Irish Rep Announces First Ever Online Summer Season Featuring YES! REFLECTIONS OF MOLLY BLOOM and More
Irish Repertory Theatre has announced its first ever Online Summer Season. This summer will feature three of Irish Rep's most beloved recent productions reimagined for the screen and filmed remotely for limited release as part of A Performance on Screen, including Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom; The Weir and Love, Noël: The Songs and Letters of Noël Coward. The season will also include the World Premiere of Darren Murphy's short play The Gifts You Gave to the Dark, and a special online celebration-The Irish (Rep)... and How We Got That Way: A Celebration of Endurance and Perseverance Through Hard Times, featuring a screening of the 1998 Irish Rep World Premiere production of Frank McCourt's The Irish...and How They Got That Way.
"We miss our crowded lobby at the Irish Rep but since you cannot come to our house, we will come to yours," said Irish Rep Artistic Director Charlotte Moore and Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly. "We are very proud to keep the Irish Rep flag flying during these coming months."
Kicking off the summer season is the World Premiere of The Gifts You Gave to the Dark, written by Darren Murphy (Irish Blood, English Heart) specifically for digital media in reaction to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin (Associate Director, Abbey Theatre) and featuring music by Carl Kennedy, The Gifts You Gave to the Dark will premiere on Wednesday May 27, 2020 at 6PM EST and will remain online through October 2020.
Tom, confined to his bed in Belfast with COVID-19 is unable to visit his mother, Rose, who is dying in Dublin. His uncle, Larry, arranges a call from Rose's sickbed. As Larry holds his phone to Rose's ear, Tom tells his mother the story of a journey - an image of a perfect day they once shared. It's a Belfast story, and it's the very last thing he can do for his mother - the only thing he can do for her. As Tom speaks, he takes his mother home on her final voyage, during the last ten minutes of her life. The Gifts You Gave to the Dark is about the power of story to offer succor and comfort in even the bleakest times, over separations of geography and time.
The cast of The Gifts You Gave to the Dark includes Seán McGinley (Braveheart) as "Uncle Larry," Tony Award winner Marie Mullen (The Beauty Queen of Leenane) as "Rose" and Marty Rea (Whistle in the Dark) as "Tom."
The Gifts You Gave to the Dark will premiere to the public on Irish Rep's YouTube channel.
The Gifts You Gave to the Dark was made with the assistance of the Irish Abroad Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and The Consulate General of Ireland in New York and the Howard Gillman Foundation ©2020.
On Monday, June 8 at 7PM EST Irish Rep will host a special online celebration-The Irish (Rep)... and How We Got That Way: A Celebration of Endurance and Perseverance Through Hard Times. The evening will feature a special screening of the 1998 Irish Rep World Premiere production of The Irish... and How They Got That Way by Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, Teacher Man) and conversations with Irish Rep co-founders Charlotte Moore and Ciarán O'Reilly, Irish Rep Board Chair Kathleen Begala, Frank McCourt's widow and Irish Rep Board Chair emerita Ellen McCourt, and Frank McCourt's brother Malachy McCourt. The video will then be available to stream through June 14.
The Irish... and How They Got That Way is an irreverent history of the Irish through the tumultuous 20th and 21st centuries through the eyes of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt. His razor sharp wit, coupled with his trademark bitter irony and his boundless love for the Irish People are all underscored by glorious music extending all the way from the auld Irish folk ballades; through George M. Cohan's patriotic love songs to America; to World War II standards sung in movies, USOs and foxholes all over the world, including the latest from contemporary Ireland's most well-known artists.
This celebration is a special fundraiser in place of Irish Rep's annual gala, which was originally scheduled for June 8, but has now been postponed. At 6PM on June 8, Irish Repertory Theatre will host a private Zoom pre-show reception for VIP guests and supporters featuring a live performance by Ciarán Sheehan and live conversations with the cast and creatives. VIP pre-event tickets start at $500 are available now at irishrep.org.
The Irish (Rep)...and How We Got That Way will premiere to the public on Irish Rep's YouTube channel.
Following the success of Irish Rep's first A Performance on Screen - Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney, which was seen by over 3,000 households - they are thrilled to present three more of their favorite plays for audiences this summer.
To view a performance, audience members must register at IrishRep.org for one of the performance dates. A link will be sent to all registrants two hours before the performance begins. Irish Rep is committed to making theatre that is affordable and accessible. In pursuit of this goal, Irish Rep has chosen to make A Performance on Screen events free to the public, with a suggested donation of $25. All contributions will help ensure that Irish Rep can continue to offer top-quality digital events, keep staff employed and be artistically and financially ready to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.
YES! REFLECTIONS OF MOLLY BLOOM
From the novel Ulysses by James Joyce
Adapted for the stage by Aedín Moloney and Colum McCann
Music by Paddy Moloney
Starring Aedín Moloney
June 16 - 20, 2020
It is Ireland in the early hours of June 17th, 1904. Molly Bloom's husband-the wandering philandering Leopold "Poldy" Bloom-has just come home & fallen asleep in their Dublin row house. Molly-a daughter, a mother, a lover and a long-suffering wife-patrols the pathways of her wild and leaping consciousness. She is lustful. Scared. Exuberant. Heartbreakingly lonely. Vivaciously reckless. And profoundly funny.
With an empty nest, an unfulfilling affair and a marriage long past its prime, Molly must find a way back to the rock-bed of love that she and Bloom once shared. Her unsentimental stream of consciousness is a song of songs that reaches backwards and forwards across the centuries. Written one hundred years ago, Joyce's words seem carved not just for today, but tomorrow too. Time ticks within time, dreams are upended, and life is thrown off balance. Molly seeks to reanimate love and ends up discovering herself. Dublin becomes Gibraltar, age becomes youth and a small room in Dublin becomes the world.
The 2019 Irish Rep World Premiere production of Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom was awarded the Outer Critics Circle Award and nominated for the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Solo Performance.
Performances will take place on Tuesday June 16 at 7pm (Bloomsday); Wednesday June 17 at 3pm and 8pm; Thursday June 18 at 7pm; Friday June 20 at 8pm; and Saturday June 21 at 3pm. Reservations are now open to Irish Rep members and will open to the public on Monday June 1.
Written by Conor McPherson
Directed by Ciarán O'Reilly
July 21 - 25, 2020
In a remote country pub in Ireland, newcomer Valerie arrives and becomes spellbound by an evening of ghostly stories told by the local bachelors who drink there. With a whiff of sexual tension in the air and the wind whistling outside, what starts out as blarney soon turns dark as the tales drift into the realm of the supernatural. Then, Valerie reveals a startling story of her own.... Conor McPherson's The Weir is a haunting, evocative evening in the theatre you will never forget.
The 2013 Irish Rep production of The Weir was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival.
Performances will take place on Tuesday July 21 at 7pm; Wednesday July 22 at 3pm and 8pm; Thursday July 23 at 7pm; Friday July 24 at 8pm; and Saturday July 25 at 3pm. Reservations are now open to Irish Rep members and will open to the public on Monday July 6.
LOVE, NOËL: THE SONGS AND LETTERS OF NOËL COWARD
Written and Devised by Barry Day
Directed by Charlotte Moore
August 18 - 22, 2020
Get to know the life and times of one of the 20th century's most dynamic creative icons - Noël Coward - through this intimate performance in which Steve Ross and KT Sullivan transform into some of the many characters that made up Coward's unique life...Gertrude Lawrence, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Elaine Stritch, Lynn Fontanne, Virginia Woolf, Edna Ferber, the Queen Mother and, of course, The Master himself, Noël Coward. Through Coward's songs, stories and personal letters, cabaret legends Ross and Sullivan will summon up timeless memories of an era that may be gone but is never to be forgotten.
Performances will take place on Tuesday August 18 at 7pm; Wednesday August 19 at 3pm and 8pm; Thursday August 20 at 7pm; Friday August 21 at 8pm; and Saturday August 22 at 3pm. Reservations are now open to Irish Rep members and will open to the public on Monday August 3.
Irish Repertory Theatre would like to thank the playwrights, creative teams, and actors involved in the original productions for their support of these Performances on Screen.
We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers' Unions Actors' Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, and SAG-AFTRA through Theatre Authority, lnc. for their cooperation in permitting the Artists to appear on this program.
In response to COVID-19, Irish Rep launched two other ongoing initiatives. The Show Must Go Online is a series of homemade videos on their social media channels of Irish Rep company members performing their favorite songs, poems and monologues from Irish & Irish American plays, poets and musicians. The Show Must Go Online is hosted by Irish Rep company member Michael Mellamphy (The O'Casey Cycle, The Seafarer) and features Irish Rep company members and friends such as Gabriel Byrne, Melissa Errico, KT Sullivan, Bill Irwin and more. Follow hashtags #TheShowMustGoOnline and #IrishRepOnline for The Show Must Go Online updates and new videos. All videos also live on Irish Rep's website: www.irishrep.org/theshowmustgoonline.
Meet the Makers is a digital series of conversations with scholars and Irish Rep artists discussing their work and theatre in general. With episodes released throughout the COVID-19 hiatus, this special series offers a behind-the-scenes look at Irish history, theatre, and the creative process. Follow the hashtags #IRTMeettheMakers and #IrishRepOnline for Meet the Makers updates and new videos. All videos will also live on Irish Rep's website: www.irishrep.org/meetthemakers.
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg