In the 1990s, Ireland has seen a new flowering in the arts. Stage directors like Garry Hynes, filmmakers such as Paddy Breathnach and actors including Brendan Gleeson and Peter McDonald have emerged as have writers like Martin McDonagh, Sebastian Barry, Billy Roche and Conor McPherson. Raised in Dublin, McPherson had always been interested in the tradition of storytelling and he found an outlet for it as a college student, acting and writing in productions. Following graduation, he and a group of friends founded their own theater company, producing his "Rum & Vodka" in 1992 and finding particular success with 1994's "The Good Thief". Although McPherson's "This Lime Tree Bower" was turned down by the major theater companies in Dublin (i.e., The Gate and The Abbey), it was produced at London's Bush Theatre. This play, like much of the writers early work, consisted primarily of monologues, which prompted some to feel he was incapable of writing a real dramatic work. Indeed, McPherson had his first international success with his one-person play "St. Nicholas", starring Brian Cox as a theater critic who becomes involved with supernatural elements. Even his acclaimed, award-winning "The Weir" is a quietly conversational piece that features a group of bar patrons recounting ghost stories. Yet in his first screenplay for the unjustly overlooked "I Went Down" (1998). McPherson more than proved the nay-sayers wrong. A wonderfully serio-comic look at low-level gangsters, "I Went Down" displayed the writer's gift for insightful dialogue and colorful characters. When he was tapped to make his feature directorial debut, McPherson turned to familiar material--the screen adaptation of his three-character play "This Lime Tree Bower" filmed under the title "Salt Water" (2000).