A Sad Loss: Playwright Jim Curran

Today I received an email informing us that playwright Jim Curran passed away Friday evening, July 18.  I share this news with sadness even though I knew Jim only through our many correspondences when we published two of his works, “They’re Irish, They’re Catholic, They’re Guilty!” and “The Burning of the Old House.”  James Joseph (Jim) Curran graduated Suma Cum Laude with a BA Degree in English at the American International College followed by a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Springfield College. Throughout his professional career he worked as a Tech Writer for the Lytle Corporation in Albuquerque, NM in the Aerospace Program as well as a rehabilitation counseling Psychologist and Adult Probation Officer in the State of Connecticut. While living in New Mexico he suffered a serious injury in a skiing accident at Taos and returned to Massachusetts for surgery. During that time he received an invitation to convalesce for six months in Monaco as the guest of a personal friend, Princess Grace of Monaco.  Following a second surgery, Curran began to write fiction and produce one act plays before beginning his research for They’re Irish! They’re Catholic! They’re Guilty! In his research, he discovered that a failed legislative attempt 50 years ago was made to grant falsely convicted murderers Dominic Daley and James Halligan posthumous pardons. He believed an activist play written to pressure and persuade the Governor to reconsider might succeed. The play created an enormous amount of publicity using 33 local residents to perform the play before an enthusiastic audience. As a result, Governor Michael Dukakis granted the pardons on March 14, 1984 at the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They’re Irish! They’re Catholic! They’re Guilty! has received numerous subsequent productions often coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day. After the successful and award winning run of They’re Irish! They’re Catholic! They’re Guilty! Jim Curran went on to pen more plays including “The Burning of the Old House,” “Bobby Walters Interviews Lillie Langtry at age 50,” and “Marilyn and Bobby: Two Political Suicides.”  Jim’s dramatic works remind us once again the power of the pen in politics.  Many outstanding playwrights have enlightened us and changed the world with their insights and reflections.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jim for his gifts to us and hope you will take the time to read his plays.  Through his work you will know him.