Weâ€™re all used to Irish festivities in March, but in Danville we say: why not celebrate our sister city across the sea throughout the year? Weâ€™re putting on an Irish festival July 10 â€“ 14.
The festival will be full of music, food, dance, theatre, etc., etc., etc., and honors our communityâ€™s relationship with Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. Pioneer Playhouse and the Sister Cities Commission have brought Northern Irelander Kieran Cunningham to Danville to appear in â€œThe Search for Tinker Doyle,â€ written by local playwright Elizabeth Orndorff after her artist exchange to Carrickfergus last year.
And here at the Arts Center, weâ€™re giving two of our most popular programs, Lunch with the Arts and Starry Night Studio, an Irish twist next week during the festival!
This is Kieran Cunninghamâ€™s first-ever trip to Kentucky, and his first trip to the states in about 20 years. He arrived in town in late June and wasted no time getting into rehearsals for â€œThe Search for Tinker Doyle,â€ has already performed locally at McCarthyâ€™s in Lexington, and is scheduled for this Friday and next Friday at V the Market in Danville. (I heard that he ran into a childhood friend at McCarthyâ€™s, who he hadnâ€™t seen in about 35 years, who is now living in Lexington. Small world, right?!)
Kieran seems to be a jack of all trades. Heâ€™s a singer, musician and actor who has appeared many times on the stage and screen overseas. American audiences may have caught him in HBOâ€™s â€œGame of Thronesâ€ as a Baratheon officer! (He’s in season two though, and trust me, if you’re not watching “Game of Thrones” already, you’ll want to start at the beginning.)
At Lunch with the Arts on Thursday, July 11, heâ€™ll be sharing stories of his native Ireland and perform several songs in homage to Irish musical greats like the Chieftans and Van Morrison. Here’s a preview.
Thatâ€™s only the beginning of the Irish fun on July 11 at the Arts Center though! At 7 p.m. that night, we have a special edition of the ever-popular Starry Night Studio. David Farmer has created an â€œEnchanted Irish Forestâ€ specifically for the Danville Irish Festival! Amanda Hendershot will be teaching this class, and as of today, we only had four spots left!