Jim Culleton on upcoming collaborations and projects of Fishamble: The New Play Company

In 2007, Fishamble: The New Play Company premiered Sebastian Barry's play The Pride of Parnell Street in Dublin, and Cathy Edwards and Mary Lou Aleskie invited the production to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. It made its US premiere during the Festival in 2008 and I have wonderfully warm memories of the reception it received there and the audiences enjoying learning Irish slang words like 'gouger' and 'skanky skanger' - we seem to have a wide range of insulting terms in Ireland! The production was then invited by Elysabeth Kleinhans and Peter Tear to 59E59 Theaters in New York and by George Heslin to be part of the 1st Irish Festival - now through October 4, 2009.

The run in New Haven did not just instigate further life for the production in New York but was also the start of a number of projects Fishamble is running with other US partners: Solas Nua in Washington DC is presenting a year long program of playreadings of Fishamble plays; Jean Kennedy Smith (after seeing The Pride in New Haven) asked Fishamble to contribute Irish work to the VSA International Arts Festival also in DC during June 2010; Fishamble's production of Forgotten by Pat Kinevane will be performed at the Irish Arts Center in New York in spring 2010; there is further interest in The Pride returning to the US next year as well.

So, thanks to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas for starting a range of collaborations and projects on this side of the Atlantic and best of luck with future festivals.

Jim Culleton
Artistic Director
Fishamble: The New Play Company (Ireland)