Grannia: The Musical

Grannia: The Musical


In 1989 at the urging of Irish folk artist, Tommy Makem, Power researched a little-known character from Irish history.  Grace O’Malley or Granuaile as she was called by her countrymen, became the pirate queen of Connaught in the 16th century and proved to be a thorn in the side of Queen Elizabeth of England  until she was finally captured and imprisoned only to be pardoned by Elizabeth and returned to Ireland to sail the seas until her death in 1603.  The play entitled Grannia went on to win ACTF festival entry and the Moss Hart Award in 1990.  Equity production and national venues marked the continuing progress of this work.

The music has a unique Irish rock sound with the story told by Grannia and Queen Elizabeth as they meet in England for their historical audience.  Grannia explains her life in terms Elizabeth can appreciate as she survives the political wars of her own court.

Much of 1988 was spent in Ireland traveling the West country crawling through ruins and talking with story tellers  from Achille to Galway.  On returning home the year-long process of writing the book and then working with Flash Allen on the music and lyric began in earnest.  A draft was completed and refined for a November 1989 production at the University of Southern Maine directed by William Steele.  Investors were enticed to participate in the future of the production and it played to sold-out houses and won inclusion in the ACTF festival in February of 1990.

Following the opening year, Grannia was awarded the Moss Hart Award and optioned for a first Equity run at the Shakespearean Theatre of Monmouth, directed by Richard Sewall with the leading role of Grannia performed by Kim Gordon.   Once more the show was sold out for the summer repertory run.  The next production of Grannia was in West Long Branch, New Jersey at a summer playhouse on the Jersey shore and once again proved to attract sold out houses for that company.

The show went through two re-writes and eventually played a suburb of Chicago successfully before returning to Maine for two different runs over the same number of years.  The script is currently being considered on the West Coast and is available for consideration to any legitimate company.  Script and demo CD’s need only be requested at the address below.

Contact: Grannia Inc.
C/O Thomas A. Power