IN PIGEON HOUSE, LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY Set for Seanachai Theatre's 2012-13 Season

IN PIGEON HOUSE, LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY Set for Seanachai Theatre's 2012-13 Season

Seanachaí Theatre Company has announced its 2012-13 Season 'Rag-Tags and Wayward Souls', feautring the World Premiere of IN PIGEON HOUSE by Honor Molloy, October 17 - November 18, 2012, and the U.S. Premiere of LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY by Billy Roche, March 27 - April 28, 2013.

Lay Me Down Softly by Billy Roche

Early 1960s. Delaney's Travelling Roadshow lights up entertainment-starved rural Ireland with a helter-skelter world of bumper cars, bearded ladies, and rifle ranges. The main attraction is Dean, the carnival's amateur scrapper, inviting all comers into the ring. Looking on from the other corner is Theo, the iron-fisted patriarch of this rag-tag outfit. Aided by his disgruntled cashier girlfriend, Lily, and loyal cornerman, Peadar, he keeps the show on the road. That is until one day. Sucker-punched by a sudden one-two combination, Theo finds himself on the ropes at the unexpected arrival of his long-abandoned daughter, Emer, and a pro boxer with a score to settle.

Billy Roche is a playwright, novelist, screenwriter, director, musician and actor. He lives in Wexford, Ireland, where most of his plays are set. He often writes of rural life, just outside of modern, urban Ireland, a world where the inhabitants frequently feel out of place.

Roche's other stage plays include Amphibians commissioned by the RSC and performed at the Barbican, The Cavalcaders (Royal Court, London, and Abbey Theatre, Dublin), and On Such As We (Abbey). He is best known for The Wexford Trilogy, directed by Robin LeFevre, and performed in its entirety at the Bush, the Peacock and the Theatre Royal, Wexford. Roche wrote the screenplay for Trojan Eddie which was directed by Gillies MacKinnon and starred Stephen Rea and Richard Harris. He has been writer-in-residence at the Bush Theatre, and Writer-in-Association with Druid and The Abbey Theatre.

Tony-award winning playwright, Conor McPherson, described Roche as "an inspirational figure in contemporary Irish drama." McPherson wrote and directed the film The Eclipse, an adaptation of Roche's short story Table Manners.

In Pigeon House by Honor Molloy

Juxtaposed against the contemporary drug-fueled club scene in Dublin, In Pigeon House weaves together vaudeville, music hall, and cinema in this love letter to traveling shows. Moving between time and genres, the itinerant players Basher, Masher, Rasher and Dolly rip up the stage with a furious tornado of language and Moving Pictures. A startlingly theatrical and darkly comic oeuvre, In Pigeon House at once explodes and upholds the romantic myth of the wandering player.

In Pigeon House owes its inspiration to the "fit-ups," traveling shows that toured Ireland's countryside in the first half of the twentieth century. Farmers and villagers "starved for a bit of culture" prized the indigenous touring companies from whose talented and highly accomplished ranks emerged such actors as Cyril Cusack and Milo O'Shea. John Molloy, Honor's father, began his own career in the fit-ups before moving on to star in Ireland's first soap opera, Tolka Row.

In the spirit of both traveling shows, Seanachaí has packed its proverbial tents to present the entire 2012/13 season at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622.

Previews for In Pigeon House are Sunday October 14th and Tuesday October 16th at 7.30pm, with PRESS OPENING on Wednesday, October 17th, at 7.30pm. Performances run Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm, Sundays at 3pm. NO show Thursday October 18th. Tickets are $26-$30.

In Pigeon House's cast includes Ensemble actors Ira Amyx and Barbara Figgins. Amyx received Jeff nominations for his work in Seanachaí's productions of That Was Then (supporting actor) and A Moon for the Misbegotten (co-scenic designer with Merje Veski). John Mossman, who directed Figgins in Seanachaí's The Shadow of a Gunman, rounds out the cast along with Katherine Schwartz.

Director Brian Shaw is a founding member of the physical theater company Plasticene, with whom he created and performed original work for 17 years. Brian has performed with numerous theaters in Chicago, the Festival of the Americas in Montreal, the Hispanic Theater Festival in Miami, and the INFANT Festival in Serbia. He appeared off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in The Strangerer by Mickle Maher. Shaw is a Professor in the Theater Department at Columbia College, where he teaches acting, physical theater, theater history and community-based performance.

Honor Molloy is the author of Maiden Voyages (with Bronagh Murphy), Madame Killer (with Diana Kane), Crackskull Row, Murphy and Kick. She has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Her plays have been produced in NYC by Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, The Public Theatre's New Works, HERE, as well as Sydney's Mardi Gras Arts Festival and the Inisbofin Arts Festival. She has performed stories from her autobiographical novel Smarty Girl: Dublin Savage (GemmaMedia / Simon & Schuster Audio) at the Irish Arts Center, Barnes & Noble on the Upper East Side, Hamilton College, and at the 45th Commemoration of the Nelson Pillar Bombing at the Dublin City Archives.

Paul Loesel's songs, along with lyricist Scott Burkell, have been performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Birdland, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. Their songs have been premiered by Kristin Chenoweth, Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Stephanie J. Block, Susan Egan, and Liz Callaway. Their musical, Six of One, (Jonathan Larson Foundation Grant, ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, CAP21 workshop, Philly Fringe Festival), re-titled The Extraordinary Ordinary, played the Clurman Theatre/Theatre Row in NYC. Musical Revues include Love Songs And Other Crap (MAC Award nomination) and Sorta Love Songs (Birdland). Their new musical, Ella Minnow Pea, based on the popular novel by Mark Dunn, received a production at the University of Michigan and will receive an NYC workshop this fall. Paul also collaborated with Honor Molloy on Madame Killer. He is the recipient of the 2010 Theatre Hall Of Fame Burton Lane Award.

IN PIGEON HOUSE
by Honor Molloy
October 17th - November 18th, 2012
at the Den Theatre
1333 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60622
El Blue Line Division or Damen

PRESS Opening: Wed October 17th at 7:30pm
Runs October 17th - November 18th, 2012
Thu, Fri & Sat at 7:30pm
Sun at 3:00pm
Previews: October 14th & 16th at 7:30pm
NO show 10/18

Tickets:
$26 Thursday/Friday
$30 Saturday/Sunday
$12 Previews
Call (866) 811-4111 or visit www.seanachai.org
No service fees

Seanachaí is the Gaelic word for Storyteller. The people's stories were at the very core of ancient Irish culture. It was the duty of theSeanachaí to keep these stories alive. The mission of Seanachaí Theatre Company is to return theatre to this origin - by creating compelling productions and programs that focus the energy of artists towards The Common goal of exceptional storytelling. To achieve this end, Seanachaí Theatre Company strives to provide an atmosphere where all theatre artists - actors, playwrights, directors and designers - have the support and assurance to collaborate openly. That is at the heart of all ensemble companies, and Seanachaí has proven itself a major player in Chicago's ensemble-driven theatrical community.

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