Teresa Deevy's Short Play Collection THE SUITCASE UNDER THE BED Continues at Theatre Row

Teresa Deevy's Short Play Collection THE SUITCASE UNDER THE BED Continues at Theatre Row

Mint Theater resumes the acclaimed Teresa Deevy Project with The Suitcase Under the Bed, so named for the location where Deevy's writing was stored for decades, prior to Jonathan Bank's arrival at the Deevy family home in Waterford in 2010.

Performances began July 21st and will now continue through September 30th at the Beckett Theater at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street). The performance runs two hours and 10 minutes, with one intermission.

Brilliant Irish playwright Teresa Deevy's suitcase is jam-packed and ready for a trip filled with romance, mystery and surprise. Deevy's characters "demand high adventure and emancipation of the spirit. She presents a blending of romance, reality and fantasy that has its roots in life." (Irish Times, 1948).

Four short plays packed with one wedding, three marriage proposals and two break-ups-all in one remarkable evening: Three World Premieres and one US Premiere directed by Mint Artistic Director Jonathan Bank, performed by seven shape-shifting actors playing 22 characters: Gina Costigan, Sarah Nicole Deaver, Cynthia Mace, Aidan Redmond, Colin Ryan, and A.J. Shively.

The Suitcase Under the Bed has scenic design by Vicki R. Davis; costume design by Andrea Varga; lighting design by Zach Blane; and sound design by Jane Shaw. Casting by Stephanie Klapper, CSA.

ABOUT THE PLAYS:

The King Of Spain's Daughter (US Premiere): "Annie Kinsella was born with romance in her soul," the Irish Independent wrote when The King of Spain's Daughter premiered at the Abbey in 1935. "To her, life was the splendid glowing vision of a poet...yet she lived among peasants who saw her romanticism as wildness and folly, and merely called her liar when the splendor of her imagination gave the semblance of reality to her dreams." "One of the best known and most highly esteemed of Teresa Deevy's plays. And rightly so. For Annie Kinsella...is one of the author's most striking creations," declared Irish Writing in 1948. "Has in it all the subtlety and delicacy that are the fine hallmark of Miss Deevy's work," confirmed Irish Press in 1952.

Strange Birth (World Premiere): Sara Meade works at a small rooming house where she observes with determined detachment the heartache of each resident; a caution against falling in love herself. Suddenly the day's post brings a letter that challenges her resolve. This delicate, sweet play was published twice but has never been staged. A review in Irish Writing said it "shows the author in full mastery of her powers."

Holiday House (World Premiere): It's August at the seaside and the family is arriving for the summer holiday. Derek expects to be the center of attention, the one thing they all have in common. There will be Doris to whom he was once engaged, Jil to whom he is now married, and his brother Neil, now married to Doris. "Of course Mother takes it for granted always that people are happy, and that everyone loves seeing everyone else,-but they don't, not always."

In the Cellar of My Friend (World Premiere): Belle believes that she and Barney came to an understanding last night, but she arrives at his home this morning to a great surprise and a new understanding. A hint of mysticism adds to the mystery of this haunting play.

Teresa Deevy had six plays produced by the Abbey Theatre between 1930 and 1936, and then the Abbey turned its back on her, effectively ending her career as an Abbey playwright. "I must just make an opening elsewhere," she wrote to a friend, and then began to write for the radio-a remarkable turn of events, given that she was completely deaf. She lost her hearing due to an illness in her late teens and was never able to hear her beautifully-crafted dialogue spoken.

In 2010, Mint Theater Company re-introduced author Teresa Deevy to the world with our acclaimed production of the play the Abbey turned down, Wife to James Whelan, followed by Temporal Powers in 2011 and Katie Roche in 2013. In 2012, Mint published all three of these plays in Teresa Deevy Reclaimed Volume One, which has been distributed free of charge to Irish Studies Departments at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. Volume Two of Teresa Deevy Reclaimed is now available, containing nine short plays, collected in one book for the first time ever. Together, these two books will have a significant impact on Deevy scholarship for years to come, greatly adding to the understanding and appreciation of this important Irish playwright: a rare and courageous woman, who pursued a career in the theater despite significant obstacles, including the loss of her hearing when she was a university student.

Mint has received worldwide recognition for its effort to restore Teresa Deevy to her proper place in the canon of Irish dramatic literature. Fintan O'Toole, one of Ireland's leading public intellectuals and drama critics, acknowledged the importance of both Deevy and Mint's exploration of her work in the pages of The Irish Times in 2013:

"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. The Abbey has twice staged Katie Roche in recent decades. But there has been no coherent exploration of Deevy's work as a whole by any Irish company. Instead, the Mint Theater, which specialises in rediscovering lost work, has engaged in what it calls the Teresa Deevy Project. There are good reasons, both social and artistic, why Irish theatre should pay attention to this project."

Ireland is finally paying attention: Mint's production of The Suitcase Under the Bed will coincide with the Abbey Theatre's production of Katie Roche on their mainstage, from August 26th through September 23rd. When the new directors of the Abbey announced their season, the Irish Times wrote this about the choice of Katie Roche: "Deevy, abandoned by the Abbey, has received increased interest in recent years. Restoring her to the Abbey stage may count as righting a wrong."

Performances for The Suitcase Under the Bed are Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30pm with matinees Saturday & Sunday at 2pm. Special Wednesday Matinees on August 23rd, September 6th and 27th at 2pm. All performances are at The Beckett Theatre at Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and Dyer Avenues).

Tickets for The Suitcase Under the Bed are $65 (including $2.25 theater restoration fee) and can be purchased online at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200 or in person at the Theatre Row Box Office. For more information including photos and videos, visit minttheater.org.

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