Mairéad O’Neill is an NYC & Boston based actor/singer. Born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen as the only child to 2 actor parents, she was educated at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and The Performing Arts as a Drama major. She has trained at The New York Film Academy, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and acting and musical theater professors at such institutions as Carnegie Mellon, NYU Tisch, Fordham University and Rutgers Mason Gross School of The Arts. She currently attends Boston University’s School of Theatre and is pursuing a BFA in Acting with a concentration in Music Theatre and a Minor in Vocal performance.
Mairéad fell in love with theater when she played the inventor of the subway, Alfred Eli Beach, in a play at her arts-integrated elementary school on 48th street. Years later, she has had the privilege of moving up a few blocks to perform in 4 concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, heading down 9th avenue to originate the role of ‘Summer’ in the world premiere presentation of WE <3 MR. MARSDEN by Chisa Hutchinson at Keen Company, and driving up the West Side highway to Stony Point, NY, where she worked on I AND YOU at Penguin Repertory Theater with Bway vet director Tom Caruso, to rave reviews. She has been praised by critics for a “bravura performance” filled with “electrifying stage presence” and “infused with controlled energy, unflagging focus, and the volatile chemistry of youth”, and has been compared to a young Anne Hathaway and Mary Louise Parker, much to her delight. Additional theater projects include the AEA staged reading of the musical CURIOUS & RARE at The Theater Center and HUMPTY CRACKS UP at The Tank Theatre in NYC.
Mairéad has had a fairly successful voiceover career, working on projects with Gen-Z Media since she was 12 years old, as well as being the radio voice for Montefiore Hospital, praising frontline workers during the COVID pandemic. You can hear her as ‘Aurora’ in the Peabody Award winning and Webby nominated “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel” in seasons 2-3, and hear her give voice (AND song) to ‘July’ in “Tomorrow: The Continuing Adventures of Annie Warbucks” alongside the voices of Laura Benanti and Alan Ruck. She would love it if you could hear the dozens of demos she has done for Comcast/Xfinity, but you’ll just have to take her word for it.
She got her start in the world of film as a kid by being in music videos for the band Minus Ted, with director Skipp Sudduth (of Third Watch). Since then, she has starred in the band Break Out The Crazy’s “This Love” music video, as well as a 2018 music video titled “Teens Save Net Neutrality” where she also sang. Her first actual short film project was “The Parker”. Most recently, her face has been on screen in the NY Emmy Nominated "AllArts: Behind The Mask” on WNET as a featured singer. She played a supporting role in the highly acclaimed “The Renovation '' and played the lead in the micro-short “Monster Soup” at the age of 11. Her student film, “When Words Fail”, which she co-wrote and directed (as well as stepped into a role when it was short an actor), has been presented at the United Nations, representing the United States and receiving the Peacemaker’s Champion Award. It won Best Drama at the School’s Out NYC competition, and it was also presented at the TriBeCa Film Festival. If you looked closely enough, you would be able to make out her face in a small sea of Irish dancers at the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Live on NBC.
As a kid, she trained at dance studios like the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, Flamenco Latino, Alvin Ailey, and Broadway Dance Center. As a young adult, she opts to call herself an extremely strong mover & a very physical actor. Mairéad has been attending private voice lessons since 2015 with Heidi Siegell and most recently, Tracey Grimaldi. She excels at the musical theater sound but also has a certain affinity for jazz and alternative music. If her fingers are feeling nimble, she can accompany herself on some piano, guitar, or ukulele.
Favorite in-school roles include Miss Sandra in ALL SHOOK UP, Emma in STUPID FUCKING BIRD, Harper in ANGELS IN AMERICA (scenes from), Kayleen in GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES and Wednesday in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. If you’d like to count it, she also recalls playing Matilda in a 3rd grade (and definitely illegal) playground production of Matilda: The Musical, which is particularly near and dear to her heart. During her senior year of LaGuardia High School, Mairéad missed school for a month to perform in I AND YOU at Penguin Repertory Theatre, choosing to opt-out of the highly acclaimed Senior Drama Festival. However, in a last minute covid-case emergency, she was called in a swing for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, and, with five days notice, learned every individual fairy track in the show, and performed as the roles Philostrate and Fairy. Her high school awarded her with the Sandy Faison Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, and the Martin Tishman Musical Theatre Award.
Other accolades and honors include BroadwayWorld’s NEXT ON STAGE Top 10 & Judges Save, where she competed against nearly 3,000 other applicants, and being selected as an Honorable Mention in the Adele & Larry Elow High School American Songbook competition. Because of the latter, she was lucky enough to sing two songs at the 32ND ANNUAL NEW YORK CABARET CONVENTION, alongside the immensely talented accompanist Jon Weber. She also has the good fortune of being one of the few to receive a College of Fine Arts Talent scholarship from Boston University.
Mairéad loves to make videos and is often found clicking away editing footage at a laptop. During the COVID pandemic, she spent virtual time with her friends creating music videos for songs from “Chicago”, “Spring Awakening”, “A Chorus Line”, and “Rent”. She is a self described iMovie expert, and is currently teaching herself FinalCut Pro and Logic Pro X to hopefully produce some of her own music in the future.
Other random tidbits and fun facts: You can hear her singing background vocals for her dad’s album LOOK BACK TOMORROW (on Apple Music and Spotify). She was the drummer for her middle school Glee club’s band. When she was fifteen, she learned how to juggle from her drama teacher, but has since become much worse at it. She knows a little too much about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is probably (definitely) listening to Stevie Wonder at this very moment.
Mairéad is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is AEA eligible. She is represented by Boals, Winnett & Associates for Film/TV and Theatre, and DDO Artists Agency for Commercial/VO. Find her on social media: @maireadnyc for actor related Instagram posts, @mairead0neill for less actor-y things, youtube.com/maireadoneill5678 for plentiful videos of songs and scenes.