Origin Theatre Company has appointed well-known New York-based Irish actor and producer Michael Mellamphy as its new artistic director.

Mellamphy will replace company founder George C. Heslin, who became the new executive director of the New York Irish Center in October.

Mellamphy, who co-curated (with actor Sarah Street) the 13th annual Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival in January, now takes over artistic leadership of the award-winning New York-based company in its 18th consecutive season.

Well known to Irish Rep audiences as a recurring performer in many of its signature shows, Mellamphy has vowed to continue to develop Origin’s mission of bringing contemporary voices from Europe to eager New York audiences.

First on Mellamphy’s slate in his new role will be to produce three events and productions in May and June which will bear his unique stamp as a New York-based actor, theatre producer, and business owner.

Michael Mellamphy and Sarah Street bring the 1st Irish Theatre Festival online

Michael Mellamphy and Sarah Street bring the 1st Irish Theatre Festival online

“Having worked with the Origin team on an all-virtual 1st Irish Festival, which far-exceeded expectations and reached a significantly wider audience than past festivals, I am confident we can produce powerful theatre under these very unique and changing pandemic circumstances,” Mellamphy told IrishCentral.

Starting May 9, Origin will produce a scaled-down version of their third annual European Month of Culture festival in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. 

Then on Sunday, June 13 they will host an innovative live-and-virtual version of their immersive Bloomsday Breakfast celebration, produced in association with Blooms Tavern. 

A native of Cork, Mellamphy is a celebrated New York actor who is a company member of the Rep and a founder of The Pigeon Theatre Company, as well as a former owner of the Irish bar Ryan’s Daughter where he produced a number of immersive theatre productions.  

Michael Mellamphy and Sarah Street bring the 1st Irish Theatre Festival online

Michael Mellamphy and Sarah Street bring the 1st Irish Theatre Festival online

Before helming (with Street) the 13th annual 1st Irish festival, which hosted twenty virtual events and showcased the work of thirty-four contemporary Irish playwrights, Mellamphy had already become a familiar 1st Irish presence, winning two Best Actor awards in previous years.  

Since its founding in 2002 Origin Theatre Company, whose overall mission is to present new works by writers from across Europe, has introduced plays by over 300 playwrights to US audiences.

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