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Ciarán O'Reilly and Charlotte Moore ounded the Irish Repertory Theatre in 1988, with a mission to present works by Irish and Irish American playwrights to American audiences. The theatre opened with Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars. To this day, they remain the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to Irish and Irish American playwrights.
The company found its permanent home on 22nd Street in Chelsea in 1995. The site, a former warehouse, had to be renovated in order to house both the main theatre space - the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage - with a seating capacity of 148, as well as a smaller, off-off-Broadway studio space named the W. Scott McLucas Studio.