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Súgán receives two Elliot Norton Award nominations

Productions of the
Súgán Theatre Company received nominations for two 2006 Elliot Norton awards: Gagarin Way for Outstanding Production by a Small Resident Theatre Company, and Aidan Dooley for Outstanding Solo Performance for Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer.

Carmel and Peter O'Reilly among "Top 100"

Carmel and Peter O'Reilly were listed in this year's "Top 100" Irish-Americans by Irish America magazine and were honored at an event in New York on March 16, 2006.  Other notables in the list included Frank McCourt, Edward Kennedy, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian O'Byrne, Mariah Carey, Tom Brady, John Patrick Shanley  and this year's Irish-American of the Year, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Year End accolades for the Súgán

The Súgán Theatre Company featured very prominently in all year end summaries of the best theare in Boston during 2005.  Gagarin Way was lisited anong the top shows of the year by The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and The Boston Phoenix, and The Sanctuary Lamp was listed among the best by The Boston Globe and WBUR Radio.

Marie Jones attends opening weekend of Woman on the Verge of HRT

Playwright Marie Jones (Stones in his Pockets) travelled all the way from Belfast for the opening weekend of Woman on the Verge of HRT.  Here is Marie with director Robert Scanlan, Artistic Director Carmel O'Reilly (Anna in the play) and actor Ciaran Crawford.

Súgán wins Elliot Norton Award for The Sanctuary Lamp

At the 23rd annual Elliot Norton Awards, held on May 23, 2005, The Súgán Theatre Company received the award for Outstanding Production, Small Resident Company for its production of The Sanctuary Lamp by Tom Murphy. 


Bill Marx presented the award to director Carmel O'Reilly after the following introduction: 

     It is customary to talk about a company’s loyalty to particular actors or directors.  It is more unusual to see a troupe commit over a period of years to the works of a living playwright, especially when that dramatist writes powerful but difficult scripts that are not boffo box office.
     If Tom Murphy is the best Irish playwright you have never heard of, it is despite the effort of the Súgán Theatre Company.  The troupe has produced New England premieres of five Murphy plays, from 1995’s Famine to this season’s The Sanctuary Lamp.  The scripts share a restlessness with form, a lyrical language open to myth and fantasy, and a knack for ticking off Irish audiences on issues political and theological.
    Even by Murphy’s obsessive standards The Sanctuary Lamp’s poetic tale of lost souls searching for redemption is difficult.  A Jewish strongman on the lam, a disillusioned priest, an Irish blasphemer, and a deluded young girl take refuge in a Catholic church from which God has apparently fled.  The Súgán Theatre Company cast – Aidan Parkinson, Stacy Fischer, Nigel Gore, and Jackson Royal – infused their allegorical sufferers with visceral and humorous pizzazz under Carmel O’Reilly’s sensitive direction.  The result was what nervy theater should be – sometimes baffling, often compelling, and always moving.  Would Carmel O’Reilly of the Súgán Theatre Company come up to accept this year’s award for outstanding small theater production?  

Súgán at the 2005 Boston Theater Marathon

The Súgán was one of 50 theater companies to present a play at the 7th annual Boston Theater Marathon on Sunday May 22.  The Súgán presented The Amazing Adventures of Captain Normal by Joshua Rollins, directed by Brendan Hughes.  Below are actors Ciaran Crawford, Rick Park and Irene Daly, who featured in this 10-minute play.

Gregory Burke attends Gagarin Way

Playwright Gregory Burke travelled all the way from Dunfermline in Scotland to see the Súgán's production of his play at the Calderwood Pavilion.  Here he is with director Brendan Hughes (center) and Artistic Director Carmel O'Reilly.


Judy McIntyre wins IRNE Award

Judy McIntyre has received the award for Best Actress in a Play - Small Company for 2004 from the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE).  Judy's award was due in part to her performance as Rosie in Súgán's production of The Gigolo Confessions of Baile BreagThe award was presented at the annual IRNE awards on March 21, 2005.

Súgán Theatre makes the List again!

The Súgán Theatre Company made Boston Business Journal's list of Top 25 Performing Arts Organizations in the Boston metropolitan area for 2004.

Other Noteworthy from the Not Too Distant Past

Súgán performs at Opera House in Hard Hat Concert, June 28, 2004

The Súgán was pleased to participate in the historic Hard Hat Concert, staged by Broadway in Boston and produced by Tony McLean, at the newly renovated Opera House in Boston.  Súgán and SpeakEasy presented The Streets of Dublin from their recent highly popular co-production of A Man of No Importance.  Some of the company members are seen below before going on stage.

Súgán founders receive Gold Medal from the Eire Society

Carmel and Peter O'Reilly received the 2004 Gold Medal of the Eire Society of Boston on May 1, 2004.  The Gold Medal is awarded annually to a person (or persons) who is judged to have significantly fulfilled the ideals of the Eire Society, in particular, spreading awareness of the cultural achievements of the Irish people.

The citation from the Eire Society reads:

“Tonight the Eire Society is paying timely tribute to two of Boston's most distinguished immigrants, an artistic coupling that has nurtured a shared vision into a theatrical triumph capturing the hearts of audiences and critics alike.  With equal helpings of inspiration and hard work our 2004 Gold Medalists have for a dozen sparkling seasons enriched, enlivened and -- most resoundingly -- entertained the theatre goers of Boston and the Northeast.

Together, joyfully and productively, they are Kildare and Fermanagh, communications and stagecraft, business and the performing arts.  Their shared adventure, the Súgán Theatre Company, is the unmistakable Irish face of Boston theatre.  Their resident company at the Boston Center for the Arts is quite simply the place to go in this part of the world to see award-winning Irish and Celtic contemporary works.  The Súgán is Peter and Carmel O'Reilly.

The O'Reillys' creation has found a place among the front rank of theatre companies in Boston, and they have done it by putting on stage, season after season, the finest playwrights that Ireland, north and south, has to offer.  Their productions have been brilliant, provocative, risk-taking and illuminating, exploring with a deft touch the many facets and faces of modern Irish life.”

Prior recipients of this prestigious award include John F Kennedy, Seamus Heaney, The Chieftains, John Hume, Siobhan McKenna, Sean McBride, George Mitchell, John Huston, 'Tip' O'Neill and Maureen O'Hara.   

Read feature articles in The Irish Echo and Boston Irish Reporter.

Súgán at the 2004 Boston Theater Marathon

The Súgán was one of 45 theater companies to present a play at the 6th annual Boston Theater Marathon on Sunday April 18. The Súgán staged Arnold Nawrocki is Dead by David Kruh.  Below are actors James Bodge (left) and William Devaney who featured in this 10-minute play.

Sean McGuirk wins IRNE Award

Sean McGuirk has received the award for Best Actor in a Musical - Small Company for 2003 from the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE).  Sean's award was for his performance as Alfie Byrne in the Súgán / SpeakEasy production of A Man of No Importance The Award was presented at the annual IRNE awards on March 22, 2004.

Joe McIntyre visits The Gigolo Confessions

TV star Joe McIntyre (New Kids on the Block) came all the way from Los Angeles to see his sister Judy in one of the concluding performances of The Gigolo Confessions of Baile BreagHe also generously loaned us his Brookline home during rehearsals when the heating system in our rehearsal space failed.  Here he is with the cast, playwright Ronan Noone and director Carmel O'Reilly.

 Joe McIntyre with actress Sara Chase (Adele in A Man of No Importance)

Súgán acclaimed as Best Fringe Theater in Boston!

The Improper Bostonian has given a Boston's Best '03 award to The Súgán for Best Fringe Theater.  The citation includes: 

A captivating cast of talented actors and a commitment to presenting new works have earned the Súgán the adulation of critics and audience alike.  Whether Irish eyes are smiling, crying or transfixed in amazement, the Súgán never fails to connect with its audience, which includes people of Celtic descent as well as those who just appreciate good theater.
Ronan Noone cited as Best Young Playwright

Boston Magazine has given a 2003 Best of Boston award to playwright Ronan Noone as Best Young Playwright saying he "slings killer blarney" and noting the rave notices for the first two parts of the Baile trilogy produced in the 2002-03 season  The Súgán will present the final part of his trilogy early in 2004.

Billy Meleady and Ronan Noone win 2003 Elliot Norton Awards

At the 21st Annual Elliot Norton Awards, held on May 19 2003, actor Billy Meleady was honored with a 2003 Elliot Norton Award.  Billy won the award for Outstanding Actor, Small Theatre Company for his performances in Súgán's productions of The Lepers of Baile Baiste and Howie the Rookie,.and Boston Playwrights' production of The Blowin of Baile Gall. Billy Meleady is shown below with Artistic Director, Carmel O'Reilly.

Carolyn Clay of The Boston Phoenix presented the award to Billy Meleady after the following introduction:

The actor being honored for a trio of performances in smaller theatres started the season in a rural Irish barroom in Súgán Theatre Company's production of The Lepers of Baile Baiste.  His terse, trenchcoated Seaneen Casey, barely able to walk back and forth to the bar but brandishing a slash hook, combined comedy, menace, and a sort of pickled lyricism.  He traveled from there to the tough North Dublin of Mark O'Rowe's Howie the Rookie, also for Súgán.  In that scabrous Joycean crawl across a violent urban underbelly, he created an alternately cocky and terrified lowlife ladies man in trouble for accidentally stomping a gangster's fighting fish.  In his lively, miraculously comprehensible rendering, the play's rhythmic, visceral argot came to life.  Moreover, the brazenly amoral character he created was likeable, which was appalling -- but in a good way.  From there it was on to Noone's The Blowin of Baile Gall at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, where once again our resident actor Irishman turned in a memorable performance as preening, trouble-making, drinking-on-the-job plasterer Eamon, the presiding presence on the play's impressively dismantled construction-site metaphor for Ireland.  Maybe next season he'll astonish us with four great performances, but for the present I'm happy to present the award for Outstanding Actor, Small Company to Billy Meleady.
Playwright Ronan Noone, author of The Lepers of Baile Baiste, was also honored, with the award for Outstanding New Script for The Blowin of Baile Gall.

Photo shows Súgán Artistic Director Carmel O'Reilly, playwright Ronan Noone, actor and Guest of Honor Brian Dennehy and actor Billy Meleady.

Carmel O'Reilly and Nancy Carroll win 2002 Elliot Norton Awards!

At the 20th Annual Elliot Norton Awards, held on May 20 2002, Artistic Director Carmel O'Reilly and actress Nancy E. Carroll were honored with 2002 Elliot Norton Awards.  Carmel won the award for Outstanding Director, Small Theatre Company for her direction of two plays: THE LONESOME WEST by Martin McDonagh and BAILEGANGAIRE by Tom Murphy.  Nancy won the award for Outstanding Actress, Small Theatre Company for her portrayal of Mommo in BAILEGANGAIRE.

Remarkably, this was the second year in a row for Carmel O'Reilly to win the Outstanding Director award.

Bill Marx of WBUR and NPR presented the award to Carmel O'Reilly after the following introduction:

    One old saw about Ireland is particularly pointed about the challenge posed when directing scripts by its playwrights -- "Ireland is a country in which the probable never happens and the impossible always does."  How does a director pull off the artistic crystallization of the impossible on stage?  Particularly when the impossible takes so many strange forms, from Yeats to Beckett to the latest wave of Irish dramatists who self-consciously upend conventional expectations?
    The answer is a chamelonic attention to the rhythms of language, an eagle eye for casting, and a hypersensitive attention to the shifting moods of the play. You could say the trick is not only bringing the impossible down to earth, but getting it to float a foot or two above the earth.  This year's winner for Outstanding Director, Small Company, pulled this feat off bydirecting two very different postwar Irish plays.  In Martin McDonough's pitch black comedy The Lonesome West, two feuding brothers make Cain and Abel look like pantywaists of internecine mayhem.  Here the director managed to balance violent comedy with repugnant pathos.
    Even more impressive was the staging of Bailegangaire, a play by Tom Murphy, an Irish playwrght who is, alas, neglected in America.  But not by this director, who took on one of Murphy's most celebrated but difficult scripts.  Attended by her two daughters, an old woman lies in bed, telling a cryptic, loop-de-looping story that never seems to end.  She loses her place, repeats herself.  The play offers the stock ingredients of Irish drama: humor and despair in a death grip. Yet the evening cast a powerful verbal spell.  In an era of shrinking attention spans, the production proclaimed its improbable belief in the power of listening.
    So it makes sense that this year's choice for Outstanding Director, Small Company, itself smacks of being an impossibile feat, given the hefty competition.  The winner, Carmel O' Reilly, artistic director of the Súgán Theater Company, has won the award for the second year in a row, a sign of artistic consistency amid continued growth.  Would Carmel please come up to accept her award?

Billy Meleady wins IRNE Award for Best Supporting Actor

Billy Meleady received the award for Best Supporting Actor - Small Company for 2001 from the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE).  Billy received his award for his roles as Trevor in The Súgán's production of Gary Mitchell's TRUST and the New Repertory Theatre/Foxborough Center for the Performing Arts production of THE WEIR by Conor McPherson.  Billy received his award at IRNE’s annual awards ceremony on Monday March 25, 2002.

Photo above shows Billy Meleady (center) with, from left, actors Colin Hamell and Ciaran Crawford.  Photo below shows cast of MOLLY MAGUIRE celebrating Billy's award.

Súgán Theatre makes the List!

The Súgán Theatre Company made Boston Business Journal's list of Top 25 Performing Arts Organizations in the Boston metropolitan area for 2001.

Carmel O'Reilly wins Elliot Norton Award for THIS LIME TREE BOWER 

At the 19th Annual Elliot Norton Awards, held on May 14 2001, Artistic Director of the Súgán Theatre, Carmel O'Reilly, was honored with the award for Outstanding Director of a Small Theatre Company for Conor McPherson's THIS LIME TREE BOWER.  This award was given in memory of Skip Ascheim, the respected local theater critic who died in 2000 and who was a champion of small theater companies.

The Elliot Norton Awards, Boston's premier theatre awards, are presented annually by the Boston Theatre Critics Association and are named for Boston's dean of drama critics, Elliot Norton, who celebrated his 98th birthday at the ceremony.  The Boston Theatre Critics Association includes theatre critics from the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Phoenix, WBZ-TV and other major Boston media.

Súgán wins Stone Soup Quality Product Award for 2001

"For sustained excellence as in St Nicholas, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Trust", the Stone Soup Fund of Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund recently awarded The Súgán Theatre Company the Stone Soup Quality Product Award for 2001.

Boston Herald recognizes eleven directors who shape Boston Theatre

Artistic Director of The Súgán Theatre, Carmel O'Reilly, was featured as one of eleven Boston area theatre directors to watch out for.  In a major article in the Boston Herald on Dec 8, 2000, theatre critic Terry Byrne highlighted an "impressive array of directors working in Boston's small and midsized companies ... directors with the most distinctive and diverse voices". 

With respect to Carmel O'Reilly, she wrote:

      O'Reilly's direction displays a master of detail.  Whether it's vocal inflection or a character's attitude, she always works towards creating an eerily recognizable environment.  As artistic director of the Súgán Theatre Company, O'Reilly has introduced the work of both emerging and established playwrights from Ireland and the British Isles. 
      Some of her most striking work - St Nicholas, Freedom of the City, Portia Coughlan - balance the universally familiar with a play's inherently exotic flavors. 
       "I'm very text-driven," says O'Reilly. "You can lay out what's going to happen in rehearsal, but it's those moments when you and the actors and the text come together, when the light bulb goes off and we discover the true, honest action. You can put all the right elements together, but if you don't get that moment, you lose a lot."

TAB features "movers and shakers" in Boston theatre

The Súgán Theatre Company and Artistic Director Carmel O'Reilly were featured, along with a number of other local theatre personalities, in a major article in the TAB (Nov 24, 2000) on a "new era in local theater".  According to TAB arts writer Alex Stevens, among the cross-pollination happenings that identify this change was the spring 2000 collaboration between the American Repertory Theatre and The Súgán Theatre, when the A.R.T. took "the Súgán's production of St Nicholas under its wing, presenting it at the Hasty Pudding". 

ST. NICHOLAS wins two Elliot Norton Awards for the Súgán!

At the 18th annual Elliot Norton Awards, The Súgán Theatre Company was honored with two awards for its 1999-2000 production of Conor McPherson's ST NICHOLAS.  The Súgán won awards for Outstanding Production by a Local Fringe Company and Outstanding Actor for a Small Company.

The photo shows Carmel O'Reilly, Artistic Director of the Súgán and director of ST NICHOLAS, and Richard McElvain, winner of the Outstanding Actor award.

I.R.N.E. Award for ST. NICHOLAS

Richard McElvain received the award for Best Solo Performance of 1999 from the Independent Reviewers of New England for his performance in ST. NICHOLAS.

Year-End Accolades for The Súgán

The end of 1999 brought many accolades fron the Boston area press for our 1999 productions. 

ST NICHOLAS was recognized as one of the top five theater productions of the year by both The Boston Globe and The Boston Phoenix. The Globe's citation read:

Richard McElvain telling Conor McPherson's dark-night-of-the-soul tale of a theater critic (no less) and vampires in St Nicholas in the Súgán Theatre Company's masterful production at the Boston Center for the Arts.
AT THE BLACK PIG'S DYKE was listed by the Globe as one of the top small theatre productions of the year. 

Bay Windows also listed ST NICHOLAS as one of top theater productions of the year.

Other Noteworthy from the Not Too Distant Past

IRNE Award for 1998

Our September 1998 production of Tom Murphy's CONVERSATIONS ON A HOMECOMING was chosen as the winner of the Best Ensemble Production of 1998 by the Independent Reviewers of New England (I.R.N.E). 


Actors in Súgán productions were among the nominees for other 1998 awards by the I.R.N.E:

Carmel O'Reilly for her performance in HAPPY DAYS - Best Actress

Michael Nurse for his performance in ASYLUM! ASYLUM! - Best Supporting Actor

Chris Burke for his performance in ASYLUM! ASYLUM! - Best Supporting Actor

Other Awards

From the Boston Theatre Critics, 1997 Elliot Norton Special Citation for "enriching Boston during the past five years with provocative productions of contemporary Irish and Celtic works". 

From the Outer Critics Circle, Best Actress Award for 1997 to Carmel O'Reilly for her portrayal of Lily in THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY.


From the Boston Center for the Arts, an initial three year residency at the BCA (1998-2001) and further extensions. 

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