This morning at its home in Temple Bar, ITI held a gathering for family, friends and theatrical colleagues to mark the first anniversary of the death of the renowned actress and theatre producer Phyllis Ryan (1920 – 2011).
Three generations of the Ryan family were in attendance – her son Gregg, his wife Gillian, grand d08hters Emma and Sarah and great grand-d08hter 4 year old Mia. Also attending were Catriona Crowe (Chair, Irish Theatre Institute), actors Maria McDermottroe, Ronnie Masterson, Frank Kelly and Barry McGovern. Fr. Dermot McCarthy, Tony O Dalaigh, Cian O’Brien of Project Arts Centre and Pat Moylan, Chair of the Arts Council were also in attendence.
Catriona Crowe said “Phyllis was an esteemed Founding Patron of Irish Theatre Institute who created numerous opportunities for theatre-makers in Ireland particularly for playwrights like John B. Keane and Hugh Leonard. She is missed”. Siobhan Bourke, Co-Director of Irish Theatre Institute, said “throughout Phyllis’ producing career she was a significant employer of actors and was especially keen to spot new acting, directing and playwriting talent. She was a woman who lived in the present and looked forward to the future and ITI feels she would have welcomed the on-line presence we have created on the ITI website which reflects the rich and diverse nature of her theatrical career”. Maria McDermottroe recalled her experiences of working with Phyllis’ independent company, Gemini Productions, and said “she is a great loss to us in the theatrical community as she is exactly the dynamic and creative sort of person Irish theatre needs to see it through these hard times”.
The Ryan Family presented a portrait of Phyllis by James Le Jeune to the Abbey Theatre’s archivist, Mairéad Delaney and Literary Manager, Aideen Howard who informed the gathering that the portrait will be a key element in the Phyllis Ryan Collection recently donated to the Abbey Theatre.
For biographical information, testimonials and picture gallery please see: https://www.irishtheatreinstitute.ie/page.aspx♣t=phyllis_ryan&contentid=2007
Listen to the special podcast recorded by Aonghus Óg McAnally in conversation with Tony O’Dalaigh, Maureen McGlynn and Michael Scott who recall their memories of working with Phyllis Ryan.
Take a look at Phyllis Ryan “In Conversation” at the Launch of Irish Playography Phase II, 1950-1975, in April 2005.
If you would like to email us your personal stories about Phyllis and Gemini Productions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, we would be very pleased to hear from you.