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Signature Theatre to Host A PARTICLE OF DREAD 'World of the Play' Discussion this Week


Signature Theatre has announced that the World of the Play series continues with a panel of experts discussing Art and Political Conflict in Northern Ireland, presented in conjunction with the US premiere of Sam Shepard's A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations), on Saturday, December 6th at 4:00 p.m. in The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues). The event is free and open to the general public (no reservations required).

How do artists grapple with political unrest and violent clashes? From 1969 to 1998 over 3,600 citizens of Northern Ireland were killed in a period that came to be known as "the Troubles." The conflict was mainly between mostly-Protestant Unionists, who favored remaining a part of the United Kingdom, and the mostly-Catholic Nationalists, who advocated an end of British rule and reunification with the independent Republic of Ireland. Both sides splintered into a number of political and paramilitary subgroups whose political deadlock was exhausting and whose violent clashes were unrelenting. While significant progress has been made toward ending the conflict, questions of Northern Ireland's national identity reverberate to this day.

Sam Shepard's A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations) was heavily influenced by the violence in the north and was created in collaboration with Field Day Theatre Company, a Northern Ireland-based company whose Artistic Director is actor Stephen Rea. In this World of the Play, Signature will examine how artists use their work to confront the unrest that still burdens Northern Ireland. How do they shape the language of strife? What images do they capture? How do they challenge, transform, and diversify established narratives in order to consider the situation in a new light? What responsibility lies in giving form, or voice, to a memory or a headline?

Panelists include Geraldine Hughes, Deborah Saleeby-Mulligan, and Marcia Rock. The discussion will be led by moderator Brian Phillips.

Signature and Ireland's renowned Field Day Theatre Company are thrilled to present the U.S. premiere of 1996-97 Playwright-in-Residence Sam Shepard's A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations). This dark, fragmented, modern-day take on Oedipus Rex premiered in Derry, Ireland, and features a cast of actors from both sides of the Atlantic.

Signature Theatre gratefully acknowledges Actors' Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

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