By Jenifer M. Kelly and Karen Daly
Photos by Christopher Booth

For IAW&A January Salon at the Cell, host Jenifer M. Kelly centered the program around Leonard Cohen’s famous quote. “…there is a crack in everything…that is how the light gets in…” Heeding her call, the artists supplied a rave-worthy night of performances, every one powerful and passionate. The house was full, and as Brendan Costello notes, “…everyone who attended was entertained, surprised, and moved, and will come back for more.”

The extraordinary writer/actor Mary Goggin presented an excerpt from her award-winning autobiographical solo show Runaway Princess, for which she won Best Actor Galway Fringe 2019. In this excerpt, the young Princess makes a friend her angry mother won’t accept, and the Princess learns Irish dance steps from the father she loves.  For more on Mary please visit her website.

You can catch Mary’s full performance this weekend.

In her monologue from Christopher Durang’s prize winning play Laughing Wild, actor Suzanne Smith brought a comically disturbed woman to vivid life. Best known for her web series Saige Winters: My Psychic Life, Suzanne has a role in Woody Allen’s upcoming new film, A Rainy Day in New York. Visit Suzanne at

Speaking of powerful one-woman shows, The Scourge, in which a daughter gives voice to a mother sadly silenced before her time, is part of Origins’ The 1st Irish Festival. Its producer, Elizabeth Smyth of the Wexford Arts Centre, offered us a 20% discount, using this code WRITERS20.

Photo: Carla Briscoe

Narrative lyric author, graphic artist and teacher at Inwood Early College, Brian Kelly read “Correspondent” about photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in Libya; and “Queen of Jefferson Street” describing his 1950s family’s taste for radio and tv. You can find Brian’s book of poetry, L’America on Amazon, and find Brian on Facebook as Brian Kasymaliev, as he says there are too many Brian Kellys in the stew.
Playwright and literature professor Mark Donnelly’s one-act play My Body’s Crying portrays an older man confronting himself and his life through an inner dialogue. Playing both voices of this divided character was Mark himself in a passionate reading.


John’s Challenge Coin
John McDonagh, actor, playwright, radio-host and comedic agitator is famous for his award-winning solo show, soon to be television series, The Cabtivist, about his life as a New York City cab driver.   

John participated in the book We The People: Portraits of Veterans by Mary Whyte, in which the author interviewed a vet from each state. Its launch in Charleston found John shooting the breeze with General Patton’s grandson, who gave him a “challenge coin” from one soldier to another. For a clip about the book, with a cameo by John please visit.

In his first Salon appearance, Andy Seagrave, known as an expressive guitarist with one foot in the blues, brought the soul to The Cell with two solos, “Where Did He Go” and “The Jungle.”  You can catch Andy and his trio at venues like 11th Street Bar in the East Village or Silvana in Harlem where he works out his original material. Follow him on Instagram @seagravesounds. Facebook: Andyseagravemusic and soundcloud:  And enjoy this video clip of Andy live.
Marcia B. Loughran, wonderfully gifted poet (Still Life with Weather, and inspiring storyteller, followed  Salon’s theme of “letting the light in” with her “Messay” about a New Year’s Day spent exploring Chinatown and a new poem from her chapbook-in-waiting, My Mother Never Died Before and Other Poems. Notes Marcia, “As usual, the generous IAWA audience lifted me up along with the other excellent performers and the light came in!”

Comedy actor, writer and IAWA board member Sarah Fearon’s new material covered real estate madness, semantics of war, why Papyrus is closing, the ever-abundant material on relationships. Challenging the notion “The luck of the Irish,” Sarah suggested possible story lines for Scorsese’s next film — called The Irishwoman!  More about Sarah’s comedy and adventures in real estate at her website.

Many-talented (singer, songwriter, actor, director, playwright) Guenevere Donohue showed her lifelong passion for the earth with a story-into-song set about our warming planet and our real power to change it. Describing her childhood friendship with Pete Seeger, Guen sang the first song Pete taught her —his own composition “Rainbow Race.” She delivered Seeger’s prophetic words in a deep blues twang.

Guen closed the Salon in true IAW&A fashion, leading us in “Will You Go Lassie, Go.”  Says Guen, “Because when summertime’s a comin’ we don’t want it on fire.  We want it bonny.”

Another point of light getting in.