After only 5 years in existence, Brass Neck is now recognised as an international award winning theatre company. The possibilities that have presented themselves for our future are very bright as a direct result of having performed at 1st Irish. On our return to Ireland we had 2 sell-out tours of the show we presented at 1st Irish. Along with the accolade of best play at the festival, reviews such as the one we recieved in the NY Times, will be invaluable to us when applying for future funding and also for attracting investors to insure that we continue to produce quality shows akin to the product that we brought to 1st Irish in New York
Tony Devlin, Artistic Director, Brass Neck Theatre (2011)


1st Irish was important to me as a writer/actor/producer for the following reasons:
~It gave me an opportunity to showcase my play in New York;
~It gave me an opportunity to showcase my talent as an actor in New York;
~It give me the chance to produce my first play in new york.
1st Irish is important to me as a producer because it allowed me to engage with the  New York theatrical community via the festivals established resources of audiences, and the invaluable media coverage and support. The festival is  important to me because it is an unique platform for mid size theatre companies and allows my work to be seen in the theater capital of the world.
Jimmy Kerr, Playwright (2011)


To work as a playwright on Spinning the Times with Origin was a fantastic experience. I have never had a play produced in the US, let alone off-Broadway.  This was my first time to reach an American audience. Nothing is more special to a playwright than having work travel to America and it is extremely rare for a Northern Irish voice to reach the American stage.  It was exciting to engage with an American audience through Northern Irish voice. Southern Irish culture has been dominant in America for so long and is viewed as the only relevant Irish culture. The Northern Irish experience has been neglected. This makes being represented at the 1st Irish 2009 Festival even more vital.  We must export our unique voices to America. Origin and the 1st Irish Festivals have made that possible. I would love other Northern Irish playwrights to get a similar chance.
Rosemary Jenkinson, Playwright (2008)


I participated in the 1st Irish 2009’s ‘Northern Exposure: Theatre in Northern Ireland, 1969 – 2009’, a panel discussion on Northern Irish theatre and its evolution at the respected New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  The forum was a unique opportunity to discuss the position of theatre in NI during the Troubles, differences between the North and South and the artistic and political relationships between Dublin and Belfast. For Kabosh this was a great way to broadcast our work and show how the work we do allows us to explore issues of identity and cultural heritage. The opportunity to share ideas and innovations with practitioners and meet journalists was important for Kabosh. But key to the success of the event was the opportunity for Kabosh to disseminate ideas about new Northern Irish artistic work as a whole. Through this visit, I was able to contact various NYC based Northern Irish artists who would be interested in developing links to any future production, including Oliver Jeffers and Aaron Landsman, both notable artists with resources for future joint projects in New York.
Hugh Odling-Smee, Creative Producer of Kabosh Theatre (2009)


It was an absolute honour to make my US debut with a brand-new monologue commissioned by Origin Theatre Company for the 1st Irish Festival.  The Luthier was my first production in America. It was fantastic to be in NYC to attend rehearsals and see the play produced. But equally valuable was meeting the other Irish playwrights and meeting directors and producers from many of the top theatres in the city.  As a result, I had many conversations about staging more of my work on both sides of the Atlantic. There has since been interest in this piece from another theatre company in the States, and from BBC Radio 3 here in the UK. I feel certain that it will have another life, another incarnation, and yet it would not even have been written without being commissioned by Origin for the 1st Irish Festival.
Lucy Caldwell,  Playwright (2009)


Working with Origin Theatre Company and a piece performed in New York was an unforgettable experience. I was amazed by the enthusiasm of the audiences and the level of attention Spinning the Times received in the press. I also had some fascinating – and challenging – conversations with audience members after the early shows in 59E59. Because of this, the festival has given me the opportunity to connect with a completely different audience.  It was particularly exciting to be part of an international event. It’s really important that Irish writers be supported in taking their work to a wider, international audience and I was really proud that my work was being performed alongside of other strong writers coming from Ireland. There are so many Irish theatre artists who could contribute to (and benefit from) this kind of festival – Lisa McGee and Declan Feenan, to mention only a few.  I was really impressed by the level of support the Festival has attracted and I hope to be part of future 1st Irish events.
Rosalind Haslett,  Playwright (2009)