New Accessibility Programs For Blind or Low Vision Patrons Are Coming to Off-Broadway Production of MOLLY SWEENEY
Keen Company announces new accessibility programs for blind or low vision patrons for the acclaimed production of Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney starring Paul O'Brien, Pamela Sabaugh and Tommy Schrider, directed by Keen's Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein. Performances for the limited Off-Broadway engagement of Molly Sweeney will continue through November 16th only.
Audio Description & Touch Tours offered for performances on Thursday November 7th & Sunday November 10th. Three talkbacks will be offered following the performances on Thursday October 31st ("Brian Friel and Irish Storytelling"); Thursday November 7th ("Vision and Molly Sweeney") and Thursday November 14th ("Meet The Cast And Creative Team").
"I am pleased to announce the varied ways we are making Molly Sweeney accessible to blind and low vision patrons. As a person who has experienced vision issues in the past, this play has always been personal to me. Throughout the process of working in the show with low vision actor Pamela Sabaough, as well as Accessibility Consultant George Ashiotis, the challenges of the blind and low vision community have taken on an even greater urgency. Going forward, Keen is committed to continuing these accessible options and will include options for deaf and hard of hearing patrons, as well. Keen aims to create a place where all feel welcome to experience our unique mission of identification and connection," said Silverstein.
To download audio directions to the theater, audio descriptions of the set & costumes, an audio program, or large print program, go to keencompany.org/access.
Terry Teachout, reviewing this production in The Wall Street Journal, declared "Now Keen Company, one of my favorite off-Broadway troupes, is presenting a small-scale revival of this three-hander that is noteworthy for an unusual piece of casting: Pamela Sabaugh, the first low-vision actor ever to play Molly, is reprising the groundbreaking performance she gave at Philadelphia's Amaryllis Theatre Company 12 years ago, this time in a version staged by Jonathan Silverstein, Keen's artistic director. I didn't see Ms. Sabaugh in Philadelphia, but it's hard to imagine anything better than her calm, centered acting as the Molly of this production, who discovers that the world of sight she was once forced to imagine is not so miraculous as she had always supposed. I was struck by the subtlety with which Ms. Sabaugh and Mr. Silverstein bring out an aspect of the play that was not fully clear to me when I first saw it: Strong as she seems to be, Molly is in truth a victim, a woman to whom men do things for reasons of their own. Not only is she pushed to undergo the operation by her husband (Tommy Schrider), a ne'er-do-well blowhard who expects to become famous in his own right as a result of her surgery, but her seedy doctor (Paul O'Brien) is no less hopeful that a successful outcome will give him back the more abundant life of which he was robbed when his wife left him for a more successful colleague. Yet Mr. Silverstein's soft-spoken production does not force this political card on the viewer: We are allowed, rather, to gradually come to understand that it is the men in Molly's long-happy life who smash it up in the name of their own thwarted ambitions.
Brian Friel, Ireland's master storyteller (Dancing at Lughnasa, Faith Healer, Translations) creates a riveting contemporary drama about the unexpected consequences of a medical miracle. From one of Ireland's best living playwrights, this striking piece of dramatic writing is a daring piece of theater. Keeping the play's three characters on stage at all times to speak directly to the audience, Brian Friel presents three points of view to the same intriguing tale. Each of their voices interweaves, threading in and out with details, spinning a lush and sensate narrative, and carrying us effortlessly to an unexpected and poignant conclusion. Deceptively simple, yet richly multilayered-combining both an insightful story about the way we perceive our existence with an allegory for our times - Molly Sweeney is an Irish storyteller's art to create an unforgettable theater piece, painting scenery and rousing emotions with nothing more than the simple purity of beautifully rendered words.
Keen Company creates theater that provokes identification, reflection, and emotional connection. In intimate productions of plays and musicals, we tell wholehearted stories about people striving to do their best and the decisive moments that change us. Keen has been honored with eleven Drama Desk nominations, two Drama Desk Awards, two Drama League nominations, and two Obie Awards.
All performances will be at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues) and will be Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm; and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Regular tickets are $65 with premium tickets available for $80. All tickets for every Tuesday performance are just $28, no code needed. (Ticket prices include restoration fees.)
To purchase single tickets to Molly Sweeney, visit the Theatre Row Box Office (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues), order online at Telecharge.com, or order by phone at 212-239-6200.
For more information, visit KeenCompany.org.
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg