ANNUAL EVENT AT MUTUAL OF AMERICA KICKS OFF 13TH SEASON
Origin Theatre Company kicks off its thirteenth season of producing the New York premieres of plays by contemporary European playwrights at its annual benefit on Thursday June 18, at 6:30pm. Hosted by Mutual of America, 320 Park Avenue, the evening features a smorgasbord of international pleasures, including rollicking musical entertainment, and appearances by a colorful cross-section of local and visiting theatre luminaries, business leaders and supporters of the arts.
The evening honors New York business leader Ronan Downs, who helped transform the Financial District’s historic Stone Street (New York’s oldest paved thoroughfare) into one of the city’s most distinctive food and entertainment destinations. Among Downs’ meticulously crafted bars and restaurants are Route 66 Smokehouse, the Bavaria Bierhaus, The Dubliner and Beckett’s Bar and Grill.
A trio of Broadway stars will make special musical appearances throughout the evening: Matt Doyle (Elder Price in “Book of Mormon,” original cast of “War Horse”), Christine Dwyer (Elphaba in “Wicked”), and Kevin Santos (“In the Heights”).
Participating in the celebrity auction are Downton Abbey’s beloved Mrs. Patmore Lesley Nicol; author Malachy McCourt; Irish International rugby star Gordon D’arcy and Irish middleweight boxing champion Andy Lee, among others.
“What a joy it is to recognize a business man and restaurateur like Ronan Downs who focuses on his customers’ experience, who values craftsmanship, who cares about pleasure and beauty,” says Origin artistic director George C. Heslin. “We care about the same things in the theatre so this honor is deeply resonant to our entire Origin community!”
At the event Heslin will announce plans to establish a presence for Origin on Theater Row in Times Square. “We plan on producing here every year.” The company’s launch of this model will be the back-by-popular-demand encore of its critically acclaimed production of “The International,” Tim Ruddy’s praised-to-the-skies drama about the collateral effects of ethnic conflict. The show is being brought back in partnership with the new Urbanite Theatre of Sarasota, Florida. Cahir O’Doherty of the Irish Voice called it, “the most philosophically engaging and accomplished drama I have seen in years.”
Origin Theatre Company is the city’s only theatre company devoted to presenting the American premieres of new works by Europe’s brightest contemporary playwrights. Over the past 13 years, Origin has introduced works by 150 playwrights to US audiences, from such countries as Romania, Macedonia, Norway, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Origin produces the city’s only all-Irish theatre festival and the world’s only festival devoted exclusively to producing the plays of contemporary Irish playwrights from around the world. The highly acclaimed annual Origin’s 1st Irish Festival is responsible for having introduced Enda Walsh (“Once”), Mark O’Rowe (“Terminus”), and Lucy Caldwell to U.S. audiences. The festival’s 8th annual edition will take place in September. For tickets, which are $200, or to bid online visit www.origintheatre.org