Marina Carr's BY THE BOG OF CATS Set for Irish Rep Reading Series, 2/24

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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 Marina Carr's BY THE BOG OF CATS on Friday, February 24 at 3 p.m. at the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) in Manhattan.

The cast of BY THE BOG OF CATS includes Bianca Amato, Mark Blum, Dashiell Eaves, Michelle Hurst, Mia Katigbak, Louisa Krause, Dan McCabe, Marissa O’Donnell, Gordana Rashovich, and David Sitler.

BY THE BOG OF CATS is set in the mysterious landscape of the bogs of rural Ireland. The play tells the story of Hester Swane, an Irish traveler with a deep and unearthly connection to her land. Tormented by the memory of a mother who deserted her, Hester is once again betrayed, this time by the father of her child, the man she loves. On the brink of despair, she embarks on a terrible journey of vengeance as the secrets of her tangled history are revealed.

Born in 1964, playwright Marina Carr was brought up in Co. Offaly. She graduated from University College, Dublin in 1987. Plays for the Abbey Theatre, Dublin include 16 Possible Glimpses, Marble, Ullaloo, The Mai, Portia Coughlan, By the Bog of Cats, Ariel, and Meat and Salt. Other plays include Phaedra Backwards (McCarter), On Raftery's Hill (Druid/Royal Court), Low in the Dark (Project Arts Centre), Woman and Scarecrow (Royal Court), The Cordelia Dream (RSC) and The Giant Blue Hand (The Ark). Marina has been awarded The Puterbaugh Fellowship for 2012 by The University of Oklahoma as part of the Puterbaugh Festival of International Literature and Culture, this year devoted to her work. Other awards include The Macaulay Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the E.M. Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has also held the Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova. She was the 1932 fellow at Princeton for 2008. She is an honorary professor at Trinity College Dublin and has just been awarded an honorary doctorate from her alma mater. A member of Aosdána, Marina lives in Kerry with her husband and four children.

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 24th 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.

Currently on the Irish Repertory Theatre's main stage is Eugene O'Neill's Beyond the Horizon, directed by Ciarán O'Reilly, set to open Sunday, February 26. In its studio theatre, with performances set to begin March 7, is Paul Durcan's Give Me Your Hand, co-starring Dermot Crowley and Dearbhla Molloy, directed by Richard Twyman.

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

The reading of Marina Carr's BY THE BOG OF CATS on Friday, February 24 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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