Russell Thorburn

About Russell

Happy Birthday, James Joyce

The Playback

Growing Up Irish

The Long Labor of Seamus Murphy's Wife

Dylan Thomas in
New York

The Adventures of
Big Daddy and
Ned Nuclear

Drama Home


Growing Up Irish

What is it like to be the oldest of sixteen children growing up in a rural area of Flushing, Michigan? In these short, compelling monologues, the voices of an Irish-American family emerge from accidents of the heart and a family tragedy. Each one has a story to tell: grandmother, Uncle Tom, mother, sisters and brothers, and finally, Paddy, the oldest. There is a happy sinister bent to everything here, as well as an extraordinary honesty. Part One was performed to four sold-out shows on Off-Off-Broadway. Part Two was performed at the Arts and Culture Center, Peter White Public Library, in Marquette, Michigan.

Written by Russell Thorburn and Patrick Lynch.

Music by Patrick Lynch.

Listen to a Song:
"All the Houses"
Words and Music by
Thorburn and Lynch

"They play that TV too loud. When they're sleeping I might open it up and steal one of the banshee tubes…It might be better to be dead. I wouldn't have to wear these teeth. Sometimes I remove them and make a crone's face for the children. They cry and point at me. My toothless grin. And run and tell their parents. Mama, Daddy, she's going to eat us. I pop the teeth back in and smile"

"Mudholes of a Catholic perfection. We dug them deep in a mizzle of rain, desiring to murder the next tire. Then we'd leap out, shouting, 'Let us launch you from this muddy quagmire.' And we'd pocket our fees."

from Growing Up Irish

Patrick Lynch, co-writer