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Thursday, May 19, 2011

News: Michael F. Hennessey wins Irish Diaspora play competition

PRESS RELEASE    18 May 2011
Four Eileen Sullivans Found in One Act Playwrighting    
Contest About Irish Diaspora to North America

When BYRON TOBEN announced a year long contest for what
may be the world`s first one act playwrighting contest about the Irish Diaspora
to North America, to be entitled ”THE SEARCH FOR EILEEN SULLIVAN”, he
didn`t realize that there are some 200,000 Eileen Sullivans in Canada/USA.

Now four of them have been found on page leading to stage.
A dozen entries arrived at the offices of the Quebec Drama Federation from Ireland, Canada and the USA.

The winners were announced on April 12 at Mr. Toben`s annual
Spring Fling Literary / Musical Cabaret at the Atwater Library.
The results were read by Liesl Barrell, a co-winner of last year`s “ MONTREAL NOIR”
playwrighting contest, also organized by Mr. Toben.

MICHAEL F. HENNESSEY of  Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
This eleven character melodrama, set in 1865 P.E.I. is based on the journal
of an Irish private in a British regiment sent to put down the protests of
the largely Irish Tenant League. Their work is hampered in part by the mysterious activist Eileen Sullivan who seems to evade capture. The twists and turns of humans caught up in a historic panorama reminds one somewhat of the writings of the popular early modern Irish Playwright, Dion Boucicault, Mr. Hennessey has had ten plays produced on stage, two on
CBC radio.

ANNE PHELAN of Brooklyn, New York
This two hander, set in 1890s Boston, is loosely based on an actual
court case. An Irish immigrant maid educates a Boston establishment
figure about the real history of Ireland and the difficulties of adapting to a new land. Ms. Phelan has written some dozen plays.

LUCY BRENNAN of Whitby, Ontario
Eileen Sullivan, suffering a coma from an auto crash, drifts into a mythological Celtic world, populated by the legendary Irish heros Cuchulainn and Emer. Which world is real and which a dream ?

DEBORAH A.DICKSON of Greenfield Park, Quebec.
This contemporary eight character play deals with a Quebec Irish family.
 Intermarried with Jewish, Arab, Polish. Inheritance rights intrude. Is this
 Eileen Sullivan really Irish? 

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