Marsha Mason, Brenda Meaney, Lauren O'Leary to star the Little Gem at the Irish Repertory Theatre.

Written by Elaine Murphy (Shush) and directed by Marc Atkinson Borrull (Outlying Islands), performances of Little Gem begin on July 17, 2019 on the Irish Rep’s Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage with an opening night set for July 25, for a limited run through September 1, 2019.

The cast of Little Gem will include four-time Academy Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe Award winner Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl) as Kay, Brenda Meaney (Party Face) as Lorraine, and Lauren O’Leary (The Awkward Years) as Amber. 

Hilarious and poignant, Irish playwright Elaine Murphy’s debut play Little Gem premiered at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2008 where it won the Fishamble New Writing Award. It then transferred to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. Little Gem made its acclaimed US premiere in January 2010 at The Flea Theater. 

What is Little Gem about? One year can bring extraordinary change; just ask Amber, Lorraine and Kay, three generations of North Dublin women who find themselves suddenly facing the unexpected in Elaine Murphy’s Little Gem. Young Amber’s case of indigestion – or perhaps it’s a brutal hangover? – grows into something more, while her mother Lorraine discovers salsa dancing after an incident at work leads to therapist-suggested self-care. Grandmother Kay, “on the wrong side of sixty, but not dead yet,” struggles to take care of a personal itch while adjusting to life as a caretaker for her beloved Gem. 

As the year moves forward, the women confront their individual challenges with courage and humor, finding strength in one another and discovering the beauty and complexity of family.

Little Gem will feature set design by Meredith Ries (Cute Activist), costume design by Christopher Metzger (Life Sucks), lighting design by Michael O’Connor (Two by Friel), and sound design by Ryan Rumery (Be More Chill). Arthur Atkinson (Juno and the Paycock) will serve as Production Stage Manager. 

Tickets to Little Gem range from $45 - $70. Tickets are available through Irish Rep’s box office at 212-727-2737 or online at

The Irish Repertory Theatre, co-founded by Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, is now celebrating its 30th season after first opening its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. Irish Rep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage.