Irish Rep to Present Reading of John Steinbeck's THE PASTURES OF HEAVEN, 10/26

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The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) continues its sixth season of the Irish Rep Reading Series, with a free reading of JOHN STEINBECK'S THE PASTURES OF HEAVEN -- Octavio Solis's adaptation of the novelist's collection of short stories, first published in 1932 -- on Friday, October 26 at 3 p.m. at the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street).

These are the interweaving stories of the residents of the "Pastures of Heaven," a fertile valley ensconced in the mountains just west of Salinas, California. They recount the struggles that people undergo when they force the land they live on, the earth itself, to make their dreams come true, resolve their problems and subdue their inner demons. Only one recently transplanted family, the Munroes, enter into the valley with their eyes open, but at each turn they encounter people who nurse their delusions and thereby suffer for them.

The cast of John Steinbeck'S THE PASTURES OF HEAVEN includes Carlo Alban (A Summer Day, “Margaret”); Renata Friedman (Upright Grand, The K of D); Mahira Kakkar (Harper Regan, Jesus in India); Florencia Lozano (Red Dog Howls, Dirty Story); Howard McGillin (The 39 Steps, Irish Rep’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales); Brian McManamon (It or Her, The Clearing); Drew McVety (Cyrano De Bergerac, Billy Elliot); Kellie Overbey (Rapture, Blister, Burn, Lemon Sky); Jennifer Rau (Once in a Lifetime, Texas Homos); and C.J. Wilson (Glengarry Glen Ross, The Lady from Dubuque).

Octavio Solis is a playwright and director living in San Francisco. In addition to John Steinbeck'S PASTURES OF HEAVEN, his works include, Ghosts of the River, Quixote, Lydia, June in a Box, Lethe, Marfa Lights, Gibraltar, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, The 7 Visions of Encarnación, Bethlehem, Dreamlandia, El Otro, Man of the Flesh, Prospect, El Paso Blue, Santos & Santos, and La Posada Mágica. They have been mounted at the California Shakespeare Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Dallas Theater Center, the Magic Theatre, Intersection for the Arts, South Coast Repertory Theatre, the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, Shadowlight Productions, the Venture Theatre in Philadelphia, Latino Chicago Theatre Company, the New York Summer Play Festival, Teatro Vista in Chicago, El Teatro Campesino, the Undermain Theatre in Dallas, Thick Description, Campo Santo, the Imua Theatre Company in New York, and Cornerstone Theatre. His collaborative works include Cloudlands, with music by Adam Gwon, Burning Dreams, co-written with Julie Hebert and Gina Leishman and Shiner, written with Erik Ehn. Solis has received an NEA 1995-97 Playwriting Fellowship, the Roger L. Stevens award from the Kennedy Center, the Will Glickman Playwright Award, a production grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the 1998 TCG/NEA Theatre Artists in Residence Grant, the 1998 McKnight Fellowship grant from the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, and the National Latino Playwriting Award for 2003. He is the recipient of the 2000-2001 National Theatre Artists Residency Grant from TCG and the Pew Charitable Trust. He has also just been awarded a United States Artists Fellowship for 2012. Solis is a Thornton Wilder Fellow for the MacDowell Colony, New Dramatists alum and member of the Dramatists Guild. His new anthology, “The River Plays” has been published by NoPassPort Publishing. He is working on commissions for the Magic Theatre SF and Yale Repertory Theatre.

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 Reading Series.

As part of its mission, The Irish Repertory Theatre "encourages the development of 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 25th Anniversary 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 40,000 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.

The Reading Series is underwritten in part by members of The Irish Repertory Theatre's Patron's Circle.

Octavio Solis's John Steinbeck'S PASTURES OF HEAVEN on Friday, October 26 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 212-727-2737. For more information visit www.irishrep.org.

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