Arts & Entertainment

Olean Native Recounts Journey to Stages in New York and London

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Credits: David Bryant
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ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — He was a boy with dreams bigger than the town he was from.

Born and raised in Olean, the youngest in a family of six children, Patrick Mulryan always dreamed of performing on the big stage. And he has done that – in New York and in London.

Mulryan recalled numerous moments on stage in his younger years that still hold great significance to his life. Among them, is performing at St. Bonaventure University for the first time when he was in middle school.

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And Friday at 7:30 p.m., he will be back at St. Bonaventure to take the stage at the Quick Center for the Arts when he and his accompanist, pianist Adam Marks, open the 2016-17 performance series of Friends of Good Music with “From Olean to New York to London and Back Again.”

The son of longtime St. Bonaventure English faculty members John and Sandra Mulryan, Patrick Mulryan said he took advantage of every opportunity he found during his adolescent years to further his talents and craft as a performer. He performed in Olean High School productions when he was a student there and with area community theater groups.

Living in Olean, he said, gave him a sense of peace and acceptance, which ultimately followed him throughout his professional life.

“The sense of community is incredibly strong here,” Mulryan. “I’ve sought out that sense of community in all that I do.”

After graduating from high school, Mulryan pursued a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in Ohio, and during his college years spent time at the Moscow Art Theatre and fell in love, he said, with conservatory training. He went on to pursue a master’s in fine arts from Brown University, where he performed with the Trinity Repertory Company.

His dreams of one day performing on the big stage became a reality when he performed in the Fiasco Theater’s production of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods” at the Roundabout Theatre in New York. The show won the Lortell Award for Outstanding Revival in 2015. He went on to perform the show in London at the Menier Chocolate Factory. It was, he said, a huge success.

“To be able to do a show that I love with people I love in amazing cities and to be able to work with Sondheim himself has been a dream,” Mulryan added.

In London, Mulryan not only explored his talents, but the city of London as well. He was able to take in many sights, including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London, and took side trips to Bath and Barcelon.

Because he fell in love with London and all that it had to offer, “I am already looking for reasons to go back,” Mulryan said. “I’ve applied for Irish citizenship so the working in Europe will be easier.”

He said that the audience should expect an intimate evening and that the show will be about his relationship to music and his craft: the life of an artist through story and song. 

“I share personal stories and songs that matter to me deeply,” he noted.

What also matters deeply to him is that his young followers find what they are truly passionate about. He believes they should seek out fellow artists who fuel their dreams and are passionate in the same ways, and that they should make their dreams into realities.

And yes, he does plan to sing songs from “Into the Woods.”

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