Inis Nua Theatre Celebrates 16th Season With Four New British And Irish Plays

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Inis Nua Theatre Company presents their thrilling 16th season of three mainstage plays, one Pop-Up Play in a Pub, and a poignant reading series about Aging in Our Time. Inis Nua Theatre Company has the unique mission to present contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales for a Philadelphia audience. Despite coming from different and distant cultures, these playwrights remind us that deeply human stories are universal. Inis Nua mines the shared cultural histories of these countries for an American audience, introducing Philadelphia audiences to fresh new voices from abroad who tackle social, political, and personal issues that we see in our country today.

Inis Nua continues to shape the cultural landscape of Philadelphia. Their 2019 - 2020 season will include their 25th American premiere and three Philadelphia premieres. The company has been the recipient of 6 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre including the prestigious June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company (2014) and been nominated for an additional 13 Barrymore Awards.

Artistic Director and Founder Tom Reing says "I am so excited for our 16th season! We are doing three plays that show the vast array of stories from Ireland and the UK. These stories are about finding humanity in ourselves and others and remind us that across cultures and countries, human connection is vital to our lives and the stories we tell."


The Night Alive by Tony Award-nominated Conor McPherson is a delicate and humane play from one of Ireland's most widely produced and highly regarded playwrights. The play will be making its Philadelphia Premiere after highly successful productions both off-Broadway and in London. The Night Alive tells the story of Tommy who lives in a filthy studio apartment and survives on odd jobs around Dublin. When he rescues a young woman from her abusive boyfriend, Tommy's dilapidated home becomes a safe haven from her violent past and the tenuous friendship they build forever alters their lives. The New York Times said "the play ascends to a plane that can only be called transcendent." The Night Alive was nominated for Best Play at London's Olivier Awards, and New York's Lucille Lortel Awards and Drama Desk Awards. The production will be directed by Barrymore Award-nominated director and Inis Nua Founder and Artistic Director Tom Reing. Performances are October 9 - 27, 2019 at the Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake. Opening night is October 11, 2019.

A Hundred Words for Snow by Tatty Hennessy is the American Premiere for this one-woman show from an exciting young voice in British theatre. When 15-year-old Rory's geography teacher father dies suddenly, she decides to pursue his lifelong dream and journey to the North Pole. Following the route he planned and the advice of the great explorers before her, Rory packs a rucksack and her father's ashes for a journey of love, loss, and endless snow. The Stage called A Hundred Words for Snow "an ice-bound odyssey brimming with humor and humanity." The production will be directed by Barrymore Award-nominated director and Inis Nua Associate Director and Literary Manager Claire Moyer. Performances are February 5 - 23, 2020 at the Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake. Opening night is February 7, 2020.

The final mainstage production of Inis Nua's 2019 - 2020 season will be Folk by Tom Wells, a warmhearted play with traditional Irish and English folksongs. The play tells the story of three people who don't quite belong: Winnie who is a middle-aged Irish nun with a foul mouth and a penchant for Guinness, Stephen who is a lonely man caring for his father, and Kayleigh who is a pregnant teen on her own. In their small town in the north of England there's not much room for misfits, but these three loners forge a deep connection through their love of folk music. The Guardian said about Folk: Wells "has the priceless ability to endow the ordinary with luminous significance." The production will also be directed by Barrymore Award-nominated director and Inis Nua Associate Director and Literary Manager Claire Moyer. Performances are April 22 - May 10, 2020 at the Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake. Opening night is April 24, 2020.


Each year Inis Nua hosts our Pop-Up Play in a Pub, a fun night out at Fergie's in Center City, one of Philly's most beloved Irish Pubs. Tickets include a short play, a meat or vegetable pie from Stargazy, and a beverage of your choice. This year's Pop-Up Play in a Pub is Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons by Sam Steiner, directed by Founder and Artistic Director Tom Reing. Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons is set in a not-too-distant future where Hush Laws have been instated, limiting each individual to only 140 words per day. How do lawyer Bernadette and musician Oliver navigate the highs and lows of their romance without the words to express how they really feel? And are the laws themselves really censorship when you can say anything you like...concisely? Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons will be performed May 26, 27, 28 and June 2, 3, 4 at Fergie's Pub, 1214 Sansom St. Opening night for this show will be May 26, 2020.
Note: May 26, 27 and May 28 are sold out already to the public, and a few media review tickets remain. Inis Nua is exploring extending this show.

The season also features a three play Reading Series entitled Aging in Our Time. Each year Inis Nua hosts a reading series that explores a social or political issue through three varied contemporary plays. These plays offer different points of view on a subject that is relevant both in the UK and Ireland and in America. Our 2019 - 2020 Reading Series shines a light on stories of growing old and the elderly.

The first play in the series is The Children by Lucy Kirkwood on November 18, 2019. Performed on both Broadway and the West End, The Children is about three retired scientists who grapple with their responsibilities towards the younger generation when a natural disaster causes an emergency at a nuclear power plant where they all formerly worked. The second play is the touching Halcyon Days by Deirdre Kinahan on January 13, 2020. Set in a nursing home in rural Ireland, Nora and Sean are both sick and not getting any younger as together they face their past lives, their current regrets, and their hopes for the future. And Tony and Olivier Award-winning playwright Alan Bennett's People will be the final reading on March 2, 2020. This comedy is about the elderly Dame Stacpoole who must decide what to do with her dilapidated country house: turn it into a museum, sell it to the highest bidder, or make it a filming location...for porn! All three readings are free of charge and performed at The Theatres at the Drake, 302 S. Hicks St.

Additional season programming includes The Takeaway, special post-show talks held after the Wednesday performances of each mainstage show. The Takeaway is a post-show exploration of the play's themes and relevant events by guest scholars and theatre practitioners.

Season subscriptions are for sale by calling (215) 454-9776 or visiting Early Bird subscriptions purchased before June 1 are $70-96. Subscriptions purchased after June 1 are $80-$106.

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