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WOODY SEZ and THE ARAN ISLANDS Slated for Summer at Irish Rep

WOODY SEZ and THE ARAN ISLANDS Slated for Summer at Irish RepIrish Repertory Theatre has announced its Summer 2017 Season.

On the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage will be WOODY SEZ: THE LIFE & MUSIC OF Woody Guthrie, directed by Nick Corley (Kissing Jessica Stein). Devised by David M. Lutken, with Nick Corley, and Darcie Deaville, Helen J. Russell, and Andy Teirstein, WOODY SEZ begins performances on June 1, 2017 at Irish Rep Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage, opens on June 8, and runs through July 23, 2017.

IrishRep will also present the US premiere of THE ARAN ISLANDS, by John Millington Synge (The Playboy of the Western World). Adapted, and directed by Joe O'Byrne (Frank Pig Says Hello), THE ARAN ISLANDS begins performances on June 15, 2017 at Irish Rep Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre and officially opens on June 19, 2017 and runs through July 23, 2017.

WOODY SEZ is a joyous, toe-tapping, musical portrait, rich with the words and songs of America's great troubadour, which transports the audience through the fascinating, beautiful, and sometimes tragic life of Woody Guthrie. With songs like "This Land is Your Land" and "So Long It's Been Good To Know Yuh" a talented group of four actor/musicians bring to life the many people who formed the fabric of his story. Not only was Woody a seminal influence on Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, he also inspired generations of Irish folk singers like the Clancy Brothers and Christy Moore. His songs may have told the stories of the disenfranchised in the Dust Bowl, but his recurrent themes speak of famine, worker's rights and emigrant strife. His legacy defined an American era of social consciousness and political expression that is alive and palpable today.

The cast of WOODY SEZ will feature Megan Loomis (War Horse First National Tour), David M. Lutken (Southern Comfort), Helen J. Russell (Ring of Fire), and Andy Teirstein (A Blessing on the Moon).

The production will feature lighting design by Michael Gottlieb (Rebel in the Soul), set design by Luke Hegel-Cantarella (Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man), costume design by Jeffrey Meek (Resident Costume Designer for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), and music direction by David M. Lutken.

THE ARAN ISLANDS is a compelling adaptation by Joe O'Byrne of John Millington Synge's classic work. In 1898, upon the advice of W.B. Yeats, Synge went to live among the islanders to "express a life that has never found expression.' In this grey, sea-battered landscape, full of mist and wild rain, hearth is home and storytellers regale with tales by the fire; here Synge found inspiration for many later works including Playboy of the Western World and Riders to the Sea. Brendan Conroy, one of Ireland's finest actors, captures the spirit of Synge and of this bleakly primitive, mystical land on the West coast of Europe. In the great history of Irishstorytelling, THE ARAN ISLANDS is a haunting and transporting experience built around an incredible performance.

The production will feature set design by Margaret Nolan (Borstal Boy), lighting design by Joe O'Byrne (The Big Fellow), costume design by Marie Tierney (Departed), and original music by Kieran Duddy (Hada to Hada). This production is supported by Culture Ireland.

The performance schedule for WOODY SEZ and THE ARAN ISLANDS will be as follows: Wednesdays at 3pm and 8pm; Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 3pm. Exceptions: there will be no 3pm performance of THE ARAN ISLANDS on Wednesday, June 21.

Tickets to WOODY SEZ range from $50.00 - $70.00, with tickets to THE ARAN ISLANDS available for $50.00. Tickets to both productions are on sale now through Irish Rep's box office by calling 212-727-2737, or online at www.irishrep.org.

Currently playing on the Irish Rep Mainstage is Eugene O'Neill's THE EMPEROR JONES. Directed by Ciarán O'Reilly (Shining City), and starring Obi Abili (Ivo Van Hove's Antigone at BAM), THE EMPEROR JONESbegan performances on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and opened Sunday, March 12, 2017. THE EMPEROR JONES was recently extended through Sunday, May 21, 2017. Now playing in the W. Scott McLucas Studio is the world premiere REBEL IN THE SOUL, a new play by Larry Kirwan (Liverpool Fantasy). Directed by Charlotte Moore (Finian's Rainbow), REBEL IN THE SOUL began performances on April 12, 2017 and officially opened on April 18, running through May 21, 2017.

WOODY SEZ BIOS

David M. Lutken (Deviser, Original Cast). BROADWAY: Inherit the Wind ('07); Ring of Fire; The Civil War; The Will Rogers Follies. OFF-BROADWAY: Southern Comfort; Stars in Your Eyes; Winter Man; Woody Guthrie's American Song; The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show. With the NY City Opera, he appeared in Benjamin Britten's Paul Bunyan as the Balladeer. REGIONAL: UK: Dark of the Moon; Bonnie and Clyde; A Month in the Country. REGIONAL: USA: Man of La Mancha; Big River; Elmer Gantry; Finian's Rainbow; Fire on the Mountain; Buddy; Pump Boys and Dinettes; Stand By Your Man; The Love List; Death in England; Smoke on the Mountain; The Man Who Came to Dinner; On Golden Pond, and In the Deep Heart's Core. Originally from Dallas, Texas, David studied acting at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The 92nd St Y, with the North Carolina Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and The Louisiana Hayride. With his original show, Woody Sez; The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie, he and his company have toured Europe, The British Isles, The US, The Middle East, and China. David won the Helen Hayes and the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Woody Guthrie.

Megan Loomis (Cast). Megan was born and raised in Rochester, NY, and has been performing professionally in and around New York City since moving there 13 years ago. She moved here with dreams of becoming an opera star, but her instrumental skills and passion for the theatre ended up drawing her in a much different direction. Megan has been lucky to be a part of Woody Sez both at the Lyric Theatre Oklahoma and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. She was on the both the National and Asian tours of Sam Mendes' Cabaret playing Helga and understudying Sally Bowles and Kost. She also toured the U.S. in John Doyle's production of Sweeney Todd where she was the standby for Mrs. Lovett and the Beggarwoman. Megan has used her fiddle skills in 3 productions of Ring of Fire at Flat Rock, Merry-Go-Round, and Ivoryton Playhouses, respectively. Megan studied voice performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and also at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She recently performed her one woman show The Girl in the Band as a part of the Emerging Artists Theatre's One Woman Standing Series, and is currently a member of the First National Tour of War Horse.

HELEN J. RUSSELL (Co-Deviser, Original Cast) grew up making music. After relocating from a small town in Maryland to New York City, she switched her focus to acting, which led to producing variety shows that featured The City Singers, an acapella choir that she cofounded and directed. Helen is an original cast member of Woody Sez and was part of its 2007 debut in Edinburgh, as well as subsequent tours throughout the UK and Europe, the American debut at the Lyric in Oklahoma, the Arts Theatre in London's West End, and at A.R.T. in Boston. At home in Manhattan, she works as an actor, musical director and publishing technology consultant. Helen was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress in 2012. Her debut CD, Holly Days, was released in 2008, and she is currently working on a second. "Her voice, pure and supple, handed down through generations, recalls the rich and rolling piedmont of her native home."

Andy Teirstein (Co-Deviser, Original Cast). In addition to performing, Andy writes music inspired by the rich and diverse folk roots of modern culture. His compositions have been described by The New York Times and The Village Voice as "magical," "ingenious," and "superbly crafted." A student of Leonard Bernstein and Henry Brant, Teirstein writes music for the concert hall, film, theater, and dance. His newest CD, The Open String, will be released on Naxos Records in August, featuring David Lutken narrating "The Shooting of Dan McGrew." He has composed film scores for BBC and PBS. A Blessing on the Moon premiered in 2012, and two of his musicals, Winter Man and Skels received NEA Opera/Musical Theatre Awards. Andy received his MFA at NYU, where he studied with Stephen Sondheim & Arthur Laurents. He extended his musical education in the pubs of Ireland and performing as a musical clown with a Mexican circus. He is currently an Associate Arts Professor at NYU.

Nick Corley (Director/Co-Deviser.) Nick made his West End and A.R.T. directing debut with Woody Sez (Evening Standard Award "Best Musical" nomination). He has directed many world premieres including Woody Sez for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the off-Broadway/NY productions of Tall Grass, Flight (Callaway Award Nomination), About Face (NYMF best direction nomination), Fables In Slang, Tim and Scrooge, The Overcoat, and Tallboy Walkin'. Regional premieres include The Civil War (co-directed with Gregory Boyd at Houston's Alley Theatre), A Young Lady of Fashion (Fulton Opera House -also co-author) and Eliot Ness...in Cleveland (Denver Theatre Centre - also a co-author). As former artistic director of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma he directed Sweeney Todd (starring Jeff McCarthy and Emily Skinner) The Music Man, The Who's Tommy, and Steel Magnolias. Other directing credits include The Bomb-itty of Errors (Adirondack Theater Festival and St. Louis Rep. - 4 Kevin Kline nominations), Mother Russia (Carnegie Hall), The Little Foxes (Fulton Opera House), and The Robber Bridegroom, Drood, Man of La Mancha, Bat Boy, A Little Night Music and Lucky Stiff all for The Commons Group in Vermont. He has directed over 100 workshops and readings, many of them for NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. His appearances as a performer include Broadway (Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol, She Loves Me), off-Broadway, regional theatre, film (Kissing Jessica Stein), recordings, and television.

THE ARAN ISLANDS BIOS

BRENDAN CONROY (Performer) is a veteran of the Irish stage and screen. His career stretches back to the late 70's when he became known playing the role of Peter Cadogan in "The Irish RM," a show which continues to be repeated regularly up to this day. He has toured to Russia, Europe and the United States with the Abbey Theatre playing Jimmy Jack in Translations, Philly Cullen in The Playboy of the Western World and Tadhg in The Field. He worked extensively with Red Kettle of Waterford appearing in such celebrated productions as Bent, Moonshine, Talbot's Box and Translations playing Manus and then he directed The Priceand Jim Nolan's Guernica Hotel. He last worked with them playing Shay, in their run of The King's of the Kilburn High Road. He created the role of Tommy Clocks in Island's Pigtown by Mike Finn, played Arty O Leary in Livin Dred's Belfry by Billy Roche; he has also toured with Ouroborous and Druid and played George In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with the late and wonderful Fedelma Cullen, one of his favourites. For the Taibhdhearc in Galway he has played in Uaisle (Aristocrats), Namhaid don Phobal (Enemy of the People) and last year he played Git in The Kings Of the Kilburn High Road as gaeilge, a part he played in the film Kings winning an IFTA for best supporting actor. His film and TV credits include: The Ballroom of Romance; "The Lilac Bus;" The Bounty; The General; A Man of No Importance; "Jesus, Mary agus Mattie" for tg4; "Ros na Run;" "Glenroe;" The Secret of Roan Inis; "Hamish Macbeth;" "Lindenstrasse;" Stella Days and Grand Opening. He had great success playing Bird in The Field to Brian Dennehy's Bull directed by Joe Dowling.

JOE O'BYRNE (Director) returns to Irish Rep where he directed Frank Pig Says Hello from his adaptation of Pat McCabe's The Butcher Boy and his adaptation of Oscar Wilde's DorIan Grey. Other plays include It Come Up Sun, (Passion Machine), En Suite (Abbey/Peacock), The Article (Altes Schauspielhaus, Stuttgart). Directing credits include: The Drum by Tony Kavanagh, The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter at the Gate Theatre Pinter Festival, The Leaves of Heaven by Pat McCabe, The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle, and most recently Nighttown by James Joyce. He directed his own plays McKeague and O'Brien present The Rising and Enough. His plays to be produced include Departed, The Ghost of Saint Joan, and The Sinking of the Titanic and Other Matters. He wrote the screenplay for the award winning feature film Korea, adapted from the short story by John McGahern. His first feature, Pete's Meteor, was based on his own screenplay. He was a writer on the television series "An Brontanas/The Gift" (TG4) and has written a number of plays for RTE radio, including Old Punks Rule, and Yardstick.

IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE, co-founded by Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, opened its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. The IrishRep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage. Recognized with the Jujamcyn Theatres Award, a special Drama Desk Award for "Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama," an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement, and the Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Body of Work," the Irish Rep has celebrated the very best in Irish theatre for over twenty-five years, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage. Nearly 38,000 audience members annually attend productions at our theatre located in the heart of New York's Off Broadway community. Once here, they witness the Irish Rep's engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama.

Co-Motion Media was established in 2016 succeeding Co-Motion Theatre Company, founded in 1985 by Joe O'Byrne and Declan Gorman. The original Co-Motion made an enormous impact on the live theatre scene in Dublin and internationally. Now Joe and Declan have teamed up again to create the all new Co-Motion Media, an artist led platform for theatre, film and publishing. In the initial period, the emphasis is firmly on live theatre again, and in its first 12 months, the company staged a remarkable five shows.


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