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Acknowledgements

With many thanks from writer-composer/lyricist Amy Day to the people and organisations who have helped bring 'In the Midst of Plenty' to life. 

Dr Ciarán Reilly of Maynooth University, an historian of 19th and 20th century Irish history, specializing in the Great Irish Famine. An expert on the events underlying this story, Dr Reilly authored major texts and essays upon which this project relies. Through countless long emails and Zoom calls across time zones, he has given generously of his energy and expertise in helping me understand the complex history involved and bringing historical figures to life.

 

Anne-Marie O'Sullivan, director of Enchanted Croi Theatre in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland for lending her imagination, creativity, and many talents to the first production of this piece, and for successfully shepherding the show's magical Irish tour. 

Every member of the cast and crew from the show's first year of existence: Julie Sharkey, Martin Gilligan, Eoghan Burke, Mary Claire Ryan, Blathnaid Daly, Ruairi Nicholl, Niall Brewster, Anne-Marie O'Sullivan, Tracy Bruen, Aine O'Brien, Grainne Hunt, Jules Stewart, Neil FitzGibbon, Dylan Maguire, Gavin Sweeney, Cian Hoyne, Abbie Gibbons and Molly Dalton. Each cast member contributed so much more than his or her on-stage performances. 

Caroilin Callery and the Callery family, Rhona McGrath, the staff of the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park, Dr. Jason King, the community of Strokestown, Jonathan Cassidy, the Ireland Funds, National Famine Way, the Irish Heritage Trust, and the Tipperary County Council. 

 

Roscommon County Council and the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme, Rhona McGrath, and Ireland's Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports, and Media, for providing Enchanted Croi Theatre with the funding necessary to make possible the first production of this piece. Ireland's National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park, host to the first production of this piece, where a 2019 visit left me with the inspiration for the project.

 

Eoghan Burke, for his thoughtful and comprehensive early review of the script.

 

Aleta Barthell, award-winning playwright and playwriting teacher at San Diego Writer's Ink. Aleta's classes gave me a sense of accountability in working on the project, and her feedback, wisdom, and sensitivity kept me going.

 

Thank you as well to my fellow students in Aleta's classes for their energy and generous feedback: Belle, Michelle, Susan, Lauren, Jenna, Katie, Ken, and many others.

 

Mark Hollmann, Tony Award winner and musical theatre songwriting teacher, whose Dramatists Guild Institute class for composer-lyricists provided invaluable insights and connected me with other wonderful artists.

 

Rachel Sarrano, Nicholas Kaminsky, Joseph Osborne, Gary Kubota, Jason Eyster, and Robert Shard, who make up my steadfast musical theatre songwriting community. Their feedback was generous, thoughtful, and sensitive, and they have taught me about my work by sharing their own.

The many vocalists and instrumentalists who have lent their talents to demos and workshops for the songs for this project: Una Ni Fhlannagain, Tony Cunningham, Sandi King, Leigh Jones, Audra Nemir, Omar Musisko, Jules Stewart, Dan Frechette, Jack Pennifold, Veronica May, Ted Stern, Scott Walsh, Michael Finnican, Lauren Leigh Martin, William BJ Robinson, and Nicholas Kaminsky.

 

My husband, Evan Day, who sets me free to write and encourages the project in every way, and my three boys.

Books used for historical reference:

Duffy, Peter. The Killing of Major Denis Mahon: A Mystery of Old Ireland. Harper Perennial, 2008.

Kelly, John. The Graves are Walking: the Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People. Picador, 2012.

Kinealy, Christine. Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland: The Kindness of Strangers. Bloomsbury, 2013.

Kinealy, Christine et. al. Women and the Great Hunger. Quinnipiac University Press, 2016. Nicholson, Asenath. Annals of the Famine in Ireland in 1847, 1848, and 1849. E. French, 1851.

 

O'Rourke Murphy, Maureen. Compassionate Stranger: Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine. Syracuse University Press, 2015.

 

Reilly, Ciarán. The Famine Irish: Emigration and the Great Hunger. The History Press Ireland, 2016.

Reilly, Ciarán. Strokestown and the Great Irish Famine. Four Courts Press, 2014.

Scally, Robert James. The End of Hidden Ireland: Rebellion, Famine, and Emigration. Oxford University Press, 1995.

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