LIMERICK’S George C Heslin, founder and artistic director of the New York-based Origin Theatre Company, welcomed Downton Abbey star Brendan Coyle as a new honorary patron of the company recently at an event in New York.
Heslin, originally from Raheen, runs the 1st Irish Theatre Festival through Origin and has received praise in past from Bill Clinton for his work in supporting Irish theatre in New York. He made the announcement about Downton’s Coyle at a recent funding benefit celebrating the company’s tenth anniversary.
The benefit, hosted by Irish American Tom Moran, raised just under €50,000 for Origin.
Heslin founded Origin to offer American audiences the chance to see work by new and emerging European playwrights and the idea for 1st Irish grew from this.
Coyle said of his involvement with the company: “With Origin we are quite literally originating new work, forging trans-Atlantic relationships and creating opportunities for artists on both continents..
The fifth 1st Irish festival takes place in Manhattan this September and October.