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STAGE TUBE: Behind the Scenes with Raven Theatre's THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD

This year, one of the many ways Chicagoans can observe St. Patrick's Day beyond dropping in to an Irish pub might be a visit to Raven Theatre in Edgewater to see the theatre's acclaimed production of The Playboy of the Western World. J. M. Synge's pioneering classic of modern Irish drama is a non-alcoholic trip to the Emerald Isle, though the play is, incidentally, set in an Irish country pub (they call it a shebeen). Click below to watch highlights from the production, as well as interviews with the cast and creative team!

The romantic and darkly comic play is set in County Mayo, a rural area of western Ireland that was later the locale for many plays of the contemporary Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, whose black comedies like The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Lonesome Westand The Beauty Queen of Leenane were influenced by Synge. In The Playboy of the Western World, a handsome young stranger swaggers into a small pub in rural Ireland, telling grand tales and boasting of dark deeds. The men admire him and the women adore him! But he soon meets his match with a feisty, beautiful barmaid.

For their production of this landmark of modern drama, Raven has created a windswept rural Irish pub created by Jeff Award-nominated set designer Andrei Onegin, authentic early 20th Century Irish garb in costumes by Alaina Moore and everyday country utensils via props and set dressing designed by Mary O'Dowd. An original musical score evoking the sound of Irish folk music has been composed by Leif Olsen.

The production, running through April 5th, is performed Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. St. Patrick's Weekend performances are Thursday, March 13 through Sunday, March 16. With a running time of two hours and five minutes, The Playboy of the Western World will allow ample time after performances (or all dayMonday), to visit local Irish pubs for a spirited celebration involving actual Irish alcoholic spirits.

Tickets and information are available at or by calling 773-338-2177.

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