Thomas Keneally's TRANSPORT to Play Irish Repertory Theatre in February 2014

Off-Broadway's award-winning Irish Repertory Theatre proudly announces the world premiere production of the new musical TRANSPORT. With a book by world-renowned Australian author Thomas Keneally (Schindler's List, the acclaimed book on which the Oscar-winning film is based) and music and lyrics by Larry Kirwan (founder of the iconic New York City band Black 47), TRANSPORT follows the uneasy ocean voyage of Irish women who were sentenced and then exiled to the relatively uninhabited south coast of Australia in the mid-19th Century. TRANSPORT has direction and set design by three-time Tony Award-winning director and designer Tony Walton, and choreography by Barry McNabb (Irish Rep's FINIAN'S RAINBOW, STREETS OF NEW YORK). TRANSPORT will be performed February 7ththrough April 6th, 2014 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage of the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street). The Press Opening is scheduled forFebruary 16th.

Sprung from the pen of world-renowned author Thomas Keneally, TRANSPORT derives from the true story recalled by the grandmother of his wife, Judy, who journeyed in chains from Cork to Sydney, Australia in 1846. TRANSPORT tells the story of the impoverished Irish women and young girls (the so- called "undesirables") who were deported on The Whisper, a prison ship, to the Australian penal colonies. TRANSPORT's characters include members of the ship's crew, an exiled Irish priest, and four of the unfortunate female prisoners. With both an authentic score -- with echoes of traditional Irish and Australian tunes -- and a contemporary resonance, TRANSPORT transcends time, place and character with a hauntingly moving immediacy intertwined with the indomitable Irish spirit and a shared and abiding humanity.

The cast of TRANSPORT will be announced shortly.

Presented in association with Nina L. Keneally and James F. Lightstone for 1407 Productions, Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.

TRANSPORT has set design by Tony Walton, costume design by Linda Fisher, and lighting design by Richard Pilbrow. The Production Stage Manager is Christine Lemme.

Thomas Keneally (Book/Lyrics). Born in Sydney in 1935, Thomas Keneally is one Australia's most successful and acclaimed authors. He has been short-listed for the Booker Prize on four occasions: in 1972 for The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest in 1975, and Confederates in 1979, before winning the prize in 1982 with Schindler's List which was adapted into Stephen Spielberg's Oscar-winning 1993 film. Keneally has won Australia's Miles Franklin Award twice withBring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete. In The Great Shame, published in 1998, Keneally presented a gripping account of the Irish diaspora of the nineteenth century, which saw Ireland lose half of its population to famine, emigration, or deportation to penal colonies in Australia--often for infractions as common as stealing food. Keneally was awarded the Order of Australia in 1983 for his services to Australian Literature.

Larry Kirwan (Music) is the lead singer, guitarist and composer for the political rock band Black 47. The band has released ten CDs for both major and independent labels, has appeared on "Leno," "Letterman" and "O'Brien," and has been profiled in most major magazines and newspapers in the US. Kirwan has also recordedKilroy Was Here and Keltic Kids as solo efforts. He has written eleven plays and musicals, five of which are collected in the book Mad Angels. LIVERPOOL FANTASY, his best known play, has been produced Off-Broadway and at the Dublin Theatre Festival. He has also written a novel version of Liverpool Fantasy; another novel,Rockin' The Bronx; a memoir, Green Suede Shoes; and Livin' in America, a collection of songs and stories. Kirwan is a political activist who has been involved in the Irish Civil Rights struggle for over thirty years and received the 2006 Michael Flannery Spirit of Freedom Award. Visit

Tony Walton (Director) is a director and designer of sets and costumes. He has been honored with numerous Tony Award awards and nominations for his Broadway sets and/or costumes. For over a decade he has directed productions of Wilde, Shaw, Coward, and others for New York's Irish Repertory Theatre, San Diego's The Old Globe, Sarasota's Asolo Repertory Theatre, and Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor. Tony has won three Tony Awards as Best Scenic Designer: in 1973 for PIPPIN, in 1986 for THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, and in 1992 for GUYS AND DOLLS. He has also been Tony-nominated 13 other times: as Best Costume Designer: in 1967 for THE APPLE TREE, and in 1988 for ANYTHING GOES; and as Best Scenic Designer: in 1976 for CHICAGO, in 1980 for A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/A NIGHT IN TH EUKRAINE, in 1984 for THE REAL THING, in 1987 for THE FRONT PAGE, in 1988 for ANYTHING GOES, in 1989 for LEND ME A TENOR, in 1990 for GRAND HOTEL, THE MUSICAL, in 1991 for THE Will Rogers FOLLIES, in 1994 for SHE LOVES ME, in 1997 for STEEL PIER, and in 2000 for a revival of UNCLE VANYA. Tony is the recipient of many Oscar and Emmy nominations, and was awarded the Oscar in 1980 for All That Jazz, and an Emmy in 1985 for "Death of a Salesman." In 1991, he was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame.

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