The Irish Curse

Full-Length Play, Comedy  /  5m

This raucous, touching comedy about a self-help group for men with a particular physical "shortcoming" unmasks the comical and truthful questions of identity, masculinity, sex and relationships that men face every day.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
  • Duration
    90 minutes
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Senior
  • Nominee! 2013 GLAAD Media Award, Outstanding Los Angeles Theater



What "The Irish Curse" is – and how it manifests itself – is the raw centerpiece of this wicked, rollicking and very funny new play. From its blistering language to its brutally honest look at sex and body image, The Irish Curse is a revealing portrait of how men, and society, define masculinity. In doing so, it dares to pose the fundamental question that has been on the minds of men since the beginning of time: "Do I measure up to the next guy?"

Size matters to a small group of Irish-American men (all professionally successful New Yorkers) who meet every Wednesday night, in a Catholic church basement, at a self-help group for men with small penises. This alleged Irish trait is the focus of their weekly sessions, as they all feel this "shortcoming" has ruined their lives. One evening, when a twentysomething blue-collar guy joins the group, he challenges everything the other men think about "the Irish Curse"... tackling their obsession with body image and unmasking the comical and truthful questions of identity, masculinity, sex and relationships that men face every day.


The Irish Curse was first produced at the New York International Fringe Festival, Summer 2005, where it won the festival's Outstanding Playwriting Award. The play was subsequently performed in the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the 2007 Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival. It opened Off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse in New York City in March 2010 and has since enjoyed many regional productions across the country.

Cast Attributes

RICK BALDWIN – early 20s; a smart, optimist, fun-loving Staten Island stud who's studying sports medicine at a local New York college; the kind of guy who paints his face green, drinks a lot, and hangs with his buds on St. Patrick's Day
JOSEPH FLAHERTY – 40s, the short side, stout and balding; born in Savannah, Georgia, and now an angry, liberal contracts lawyer who lives on the "way Upper West Side;" his wife recently walked out, leaving him with two young daughters
STEPHEN FITZGERALD – late 30s; tall, handsome gay cop from the Bronx; a moody, dark, taciturn smart-ass; lives with his father, who's also a cop; never ever ever sees the glass as half full, although he would probably like to
KEVIN SHAUNESSY – late 40s early 50s, a Catholic priest originally from Boston; principal of a parochial school in Brooklyn Heights, which donates rooms to various support groups; a sweet, caring guy with acting aspirations; actually looks like he could play a priest on TV
KEIRAN RILEY – late 20s, nice-looking, middle class guy from Queens who works at a roofing company; exuberant, very nervous, and very sincere; also really Irish and someone you'd want to be your best friend

Author's Note: The play is about four Irish-American guys from New York, and one real Irishman from Dublin. The physical types are very specific.

The play is about four Irish-American guys from New York, and one real Irishman from Dublin. The physical types are very specific.

  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day
  • Setting A contemporary basement meeting hall in a Catholic church in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Additional Features No intermission
  • Duration 90 minutes
  • Cautions
    • Intense Adult Themes
    • Strong Language


“Critic's Pick! Colorful character-driven comedy.” – Time Out New York

“Casella is at his best when he's going for laughs. He gets a lot of them.” – The New York Times

“ONE OF THE BEST PLAYS OF THE YEAR! Truly original, truly hysterical and truly touching! You will be enthralled!” – Talk Entertainment

The Irish Curse is a very human and even humane play. You will find yourself rooting for these esteem-building sessions to succeed.” – Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press


The Irish Curse 2.0
by Martin Casella
March 17, 2020


  • The Irish Curse - Identities Inc. production trailer

  • The Irish Curse - Good Theater, Portland, ME


  • Musical Style N/A (Not a musical)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


Available Formats:


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Martin Casella

Martin Casella's plays include The Irish Curse (New York Off-Broadway, London, Los Angeles, Edinburgh, Dublin, L.A., Outstanding Playwriting Award, FringeNYC; published by Samuel French), Scituate (Best New Play, SCFTA), Mates (L.A. WEEKLY Award, Best New Play), Paydirt, Dese ...

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