Irish Rep New Works Reading Series Presents THE ALMOND & THE SEAHORSE

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The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) continues its fifth season of the New Works Reading Series, supporting new plays and emerging playwrights, with a free reading of Kaite O'Reilly's THE ALMOND AND THE SEAHORSE on Friday, January 28 at 3 p.m. at the Irish
Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) in Manhattan.

The cast of THE ALMOND AND THE SEAHORSE includes Reed Birney (A SMALL FIRE, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, BLASTED); Michael Chernus (IN THE WAKE, THE ALIENS); Terry Donnelly (THE IRISH... AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY, SIVE); Rebecca Harris (THE 39 STEPS, MOTHER THERESA IS DEAD); and Polly Lee (GRACELAND, SLAG HEAP).

In Kaite O'Reilly's THE ALMOND AND THE SEAHORSE, for the character of Gwennan, it's always 1985. The face in the mirror is unfamiliar and there's a strange man at the door claiming to be her husband. Joe's past is coming undone and his partner, Sarah, fears she will be forgotten. What happens when you have amnesia and are ambushed by time- your memories deleting, relationships erasing? After the accident, Gwennan never came back. Her husband Tom thinks they sent someone else. Sarah has reported Joe missing, but he's standing right beside
her. Four lives are trapped in time, but can survivors emerge from the wreckage? THE ALMOND AND THE SEAHORSE focuses on what has been coined "the silent epidemic" of those who have survived Traumatic Brain Injury. Informed by in-depth research in the US and UK, the play takes
a fascinating look at the fragility of memory and the power of devotion, informed by a Disability Perspective.

Playwright Kaite O'Reilly has won various awards for her work, including the Peggy Ramsay Award for YARD (Bush Theatre, London), Manchester Evening News Best Play of 2004 for PERFECT (Contact Theatre) and was one of the winners of the 2009 International Susan Smith Blackburn Award for THE ALMOND AND THE SEAHORSE (Sherman Cymru, directed by Phillip Zarrilli). Her acclaimed new version of Aeschylus's PERSIANS was directed in August 2010 by Mike Pearson
site-specifically on Ministry of Defense land in Wales, part of the inaugural year of National Theatre Wales. It was coined by National UK press as "one of the cultural events of 2010." She has recently received an Unlimited Commission, part of the Cultural Olympiad for the 2012 London Olympics, to create THE "D" MONOLOGUES. She is a Fellow of International Research Centre "Interweaving Performance Cultures", Freie Universitat, Berlin. For further information, visit
www.kaiteoreilly.com

Literary Manager Kara Manning hopes that the reading series will "give playwrights, both emerging and more established, the invaluable opportunity to develop their new work in a supportive, safe
environment and will also introduce some Irish playwrights, especially those who might not yet have the New York recognition they merit, to an American audience." The Irish Repertory Theatre's 2007 production of Stuart Carolan's DEFENDER OF THE FAITH and 2010 world premiere of
Kelly Younger's BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE were alumni of the New Works Reading Series.

As part of its mission, The Irish Repertory Theatre "encourages the development of new works focusing on the Irish and Irish-American experience, as well as a range of other cultures."

Founded by Ciarán O'Reilly and Charlotte Moore, The Irish Repertory Theatre opened its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS and is celebrating its 23rd Season. The Irish Rep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City
devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage. Recognized with the Jujamcyn Theatres Award, a special Drama Desk Award for "Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama,"and the Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Body of Work," The Irish Rep has
celebrated the very best in Irish theatre for over twenty years, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage. Nearly 38,000 audience members annually attend productions at our theatre located in the heart of New
York's Off-Broadway community. Once here, they witness The Irish Rep's engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama.

Currently at the Irish Repertory Theatre is its revival of Brian Friel's MOLLY SWEENEY, directed by Charlotte Moore. Set to open January 30, with performances through March 13, the production
co-stars Jonathan Hogan, Geraldine Hughes and Ciarán O'Reilly.

The 2010-2011 New Works Reading Series is underwritten in part by Alexis Doyle, Patricia Smith, and the members of our Patron's Circle.

The reading of THE ALMOND AND THE SEAHORSE on Friday, January 28 at 3 p.m. is FREE and open to the public at The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street). Seating is limited. RSVP by calling The Irish Repertory Theatre Box Office at (212) 727-2737. For more information
visit www.irishrep.org.

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