Ciarán O’Reilly was born and raised in County Cavan, Ireland, before immigrating to New York City. He met Charlotte Moore when they were in an off-Broadway play called Summer by Irish playwright Hugh Leonard.
The two decided to get into producing, and so in 1988 they rented a small theater on West 18th Street in Manhattan and put together a production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough in the Stars. The show was a success, so they put the proceeds into the production of another play, and then another. 30 years later, the Irish Repertory Theatre is still going strong.
For its milestone anniversary celebration, the theater is both going back to its roots as well as attempting its most ambitious project to date: a comprehensive retrospective of the work of Sean O’Casey, including his renowned “Dublin Trilogy”: The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924), and The Plough and the Stars (1926).
Each play is having its own run, followed by a month of all three dramas in repertory, including three “Dublin Saturdays,” which will feature the three works staged all on the same day. Other pieces of the retrospective include symposiums, lectures, film screenings, a musical evening, and free readings of the other O’Casey plays.
O’Reilly has won numerous awards in his career and has been honored in Irish America’s Top 100 three times.