The History of the Gaelic Park Players

Program from the first play done by the Gaelic Park Players

Program from the first play done by the Gaelic Park Players

Way back in the Spring of 1992 a handful of like-minded individuals on 
Chicago’s South Side gathered together with the idea of forming an 
Irish Theatre Group, where everybody could work in the performing 
arts and have fun doing so at Gaelic Park. Our hope was to present 
the best in Irish culture and tradition to the community surrounding
 Gaelic Park and indeed to Chicago at large, in the shape 
of Irish drama and comedy. We called ourselves Gaelic Park Players.

Our first production consisted of two one-act plays by Seán O’Casey 
entitled “Pound on Demand” and “Bedtime Story”. Both plays were well 
received and the group was encouraged to expand its horizons. 
We now present two full length productions per year, one in the Spring 
and one in the Fall in addition to performing at various Irish Festivals
 over the Summer months. Productions to date have concentrated 
on drama, comedy and farce from the pens of Seán O’Casey
and Brian Friel to John Murphy, Bernard Farrell and John B.Keane.

In 1994 a Performing Arts Stage was added to the Programme for 
Gaelic Park’s Irish Fest held each year over the Memorial Day Weekend. 
Our group has been delighted to host the Performing Arts Stage
over the four day festival, featuring local talent from the Chicagoland area, 
visiting groups from Milwaukee WI. and St. Paul MN. and wonderful 
storytelling with Batt Burns and Tommy Makem.

We are active participants in Acting Irish International Theatre Festival 
(AIITF) and hosted the Festival here at Gaelic Park in 1999. 
We hosted the Festival again in 2005. In 2006 we participated in AIITF
 with “The Able Dealer” in Toronto, and in Milwaukee in 2007. 
In Milwaukee Gaelic Park Players received the coveted 
”Adjudicators Award” for “Getting Buried” 
Deborah Sampson was nominated for Best Actor in a female role.
 Kate McNally was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a female role.