Corrib Theatre 2019-20 Season Announced

Corrib Theatre 2019-20 Season Announced

For its seventh year of offering plays by contemporary Irish playwrights to Portland audiences, Corrib Theatre announces a three-show season: Eclipsed by Patricia Burke Brogan, James X by Gerard Mannix Flynn, and Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue. All three 2019-20 productions will be held at New Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont St., Portland.

Corrib's play selections feature internationally produced, award-winning Irish playwrights, whose works resonate across the world stage. Artistic Director Gemma Whelan will direct Eclipsed with an all-female cast and design team. Whelan directed the San Francisco Bay Area's premiere of Eclipsed with Wilde Irish Productions in 2003, which also ran at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco (2004). In Portland, Corrib Theatre produced a 2016 staged reading of the play. Whelan will also direct James X starring Todd Van Voris. Lava Alapai will make her Corrib directing debut with Kissing the Witch.

"Our seventh season is one of remembrance, resistance, and restitution," said Gemma Whelan, Corrib's Founding Artistic Director. "With humor, song, play, and storytelling, we explore Ireland's history of scapegoating its most vulnerable citizens by relegating the female population to second class status and employing medieval tactics to punish the innocent-all while using the mantle of the church and state to justify it all. We wrap the season up with feminist fairy tales. Through play and fantasy, sheer ingenuity, and (of course) love, women wrestle back their power and regain their autonomy. The particular becomes universal-the world is re-imagined through a lens of equity."

"I wish to express my own support for Corrib Theatre and for their mission to present the work of contemporary Irish playwrights in Portland-a city and region renowned for its thriving, diverse and dynamic theatrical scene," said Robert O'Driscoll, Consul General of Ireland to Western United States. "It is my strong view that the recent work of Irish playwrights offers a unique window to those social changes by offering an Irish perspective on the common human experience. Corrib Theatre is committed to showing this work. I wish to pay tribute to Gemma Whelan, Corrib's Founding Artistic Director, and her team for preparing a fantastic season of plays that capture well the Irish experience for their audience."

For the 2019-20 season, Corrib will team up with Literary Arts to do a sneak preview of each show the Monday evening a week before each opening. They will present a scene, and will then hold a short panel discussion with a guest speaker, and Artistic Director Gemma Whelan.

Corrib Theatre will offer season subscriptions for the 2019-20 host of plays, available through the website starting in mid-June. General admission tickets are $30, 35 and under are $20, and groups are $25. Corrib accepts discounts for Work for Art and Chinook Book, and participates in Arts for All.

by Patricia Burke Brogan
Directed by Gemma Whelan~
September 20-October 13, 2019

Nobody wants these women.

In a Magdalene Laundry, where the nuns regard them as mindless vessels of evil and their infants are forcibly put up for adoption, a group of young unwed Irish mothers struggle, resist, and strive to overcome the onerous conditions imposed on them. Based on true accounts, and written by an ex-nun who worked there, it's a story of both pain and hope.

The Magdalene Laundries opened in the late 1800s-the last didn't close until 1996.


Eclipsed is sponsored by Ellyn Bye.

CAST: Lucy Paschall (Brigit Murphy), Sasha Neufeld (Cathy McNamara), Jamie Rea* (Nellie-Nora Langan), Dainichia Noreault (Mandy Prenderville), Wynee Hu (Juliet Manion, Rosa/Caroline), Lorraine Bahr (Mother Victoria), Victoria Alvarez-Chacon (Sister Virginia)

CREATIVE TEAM: Kyra Sanford (Set Design), Summer Olsson (Costume Design), Zahra Garrett (Light Design), Liz Young (Sound Design), Chanell Magee (Properties Design) Amy Katrina Bryan (Stage Manager/Production Manager) Sam Reiter (Assistant Director/Rehearsal ASM)

· Post Show Discussion with Tim DuRoche of World Oregon: Saturday, September 21, 2019

· ASL Interpreted Performance: Saturday, October 5, 2019

* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society


"We're not as far from Magdalene days as we'd like to believe..."

By Carol Hunt, The Irish Times

"Eclipsed shines light on Magdalene scandal..."

By Pádraic Killeen, Irish Examiner



Patricia Burke Brogan is an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and artist. Eclipsed was one of the first plays to tell the story of the Magdalene Laundries and was inspired by Patricia's experiences as a young novitiate. The play was first produced at Punchbag Theatre Company in 1992, and has since won many awards, including a Fringe First at Edinburgh Theatre Festival (1992), and the United States Moss Hart Award (1994). To date, there have been 61 productions of Eclipsed on three continents, but the work was not always so well received, being initially rejected by all of the main theatre companies, who said it was too controversial. Burke Brogan continued to write two more plays, Requiem of Love and Stained Glass at Samhain (2002), and has also released a number of poetry collections including Décollage New and Selected Poems (2008).

James X
by Gerard Mannix Flynn
Directed by Gemma Whelan~
February 13 - March 1, 2020

You're not're not wanted...

Plaintiff James X confronts the defendants, Church and State, for injustices they perpetrated throughout his childhood. While awaiting his trial, James examines his confidential state files compiled over the previous 45 years, and takes us on a journey through the schools, courts, health boards, industrial schools, psychiatric hospitals, and prisons.

Part of the secret history of Ireland in the last century.


CAST: Todd Van Voris* as James X

CREATIVE TEAM: TBD (Set Design), Gregory Pulver (Costume Design), TBD (Light Design), Rodolfo Ortega (Sound Design), Amy Katrina Bryan (Stage Manager/Production Manager)

* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Post Show Discussion with Tim DuRoche of World Oregon: Saturday, February 15, 2020

ASL Interpreted Performance: Saturday, February 22, 2020


"James X is a brilliant mix of theatre, documentary and direct human encounter..."

By Fintan O'Toole, The Irish Times


"A searing portrait of abuse..."

By Cahir O'Doherty, Irish Central

REVIEW (NYC, 2011)


Gerard Mannix Flynn (aka Mannix Flynn) is a Dublin-born politician and artist. As an artist, his work has dealt with such issues as institutional abuse, imprisonment, and injustice. As an author and playwright, he has written the novel Nothing To Say (1983), James X (2002), and The Liberty Suit (1977) co-written with Peter Sheridan. His other work includes: He who laughs wins (1981), which was one of a series of six half hour plays commissioned by Paines Plough Theatre Company, England; Inside (1986), co-written for RTE; Hunger and Thirst, written for Red Rex Theatre Company (1989); and Talking to the Wall (1990), commissioned by The Abbey Theatre, and performed by the author at the Edinburgh Festival in 1997, where it won a Scotsman's Fringe First Award. His screenplays include: Twist of Fate (1998), based on the Kerry Babies Case, commissioned by Trisquare Films, Pinewood, London; and Alma Mater (2001) based on his novel Nothing to Say, and developed with the support of An Bord Scannan na hEireann. His best-known film credits (actor/writer/producer) include Excalibur, Land Without God, and Joyriders. As a politician, he has served in many capacities for over a decade on the Dublin City Council.

Kissing the Witch
by Emma Donoghue

Directed by Lava Alapai~

April 3-26, 2020

When a boy changes his life, it's called an adventure. When a girl does the same, it's only a fairytale.

Behold a magical web of interconnected stories about female power and choosing one's own path in the world. These age-old fairy tales are given a new spin as women, young and old, tell their own stories of love, hate, honor, revenge, passion, and transformation.

Fairytales in the face of pan-cultural misogyny.


CAST: Kayla Hanson (FIRST woman), Jamie Rae*(SECOND woman), Diane Kondrat (THIRD woman), Heath Koerschgen (MAN)

CREATIVE TEAM: TBD (Set Design), TBD (Costume Design), Jeff Woods (Light Design), TBD (Sound Design), TBD (Props Design), Amy Katrina Bryan (Stage Manager/Production Manager),

* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

~ Associate Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

ASL Interpreted Performance: Saturday, April 18, 2020


"These bold rewritings of fairy tales from the perspectives of their female protagonists are salvaged from the political soap-box by Donoghue's sense of humour and delight in the rhythmic mythologies of the genre."
The Guardian

"Emma Donoghue's reworked fairy tales are enchanting ...gimlet-eyed view of women and the many snares they face."

By Steven Winn, SF Gate

Interview with Emma Donoghue about Kissing the Witch (2018)

By Civic Theatre


Emma Donoghue is a Dublin-born writer who works in many genres, but is best known for her award-winning fiction, which has been translated into over 40 languages. In addition to being a novelist, she is a dramatic writer, and adaptor, for screen, stage, and radio. Her plays include I Know My Own Heart (1993), Ladies and Gentlemen (1996), Trespasses (1997), Kissing the Witch (2000), Don't Die Wondering (2005), Room (2010), The Talk of the Town (2012), and Signatories (2016). Her first feature film, Room (2015), adapted from her novel, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Bafta for Best Adapted Screenplay. Her radio plays include Trespasses (1996), Don't Die Wondering (2000), Exes (2001), Humans and Other Animals (2003), and Mix (2003).

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