Imagine Theatre

The connections between Irish and American theatre run deep in both directions. From the early days of Broadway, when Boucicault and then Wilde bestrode the American stage, Irish and Irish-American playwrights have inspired – and sometimes outraged – US audiences and artists. 

A century ago, the Abbey Theatre toured the US for the first time with Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, causing riots and electrifying audiences, including the young Eugene O’Neill. O’Neill and Sean O’Casey influenced each other, while Arthur Miller testified to O’Casey’s importance in his own development. Samuel Beckett had a towering impact on modern American art far beyond the theatre. From the 1960s, Brian Friel, Tom Murphy and Frank McGuinness established a vital presence on leading American stages. 

In this generation, Conor McPherson has taken strength from the audacity of David Mamet, who himself learned so much from Beckett, while Martin McDonagh has further subverted Synge’s inimitable picture of life in the West of Ireland. Enda Walsh and Mark O’Rowe have created unmistakable, dark, lyrical universes. Although the power of language still distinguishes Irish theatre, many younger artists and ensembles are looking beyond the literary tradition and making theatre in new ways.

Past Events

Philadelphia Irish Theatre Festival

  • Ireland’s bustling towns and wistful countrysides provide backdrops for eight plays filled with amor, melancholy and bittersweet storytelling: Amaryllis Theatre Company present Dublin Carol by…

  • Location: PA
  • Dates: January 01 – May 22

Culture Ireland

  • Over 1,000 Irish theatre-makers, musicians, singers, writers, dancers, visual artists, film-makers and more, presented their work to audiences from Alabama to Wyoming, in venues from…

  • Location:
  • Dates: January 01 – December 31

The End by Samuel Beckett

  • Internationally renowned Beckett actor Conor Lovett, directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett, presents one of Samuel Beckett’s early prose pieces The End.  “Supremely funny…a prepared actor…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: January 06 – January 09

John Gabriel Borkman by Henrik Ibsen

  • Part of this year’s world renowned Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival, the Abbey’s production of John Gabriel Borkman was a huge success with many sold-out…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: January 07 – February 06

My Scandalous Life by Thomas Kilroy

  • The World Premiere of the story of Oscar Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas struggling to reclaim his own identity.  Forever linked to Wilde and the…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: February 02 – March 02

The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh

  • Winner of multiple awards in three countries, Druid’s production of this comic masterpiece is filled with a host of charming characters and unexpected plot twists.…

  • Location: MA, DC, MI, IL, CA, PA, SC, CT
  • Dates: February 02 – June 19

Terminus by Mark O’Rowe

  • Terminus is an epic and entertaining play about three people whose lives collide on a fateful night in Dublin, Ireland. Ripped from their everyday existence,…

  • Location: MA, PA, NC, IL, OH, VT, MD
  • Dates: February 08 – March 18

Solas Nua presents Project Brand New

  • At its heart of Project Brand New is the ambition to provide a platform for innovation and experimentation, and work that strives towards the new.…

  • Location: DC, NY
  • Dates: February 17 – June 19

Mimic by Raymond Scannell

  • Written by Raymond Scannell, performed by him at a grand piano, and winner of the Best Male Performance award at Dublin Fringe Festival 2008, this…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: March 02 – March 20

Penelope by Enda Walsh

  • Druid premiered Penelope in 2010 to critical acclaim and rave reviews. Following a hugely successful run in New York, Penelope now comes to DC. It’s…

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: March 15 – April 03

New Ireland:  The Enda Walsh Festival

  • To enhance the theatre-going experience The Studio Theatre hosts a number of screenings of new Irish films and readings of plays by contemporary Irish writers.…

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: March 15 – May 01

The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh

  • A sinister twist on high farce, this chilling tale exposes a family’s Sisyphean games as a father forces his two sons to reenact their troubled…

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: April 06 – May 01

The New Electric Ballroom by Enda Walsh

  • Three aging sisters in a small Irish village tell and retell the story of a dance hall of their youth, a certain handsome rock star,…

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: April 13 – May 01

Swampoodle

  • Swampoodle re-ignites the spirit of Washington DC’s colorful and notoriously vanished Irish neighborhood. In this major new work staged in the former Washington Coliseum Arena,…

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: May 21 – May 28

Hello Molly by James Joyce

  • One woman, 90-minute theatrical dramatisation of the Molly Bloom soliliquy that closes out James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses.

    Irish Times “O’Dea is every inch…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: June 09 – June 09

As you are now so once were we

  • Inspired by James Joyce Ulysses, the show depicts the very day of the performance, following the actors through Dublin on their way to the theatre.…

  • Location: CA
  • Dates: June 14 – June 26

Gibraltar: An adaptation after James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922)

  • “Gibraltar” makes the convincing case that “Ulysses” is one of the most tender love stories ever written…simple, heartrending and extremely bawdy!’ – Backstage.

  • Location: PA
  • Dates: June 15 – June 18

Niall de Búrca

  • Niall de Búrca is in Hawaii on the invitation of the University of Hawaii as part of the University’s 2011 Cultural Extension Tour. Niall will…

  • Location: HI
  • Dates: June 25 – July 02

The Parting Glass by Dermot Bolger

  • The Parting Glass is a hilarious, uplifting and life-affirming show set on the night that Thierry Henry’s left hand dashed Ireland’s World Cup dreams. It…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: July 20 – July 31

The Silver Tassie by Sean O’Casey

  • Using all the resources of the theatre including live music and dance, this is an epic staging of one of Sean O’Casey’s great plays, directed…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: July 24 – July 31

The Derry Boat by Little John Nee

  • The Derry Boat celebrates the strong and vibrant links, which have existed between Donegal and Scotland through the years. The play’s title is taken from…

  • Location: WI
  • Dates: August 19 – August 21

A Night with George by Brenda Murphy & Donna O’Connor

  • Not every woman gets to spend a night with George Clooney, but Bridie Murphy does! Let’s face it, Bridie’s life hasn’t been all parties and…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 05 – October 02

The Cirque de Légume

  • Enjoy fifty minutes of pure mayhem as two idiots put on the greatest vegetable circus on earth! Marvel at the Veget-animal! Gape at the magical…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 06 – October 02

First Irish Theatre Festival

  • Culture Ireland is proudly supporting four productions in the First Irish Theatre Festival 2011.

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 07 – October 02

Bogboy by Deirdre Kinahan

  • Bogboy is a moving, intriguing and funny new play by Deirdre Kinahan. It is a tale of deep friendship, violent murder and unforgivable deceit. Directed…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 07 – October 02

Noah and the Tower Flower by Sean McLoughlin

  • Noah and the Tower Flower is about two highly strung individuals, being tender to each other.  Natalie is looking forward to a bright new future.…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 07 – October 02

The End by Samuel Beckett

  • Arriving on a tidal wave of international acclaim, the Irish theatre company Gare St. Lazare Players Ireland presents a mesmerizing theatrical adaptation of The End,…

  • Location: MN, NH, MA
  • Dates: September 22 – October 29

Moby Dick – adapted by Conor Lovett & Judy Hegarty Lovett from the novel by Herman Melville

  • Arriving on a tidal wave of international acclaim, the Irish theatre company Gare St. Lazare Players Ireland presents their acclaimed adaptation of Moby Dick by…

  • Location: MN, MA, CT, VT
  • Dates: September 23 – November 18

Watt by Samuel Beckett – Texts from the novel selected by Barry McGovern

  • Watt is the extraordinary story of an itinerant character who walks one day from a train station to the home of a Mr Knott whom…

  • Location: PA, NC, CA
  • Dates: October 27 – November 20

The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane

  • There’s something strange in the neighbourhood of contemporary Denmark. Who are you going to call? That is the question. In this purgatorial presentation of Shakespeare’s…

  • Location: NY, OH
  • Dates: November 10 – November 20

Forgotten by Pat Kinevane

  • Written and performed by Pat Kinevane
    Directed by Jim Culleton
    Produced by Marketa Puzman

    ‘Has no one a skitter o’ dignity…

  • Location: CA
  • Dates: November 16 – December 11

Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett

  • Every year on his birthday Krapp sits down to record his memories from the past year. On his 69th birthday, while listening to his old…

  • Location: DC, NY
  • Dates: November 29 – December 18

Misterman by Enda Walsh

  • Misterman reunites two of Ireland’s brightest stars—actor Cillian Murphy and writer/director Enda Walsh—for the first time since their collaboration on Disco Pigs fifteen years ago.…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: November 30 – December 22

JAMES X by Gerard Mannix Flynn

  • Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson and Culture Project present the United States premiere of JAMES X, written and performed by Gerard Mannix Flynn, and directed by…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: December 06 – December 18