Gloucester Stage Wins Top Boston Critics’ Award.

The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards Ceremony was held Monday, April 8, 2019 at the Ballroom of The Inn at Brookline where the awards for the 2018 Calendar Year were announced. The IRNE Awards honor the best of the previous year’s actors, directors, designers and companies across the full spectrum of large, midsize and fringe theater companies in the New England area. Gloucester Stage garnered one of the top awards of the evening Best Play-Midsize for: Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa . Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh accepted the award for the company, “Thank you IRNE Committee, the theater community and of course, our wonderful audiences in Gloucester.” Dancing at Lughnasa cast members Lindsay Crouse, Samantha Richert , Chris Kandra and Ed Hoopman attended the award ceremony.

Gloucester Stage Company received a total of eight nominations for the 2018 season. The nominations included: Best New Play: My Station in Life  by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf; Best Lighting Design: Marcella Barbeau for Sam Shepard’s True West; and four nominations for Brian Friel’s Dancing at LughnasaBest Play-MidsizeBest Director-Play-Midsize: Benny Sato Ambush; Best Actress-PlayMidsize: Gloucester’s Lindsay Crouse, and Best Supporting Actress-Play-Midsize: Samantha Richert.

Gloucester Stage Company’s 40th Anniversary Season opens on June 7 with Neil Simon’s romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park. For information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase single tickets or subscription packages, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit

Photo 1: Pictured L to R: Actor Ed Hoopman; GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh; Actors Lindsay Crouse; Samantha Richert and Chris Kandra celebrate after winning the award.
Photo 2: Cast members enjoy the evening : L to R: Chris Kandra; Ed Hoopman; Samantha Richert, Lindsay Crouse and GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh
Photo 3: L to R:  Samantha Richert and Lindsay Crouse with Robert Walsh
Photos by Chris Griffith

CONGRATULATIONS TO GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY! Boston Critics’ Recognize GSC 2018 Season With SIX IRNE Award Nominations

Boston Critics‏ Recognize Gloucester Stage Company’s 2018 Season

Non-Profit Theater Receives Six IRNE Award Nominations

Gloucester’s Lindsay Crouse and Ken Riaf Garner Nominations

The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) recently announced the nominees for the 23rd Annual IRNE Awards. Gloucester Stage Company received a total of eight nominations for the 2018 season. The IRNE Awards honor the best of the previous year’s actors, directors, designers and companies across the full spectrum of large, midsize and fringe theater companies in the New England area.

The nominations for Gloucester Stage’s 2018 season include Best New Play: My Station in Life  by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf; Best Lighting Design: Marcella Barbeau for Sam Shepard’s True West; and four nominations for Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa:Best Play-Midsize; Best Director-Play-Midsize: Benny Sato Ambush; Best Actress-PlayMidsize: Gloucester’s Lindsay Crouse, andBest Supporting Actress-Play-Midsize: Samantha Richert.

According to GSC Artistic Director Robert Walsh, “We’re very excited for all our nominees and appreciative of the IRNE committee for this recognition! Looking forward to celebrating these nominations on April 8 along with the entire Boston theater community.”

The winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual IRNE Awards to be held on Monday, April 8th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ballroom of The Inn at Brookline, just outside Kenmore Square. Tickets, as always, will be free, courtesy of the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE).

Gloucester Stage Company’s 40th Anniversary Season opens on June 7 with Neil Simon‘s romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park.For information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase single tickets or subscription packages, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit

Photo 1: True West by Sam Shepard featuring (L to R) Alexander Platt and Nael Nacer with IRNE nominated Lighting Designer
Photo 2 and 3: The world premiere of My Station in Life by Gloucester’s Ken Riaf:  Featuring Ken Baltin as Simon Geller and Gloucester’s Meagan Gallo: IRNE nomination for Best new Play
Photo 4 : Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa featuring Gloucester Resident and Academy Award nominee Lindsay Crouse: IRNE Nomination for Best Actress
Photo 5: Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa featuring(L to R) Samantha Richert(IRNE nominee for Best Supporting Actress) and Bryn Austin
Photo 6: Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at GSC : IRNE Nomination for Best Play 
All photos above by Gary Ng for Gloucester Stage Company
Photo 7: Benny Sato Ambush Director of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at GSC: IRNE Nomination for Best Director Courtesy Photo


Robert Walsh, Artistic Director   Jeff Zinn, Managing Director




Featuring Academy Award Nominee Lindsay Crouse

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 39th season of professional theater with Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa from June 8 through July 8at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Dancing at Lughnasa received the Tony Award for Best Play in 1992. Set in County Donegal in 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival, Dancing at Lughnasa, chronicles the five Mundy sisters and their brother Jack, who has returned home from the missions after 25 years away. Brian Friel’s award winning Irish masterpiece reunites veteran director Benny Sato Ambush with Academy Award nominee and Gloucester resident actress Lindsay Crouse. The pair collaborated on Gloucester Stage’s critically acclaimed productions of Driving Miss Daisy in 2014 and Lettice and Lovage in 2016. The five Mundy sisters are Lindsay Crouse as Kate; Jennie Israel as Maggie, Bryn Austin as Agnes, Cassie Gilling as Chris, and Samantha Richert as Rose. The reminder of the cast includes Paddy Swanson as Father Jack, Ed Hoopman as Michael, and Chris Kandra as Gerry.

Often nicknamed the “Irish Chekov,” playwright Brian Friel had 24 plays published in a career spanning half a century. In addition to Dancing at Lughnasa his works include Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Faith Healer. In 1980 he co-founded the Field Day Theatre Company with actor Stephen Rea, which helped to unify opposing factions in Northern Ireland through performance. In 1989 BBC Radio launched the Brian Friel Season, a series launched in devotion to his work. Following his death in 2015 the National Library of Ireland valued his remaining notebooks and manuscripts at over one million dollars.

Director Benny Sato Ambush made his Gloucester Stage debut directing 2012’s Master Harold and the boys for which he won the IRNE Award for Best Director. He returned to GSC in 2013 to direct Driving Miss Daisy and in 2016 to direct Lettice and Lovage, both productions featured Lindsay Crouse. Mr. Ambush is a professional SDC stage director, former Producer/Artistic Director of professional theaters, educator, consultant and published commentator. As a director he has worked at the Old Globe Theater; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; South Coast Rep; Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Merrimack Repertory Theater, Arizona Theater Company; Magic Theater; Geva Theater; Playwrights Horizon; Ford’s Theater; American Repertory Theater Institute; Philadelphia Festival Theater for New Plays; Lincoln Center Theater Institute; Heart of America Shakespeare Festival; Indiana’s New Harmony Project; Alaska Theater of Youth; International Theater Festival of Chicago; Sacramento Theater Company; National Black Theater Festival; Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater; Lyric Stage Company of Boston; and North Carolina Black Repertory Company. He also directed in the Boston Theater Marathon and on NPR Radio as well as directing all five of the San Francisco Bay Area McDonalds Gospel Fests. In 2005 Mr. Ambush directed the 68th annual edition of America’s oldest and longest running outdoor dramaThe Lost Colony in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. His artistic leadership experience includes: Producing Director: Oakland (CA) Ensemble Theater; Associate Artistic Director: San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater; Acting Artistic Director: Providence, RI’s Rites and Reason Theater Company; Co-Artistic Director: San Francisco Bay Area Playwrights Festival; and Producing Artistic Director – Richmond, VA’s LORT C TheaterVirginia (one of only 13 people-of-color to have ever been Artistic Director of a LORT Theater).Mr. Ambush was Associate Artistic Director of Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue at Harvard University in the summer of 2000 and Director of the Institute for Teledramatic Arts and Technology at California State University, Monterey Bay. For the past nine years he has served as the  Senior Distinguished Producing Director-In-Residence of Emerson Stage, the producing wing of the Department of Performing Arts (PA) at Emerson College. He has taught on the Acting/Directing Faculty in the Department of Performing Arts at Emerson College, Boston MA as well as a Visiting Arts Professor for the NYU Graduate Acting Program; and Artist in Residence, Tisch School of the Arts, NYC. Mr. Ambush has served on numerous regional and national boards including Theater Communications Group (TCG), has been a panelist and site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts. He received an  MFA from University of California, San Diego and a BA from Brown University.