The Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross will be both a cultural and a civic celebration of the strong ties between Ireland and the United States exemplified by O’Neill’s Irish heritage. Eugene O’Neill’s father James, along with his parents and siblings, lived in nearby Tinneranny and emigrated from New Ross. Eugene O’Neill famously said, “The one thing that explains more than anything about me is the fact that I’m Irish.”
The cultural tie between the two countries will be reinforced by the partnership of the O’Neill Ancestral Trust of New Ross and the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, of Danville, California, to produce the international O’Neill festival we are calling “One Festival, Two Countries.” The first half of the festival, the 20th Annual Eugene O’Neill Festival in Danville, will be held throughout September 2019, and the second half, the Second Annual Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre, will be held in New Ross October 9-13, 2019.
The civic tie arises from this new cultural bond. New Ross and Danville have entered into a formal Friendship City partnership to celebrate and promote “One Festival, Two Countries.” An official delegation from New Ross attended the Danville festival in September 2018, and their counterparts from Danville attended the New Ross festival that October.
For it’s second year, the New Ross festival ,taking place in the historic St Michael’s Theatre, will present an especially strong program.
Ben Barnes will direct a staged reading of O’Neill’s Strange Interlude. With the great cast that Ben will be able to assemble, the Pulitzer Prize winning experimental play in nine acts will be presented as a professional Irish production.
We wanted to honour one of Wexford’s fine playwrights and so are delighted to offer Billy Roche’s ‘The Diary of Maynard Perdu’, set in the fantastic, mirrored, burlesque world of the Spiegeltent where fantasy and delusion reign supreme.
We are taking advantage of the Dunbrody, the full-scale replica of a Famine Ship anchored in New Ross, to present a site-specific production of O’Neill’s Glencairn cycle of one-act sea plays.
Thursday 10th & Friday 11th October sees Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical play ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ often regarded as his finest work presented by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation Tao directed by Eric Frazier Hayes .
The Irish contribution to Danville’s festival this year will be Renowned Irish soprano Clodagh Kinsella, in a concert of “Irish Airs and Arias”