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Mint Theater Continues Silver Lining Streaming Series With KATIE ROCHE by Teresa Deevy

Katie Roche by Teresa Deevy, directed by Jonathan Bank, begins February 1st and continuing through March 28th.

Mint Theater Continues Silver Lining Streaming Series With KATIE ROCHE by Teresa Deevy

Mint Theater Company will continue its Silver Lining Streaming Series with the on-demand streaming of the three-camera archival recording (filmed in HD!) of Katie Roche by Teresa Deevy, directed by Jonathan Bank, beginning February 1st and continuing through March 28th The price of admission is FREE. To receive a password, visit MintTheater.org.

Days To Come by Lillian Hellman (The Little Foxes, Watch on the Rhine, Toys in the Attic, The Children's Hour), directed by J.R. Sullivan, continues through February 21st. "Days To Come turns out to be a gripping piece of storytelling, one whose failure and subsequent obscurity make no sense at all. This is the 14th Mint Theater revival that I've reviewed since 2005, and the 14th time I've raved about the results. Such unfailing excellence merits much wider recognition. If you've yet to see what the Mint can do, start here!" said Terry Teachout in The Wall Street Journal.

Closed captioning is available for all of Mint's upcoming streaming productions.

Katie is a servant girl of uncertain parentage. She is wild with ambition and dreams of finding something great to do. Teresa Deevy's drama takes you on Katie's journey as she struggles to find herself and her destiny. Originally produced by Ireland's Abbey Theatre in 1936, Katie Roche was included in the Gollancz Anthology of "Famous Plays of 1936" ("even though it cannot yet be called famous," wrote the editor in a preface) along with Clifford Odets's Awake and Sing. The Abbey chose Katie Roche to kick off their US tour in 1937 and in 1938 it was produced in London.

Katie Roche was the third production of Mint's ambitious multi-year project dedicated to the brilliant Teresa Deevy. Mint single-handedly put Deevy back onto the literary map with their acclaimed productions of Wife To James Whelan (2010), Temporal Powers (2011), Katie Roche (2013) and The Suitcase Under the Bed in 2017. "This glowing, evocative production is the third play in the Mint Theater's survey of the work of the nearly forgotten Irish playwright Teresa Deevy. It's a weird and wonderful play from 1936, whose central character, vivaciously brought to complex life by Wrenn Schmidt, is an exuberant serving girl of dubious parentage in a cottage household in Lower Ballycar. Katie has ambitions of sainthood or riches, whichever comes first; then Stanislaus Gregg (Patrick Fitzgerald), the head of the house, asks for her hand. Fitzgerald gives a memorably controlled and borderline creepy performance. The director, Jonathan Bank, with the help of a rich, red-wallpapered set by Vicki R. Davis, and superb, subtle lighting by Nicole Pearce, creates a world in which longing seems tangible. Deevy's dialogue is practically minimalist, but in very few words an entire culture is revealed, and the mysteries of the human heart explored," wrote Ken Marks in The New Yorker. The title role in Katie Roche is played by Wrenn Schmidt who appeared as Julia Sagorsky in HBO's acclaimed, Emmy-nominated "Boardwalk Empire." Also featured in the cast of Katie Roche, directed by Mr. Bank, are Margaret Daly, Patrick Fitzgerald, Jon Fletcher, David Friedlander, Jamie Jackson, John O'Creagh, and Fiana Toibin.

"Deevy was the great white hope of the Abbey in the mid-1930s. Katie Roche was included alongside the staples of O'Casey and Synge on the Abbey's tour of the US in 1937. And then she was simply dropped, suddenly and without explanation. Deevy's next play, Holiday House, was accepted by the Abbey but then shelved, and she was never told why. That breach has never been properly repaired. But there has been no coherent exploration of Deevy's work as a whole by any Irish company. Instead, the Mint Theatre in New York, which specializes in rediscovering lost work, has engaged in what it calls the Teresa Deevy Project. Its artistic director, Jonathan Bank, working with the Deevy family and with Chris Morash of NUI Maynooth, where there is now a Deevy archive, produced Wife to James Whelan in 2010, Temporal Powers in 2011 and now Katie Roche, which opened last week. The Mint has also staged readings of four short plays and is publishing two volumes of Deevy's scripts," wrote Fintan O'Toole for The Irish Times, March 9th, 2013.

Mint has been investing in creating professionally shot and edited full length, three-camera archival recordings filmed in HD since 2013. No Zoom boxes or Computer Generated Imagery - these are professional quality, hi-definition recordings of live performances, captured in the theater with live audiences. "One of the few welcome surprises of 2020 was the announcement by New York's Mint Theater that it had spent the preceding seven years taping broadcast-ready three-camera archival videos of its off-Broadway productions, and that in lieu of live performances during the pandemic, it would stream these videos for free. As regular readers of this column know, the Mint specializes in small-house revivals of unjustly forgotten 20th-century plays. I have been reviewing one or two of its shows most seasons for the past decade and a half, and each one I've seen has been well chosen and flawlessly acted and staged. No other theater company in America has a more consistently high record of artistic quality. The Mint will be webcasting five more shows between now and June, and my plan is to watch and review them all. The company's motto is "Lost Plays Found Here," and I have relished all of the 14 scripts, none of which I had previously seen or read, that Jonathan Bank, the Mint's producing artistic director, has exhumed and brought to my attention since 2005. To be able to see such shows in your home, especially now, is an amazing, heart-easing luxury-one that won't cost you a cent," wrote Terry Teachout in The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2021.

"When I launched the Teresa Deevy Project back in 2010, I had a hunch it might be the most meaningful and satisfying work I could ever hope to do. Streaming Katie Roche in 2021 allows us to build on the four productions and two books that Mint has produced, as our airing coincides with 'Active Speech': Sharing Scholarship on Teresa Deevy, the first-ever international conference of Deevy scholars. Keynote speaker for the conference is Professor Christopher Morash of Trinity University, a good friend of the Mint and co-editor of our two Deevy volumes. I remember sharing my excitement with Chris in 2010, when I write this email: 'My pursuit of the neglected Irish play has led me to Teresa Deevy, a truly exciting playwright with a fascinating story. I've managed to track down her play Temporal Powers, which our friend (Robinson) Lennox produced at the Abbey in 1932, and Wife to James Whelan. I'm determined to do one of them, although I can't decide which--and that just makes me want to do both! Following on that thought, I've begun to wonder about organizing a bit of a festival and/or a conference, but I've no idea if there would be any academic interest.' Happily, this long fermenting hope has come into being and I'm delighted that Mint can make an active contribution to the conference with our archival video," said Jonathan Bank, Mint Producing Artistic Director.

The "Silver" of the Silver Lining Streaming Series also refers to the Mint's Silver Anniversary: twenty-five years of unearthing and preserving forgotten plays.

Upcoming full length archival recordings streaming on demand will include Women Without Men by Hazel Ellis, directed by Jenn Thompson (2/22 to 3/21); Yours Unfaithfully by Miles Malleson, directed by Jonathan Bank (3/22 to 5/16); A Picture of Autumn by N.C Hunter, directed by Gus Kaikkonen (3/29 to 5/23); and The Fatal Weakness by George Kelly, directed by Jesse Marchese (5/17 to 6/13), all at Mint's virtual theater, MintTheater.org.

"Although the Mint Theater Company is justly lauded for its rehabilitation of forgotten works - the group's mission is to bring 'new vitality to worthy but neglected plays' - I don't think Jonathan Bank's outfit gets enough credit for its unwavering dedication to women writers. If I have some issues with the conservative way the productions are staged, I have none with the group's dedication and fairness. The Mint made its reputation with shows by the likes of Harley Granville-Barker, J.B. Priestley and A.A. Milne, but for me, it's the plays written by women that have resonated the most. Maybe because the pay-off is sweeter: These women had descended into an obscurity even more pitch-black than that of the male writers produced by the Mint - if it's hard for female writers to make it to the stage, it's even harder for their works to be revived," said Elisabeth Vincentelli in The NY Post. Mint is proud to offer three long forgotten plays from Lillian Hellman, Teresa Deevy, and Hazel Ellis during the Silver Lining Streaming Series.

Mint was awarded an OBIE Award for "combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition" and a special Drama Desk Award for "unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit."

To learn more about Mint's On Demand Streaming, go to minttheater.org. The price of admission is FREE. To receive a password, visit MintTheater.org.

For more information, including photos and videos of all previous Mint productions, visit minttheater.org.


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