Milwaukee Irish Arts Events

Milwaukee Irish Arts (Cumann Ealaín Éireannach Milwaukee) is a group dedicated to the initiation, presentation and promotion of Irish and Irish American arts in the Midwest with emphasis on theatre, film and the visual arts. We have offered an ongoing program of cultural events since 1983 when we first introduced theatre performance as part of Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Over the past 17 years Milwaukee Irish Arts has brought to the local stage over one hundred works from the canon of Irish and Irish American drama. Our production of The Wake at Milwaukee’s Performing Arts Center brought Steve Allen to town for what he termed a “masterful creation” of his play. We imported the Abbey Theatre’s Ray Yeates to direct Philadelphia, Here I Come, which provided an early opportunity for young actor Barry McEvoy, who has gone on to star on Broadway with Jason Robards and Blyth Danner. We brought the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland to the Pabst Theatre for a spectacular concert that the local press called “the cultural bargain of the year.”  Our presentation of Belfast actress Maggie Cronin’s A Most Notorious Woman played to full houses and rave reviews.

Milwaukee Irish Arts produces the Theatre Tent at Irish Fest in Milwaukee, one of the largest Irish festivals in the United States if not the world. In addition to arranging performances from around the country as well as from Ireland, it mounts its own productions for this event. In the last few years, the group has presented “Bedtime Story” by Sean O’Casey, “Lovers: Loser” by Brian Friel, “Thirst” by Flan O’Brian.

Milwaukee Irish Arts is one of the founders of the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival.

We thank you, the Milwaukee Irish Community and Milwaukee Irish Arts patrons, for helping us to continue to act as a springboard for new writers and performers.

Go néirí an t-ádh linn!

John Gleeson
Artistic Director

We are hosting 3 events at County Clare in the Michael Joyce Room

Wednesday, November 29th • 7:30 pm
The Young Offenders
Irish Award Winning Comedy

Inspired by the true story of Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure in 2007, The Young Offenders is a comedy road movie about best friends Conor and Jock, two inner-city teenagers from Cork who dress the same, act the same, and even have the same bum-fluff mustaches. Jock is a legendary bike thief who plays a daily game of cat-and-mouse with the bike-theft-obsessed Garda Sergeant Healy. When a drug-trafficking boat capsizes off the coast of West Cork and 61 bales of cocaine, each worth 7 million euro, are seized, word gets out that there is a bale missing. The boys steal two bikes and go on a road trip hoping to find a missing bale which they can sell so as to escape their troubled home lives….But Sergeant Healy is in hot pursuit.

Thursday, December 7th • 7:30 pm
Man of Aran
Silent Movie with Live Score!

Man of Aran is a 1934 Irish fictional documentary (ethnofiction) film directed by Robert J. Flaherty about life on the Aran Islands off the western coast of Ireland. It portrays characters living in premodern conditions, documenting their daily routines such as fishing off high cliffs, farming potatoes where there is little soil, and hunting for huge basking sharks to get liver oil for lamps.

Sunday, December 10th • 4:30 pm
Reading of James Joyce’s “The Dead”

James Joyce wrote “The Dead” in 1907, three years after writing the fourteen other stories that were eventually published with it in his collection “The Dead” is the last story in the collection, and it unites the themes found in the earlier stories. In his book, Joyce wanted to give the history of Ireland. The prominent characteristic he saw in Ireland, and particularly in Dublin, was the spiritual paralysis of its people. The plot of “The Dead” presents the thoughts and actions of one man, Gabriel Conroy, on a night he and his wife attend a party given by his two aunts. With its meticulous detail, the story is realistic in style, focusing less on great events than on subtle symbolism.