BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Maria Deasy is a New York-based actress, singer, writer, and producer, who won the Bairbre Dowling Spirit of the Festival Award at Origin Theatre’s 2019 1st Irish Festival, where she also received Best Actress nominations that year and in 2018. In New York, she has performed at The Roundabout, the Lucille Lortel, and Theatre For The New City, among many others. Her film appearances include Aimy In A Cage starring Crispin Glover, Barry Levinson’s Sleepers, the award-winning films Contact Zone and The Anniversary, and several network television shows and soap operas.
A graduate in “Literature & Society” from Brown University, she attended the Midsummer in Oxford program through Yale Drama School, and later studied with acclaimed acting teacher Wynn Handman. She completed the Commercial Theatre Institute’s 14-week program, “Advanced Topics in Producing For The Theatre” in 2015.
She is the author of Mine, which she produced at The Broadway Bound Theatre Festival in 2017.
During the pandemic, she wrote and performed with Italian screenwriter Deborah Belford de Furia in Together Apart, a collection of 10 mini-musicals conceived by Grammy winner Lisa Loeb, with whom Maria also wrote the song “Suspended.” The project raised over $40,000 for The Actors Fund through the Broadway On Demand platform.
In 2021, she was honored with the Irish Echo’s Arts & Culture Award for her effort and spirit in arts-led recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has presented at the Irish Echo’s Big Irish Campfire and Irish Labor Awards, and has hosted both on-line and live St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at the New York Irish Center. She represented Irish American Writers & Artists as a delegate to the 2023 Global Irish Civic Forum at Dublin Castle in Ireland, and was recently chosen as an Honorary Chair of the Irish Arts and Culture Awards in Buffalo, New York.
Currently, she is producing and acting in “Peace And Love In Brooklyn,” a new Irish musical by Cork-born singer songwriter Eamon O’Tuama, which premiered in concert at the Irish Arts Center as part of Origin’s 1st Irish Festival in January 2023.
Maria is also the Special Projects Manager in the Executive Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, working closely with national Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.
While her parents harken from beautiful County Mayo, Maria is both a native New Yorker and a Jersey Girl.
BRENDAN COSTELLO Jr.
Brendan Costello Jr. teaches creative writing at The City College of New York, where he earned his MFA. He won the Irwin and Alice Stark Award for short fiction. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Salon.com, The Huffington Post, OpenLettersMonthly.com, smokebox.net, and Epiphany Magazine. Brendan has taught online courses for the National MS Society, and is also the former producer and co-host of The Largest Minority on WBAI radio in New York.
SHELLEY ANN QUILTY-LAKE
A native of Co. Wexford, Shelley Ann Quilty-Lake is a partner at Meenan & Associates, LLC, a NYC law firm. She represents employees with redressing their workplace issues, including unfair treatment at work or during the application process, and the discriminatory terms and conditions of their employment. Shelley Ann also represents parties in an array of estate matters, including probate, administration and accounting proceedings in the Surrogate’s Courts across New York City. Shelley Ann is a long-time member of the Board of Directors for the Irish American Bar Association of New York (IABANY). She also served for years on the Executive Board of the Irish Business Organization of New York (IBO) as Treasurer and then First Vice President. She was proud to serve as the Chairperson of the IBO’s inaugural Women’s Networking Committee, and continues to serve as a member of this committee, which organizes networking events and opportunities for women by selecting female thought leaders and speakers to educate, inspire, and motivate attendees. In 2019, Shelley Ann was awarded the Irish Echo 40 Under 40 Justice Ambassador Award, the Belfast Ambassador Medal as part of the Belfast International Homecoming and was honored by the Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC). She has been named by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Employment Litigation: Plaintiff for the New York Metro area from 2016 through 2019, and as a Super Lawyer in Employment Litigation: Plaintiff for 2020-2021.
Karen Daly spent all her working life in book publishing, recently in senior editorial and acquisition roles. She was Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday’s Literary Guild book club for ten years, and served for twelve years as Director/Book Publishing for Bottom Line Books, a publisher of health and personal finance information. She frequently does the Salon blog.
Karen’s primary interest is in the contribution of the Irish to New York City history. She’s been published in the Journal of the New York Irish History Roundtable and has self-published an Irish/American Images Calendar (on lulu.com) for several years. A graduate of the College of Mount St. Vincent, she volunteers in the archives of a NYC landmark and for other groups.
Conor Bagley is a New York-based director interested in tragedies, tragicomedies, and seeing the private, sacred moments in the mundane, with a special place in his heart for Irish drama. His directing credits include Two by Friel by Brian Friel at Off Broadway’s Irish Repertory Theatre, The Adult in the Room at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, An Iliad at Atlas Performing Arts Center in DC (a 2018 DC Metro Theatre Arts’ staff favorite for “Outstanding Performance in a Professional Production”), plus Shining City by Conor McPherson and Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel at Yale University. He has been fortunate to assist and learn from several great directors, including Charlotte Moore and Neil Pepe in New York, and Conall Morrison at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. During Covid-19, he has been directing theatre virtually, including scenes from Jenna and the Whale by Vanessa Garcia & Jake Cline, Borrowed by Jim Kierstead, and Coral Gables by Christopher Demos-Brown (Adrienne Arsht Center’s Miami Monologues). In addition to directing, he has co-produced two shows on Broadway: The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez and Once on This Island, winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. Bagley is one of Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2019-2020 Directing Fellows.
Darrah Carr is an Assistant Professor in the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY. She is the Artistic Director of Darrah Carr Dance – a Bessie Award nominated Irish dance company that specializes in ModERIN: a unique blend of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance. Performance highlights include: “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The New Victory Theater, Celebrate Brooklyn, the Irish Repertory Theatre, and the company’s annual season at Irish Arts Center. Carr holds a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. She received an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University. Carr has presented her research at the Dance Studies Association, the National Dance Education Organization, and Dance Research Forum Ireland. She has contributed numerous articles to Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, and Dance Studio Life. Carr was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by The Irish Echo and one of the “Most Influential Women of 2010” by The Irish Voice. She was the 2020 artist honoree for Irish Arts Center’s yearly Show Your Love celebration. Darrah Carr Dance is represented by Siegel Artist Management.
Annalisa Chamberlin is an actor and proud New Yorker. Her background in classical music and performing arts set her on a creative path as a child, one she continues to follow to this day. She graduated from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, where she focused on acting for film and television. For over a decade, she was a resident actor and dramaturg at The Cry Havoc Company, also serving as a mentor in their apprenticeship program for young actors and writers. She has originated various roles in collaboration with Wallis Knot Theatre, often contributing original music to productions. She has had the privilege to appear in multiple theater festivals in New York City, including New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF), New York Theater Festival, Rising Sun Performance Theater Festival, and Origin Theatre’s 1st Irish Festival, where she starred in, directed, sound-designed, and co-produced the world premiere of Boann and the Well of Wisdom. She has appeared in independent films, commercial and print, and most recently made her network television debut on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, playing Kate Wallace in the final episodes of the show’s 24th season. Annalisa was one of the 2023 recipients of the Irish Echo’s Arts & Culture Awards and considers it a great honor to collaborate with Irish-American artists and creatives alike. Please visit Annalisa’s website.
Sarah Fearon is a graduate of the High School of Performing Arts, and New York University. Her film credits include Reversal of Fortune, Liebestraum, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed and The Comedian. Her short plays TED talks NYC, Air Rights and 2B have been presented at The Players Theater, Origins 1st Irish Festival, The Electric Picnic in Ireland and The Cell theater. Her work has been seen in Irish America Magazine, at the American Irish Historical Society Irish Press Awards, Funny Pages at the Stone House in Brooklyn, Rockaway Artists Alliance, West Side Comedy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, The Metropolitan Room, The Emerald Inn, Stand Up NY, the Irish Arts Center Sundays at Seven and many benefits in NYC. Her character Snazzy Peabody, a real estate legend in her own mind, can be found on SarahFearon.com. Sarah is a real estate salesperson at The Corcoran Group.
Malachy McCourt was born in Brooklyn, NY and from the age of three was raised in Limerick, Ireland. He returned to the land of his birth at age twenty and began his long-running career as a stage and screen actor, raconteur, radio personality, and writer. He has appeared on and off Broadway in Mass Appeal, Da, The Hostage, Inherit the Wind, and A Couple of Blaguards, which he co-authored and starred in with his brother Frank. His TV credits include appearances on many soap operas and as a guest on The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien and The Late, Late Show. His movie career has also been varied, with roles in The Molly McGuires, She’s the One, Devil’s Own, Green Card, and many others. As a writer, he has published a New York Times best-selling memoir, A Monk Swimming, as well as a history of the song Danny Boy, a history of the Claddagh ring, and Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland. Malachy is a co-host of the radio show Talk Back on Wednesdays from 10am to noon on WBAI 99.5FM.
John McDonagh is a playwright, cab driver, comic and political activist. After a three-month run at the Irish Repertory Theatre his play Off The Meter on the Record is currently on a world tour, starting in Long Island City, Queens then on to Donegal, Dublin, and back again. Directed by world-renowned Ciaran O’Reilly, the play is the culmination of a thirty-five-year career of driving a yellow cab while trying to make a difference in the world. John’s plays have been produced in the NYC Fringe Festival and at the cell theatre in NYC. He is currently producer and host of Radio Free Eireann with Malachy McCourt, a weekly radio show heard on Pacifica station WBAI, New York. He recently appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and in a documentary on French TV. John showed Stephen Fry his New York on the BAFTA award winning film Stephen Fry in America, and taught Richard Hammond to drive a yellow cab in Top Gear in America. John began his career as a NYC Yellow cab driver after serving in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Vietnam War, and was recently honored to be chosen by painter Mary Whyte to represent the state of New York in her series of paintings of veterans called We the People. John was one of the featured veterans in the CBS Sunday Morning piece on the exhibition. John’s parents emigrated from Co. Donegal and Tyrone, Ireland to Queens, New York and, while raised in New York, John spent his summers in Ireland. He is a frequent contributor to the IAWA salons. For more information on John please visit his website.
KATHLEEN WALSH D’ARCY
Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy is a native New Yorker with roots in Offaly and Tipperary. She lived and worked in Dublin for several years. She has worked as a writer, editor, teacher and social worker. She compiled and co-edited Territories of the Voice: Short Fiction by Irish Women Writers (Beacon Press), the first American collection of Irish women’s short stories. Her work has been published in Irish America Magazine, and All American Women (Macmillan). She wrote and produced Inside Stories, an oral history of women in NYC nursing homes, which was performed at the 92nd Street Y, and The Project Theatre in Dublin. Kathleen is active in the New York Irish community. She is a Director of the Irish Institute, and co-chair of the inclusive, multi-cultural St. Pat’s For All Parade. In 2016, she received the Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad which recognizes the contributions of members of the Irish diaspora.