miriam Ward, Lara Connaughton and John Gaughan get a briefing from Garry Hynes, Druid's artistic director, ahead of their visit to New York with Druid's production of The Silver Tassie at the Lincoln Center Festival this July.

Galway locals Miriam Ward, Lara Connaughton and John Gaughan get a briefing from Garry Hynes, Druid's artistic director, ahead of their visit to New York with Druid's production of The Silver Tassie at the Lincoln Center Festival this July.

Seán O’Casey’s play The Silver Tassie was written in 1927, but it has never been performed in the United States. However that will change this summer.

Galway’s Druid Theatre Co will perform the US premiere of The Silver Tassie as part of Imagine Ireland, Culture Ireland’s year-long season of Irish arts in America in 2011.

As part of this initiative, Druid will also present two other productions; The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh and Penelope by Enda Walsh.

In total, the company will spend 22 weeks touring coast-to-coast in the US, performing in 10 cities, in 11 venues, with 132 performances of three productions, more than any other Irish theatre company.

“I am very proud of our jam-packed schedule for the first half of 2011,” said artistic director Garry Hynes. “In these times of uncertainty it is incredible for Druid to be employing 75 people across these three tours and we thank our funding partners, The Arts Council and Culture Ireland, for their unwavering support. Equally importantly we thank our audiences for coming out to see us wherever we go.”

The Silver Tassie will receive its US premiere at the 2011 Lincoln Centre Festival in New York from July 24 to 31. Starring in the production are three young Galway secondary school students - Lara Connaughton (Salthill ), John Gaughan (Kilcolgan ), and Miriam Ward (Ballinasloe ). John and his brother Joseph previously performed with Druid at the Lincoln Centre Festival in 2006 when Druid staged DruidSynge.

The Druid and Atlantic Theatre co-production of Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan will tour for a major record-breaking 21 weeks in Ireland and the US.

Since March 2009, almost 50,000 people have seen this production and from January to June 2011 this comic masterpiece will run for 17 weeks in the US, making it the longest US tour by an Irish theatre company in decades.

The Fringe First award-winning Penelope returns to America following a phenomenally successful visit to St Ann’s Warehouse, New York, in 2010. This much lauded production was included in The New York Times’ Top Ten Theatre Highlights of 2010. It will now play at the Studio Theatre in Washington DC for three weeks.

The London premiere of Penelope inaugurates a new partnership between Druid and The Hampstead Theatre and will mark Druid’s third visit to London with an Enda Walsh play in the last three years. Penelope will run at the London venue from February 10 to March 5.

In the first six months of 2011, Druid will travel to 15 different cities in Ireland, Britain, and the US with the works of three authors. On St Patrick’s Day, Druid will fly the flag for Irish culture and theatre abroad when it presents The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Penelope at the Studio Theatre in Washington DC.

 

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