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Corrib Theatre's 2017-18 Season to Feature Three Contemporary Irish Plays


Corrib Theatre's 2017-18 Season to Feature Three Contemporary Irish Plays For its fifth year of offering Portland plays by contemporary Irish playwrights, Corrib Theatre brings these three gripping, politically relevant works: Belfast Girls by Jaki McCarrick, Lifeboat by Nicola McCartney and Quietly by Owen McCafferty. This set of play selections coming to Portland audiences are all by internationally produced, award-winning playwrights.

"These three plays bear out Corrib's mission of presenting challenging works with universal resonance, filtered through the Irish experience," said Gemma Whelan, Corrib's Founding Artistic Director. "Each of these stories speaks to the triumph of communication and connection in the face of violence, chauvinism, xenophobia and hatred."

Tickets for all performances are on sale now. General admission tickets are $25, students and group ticket prices are $20. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets:


Monday, October 2, 2017


T.C. O'Leary's Irish Pub, 2926 NE Alberta St, Portland

The event includes Irish food, live music and readings from the three 2017-18 Season plays: Belfast Girls, Lifeboat and Quietly.


Belfast Girls
By Jaki McCarrick
Directed by Gemma Whelan~
VENUE: Shaking the Tree Theatre, 823 SE Grant St., Portland
DATES: Nov 17 - Dec 10, 2017

Five young women depart Belfast during the Irish Famine with the hope of a better life in their hearts. Set aboard the Inchinnan, a ship sails in 1850 from famine-stricken Ireland bound for Australia under a British government scheme to purportedly help "orphan" girls find a better life. En route, these strong and high-spirited women discover that they have been conveniently gotten rid of. Together, they must confront the demons of the life they've left behind, survive the endless voyage and take strength in each other to face what lies ahead. Based on true accounts, it is a play about emigration and the female experience of the Famine, and of the powers-that-be that scapegoat and victimize their most vulnerable during a crisis.

Culture Northern Ireland offers an in-depth article about the play, an interview with the playwright and the history it covers for its London premiere HERE.

CAST: Anya Pearson* (Judith), Tiffany Groben (Molly), Summer Olsson (Hannah), Brenan Dwyer (Ellen), Hannah Edelson (Sarah)

CREATIVE TEAM: Corey McCarey (Stage Manager, Production Manager), Lara A. Klingeman (Light Design, Technical Director), Anthony Arnista (Light Design), Summer Olsson (Costume Design), Sharath Patel (Sound Design), Chanell Magee (Prop Design), Karl Hanover (Dialect Coach), Murri Lazaroff-Babin (Fight Choreographer)

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

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction. She won the 2010 Papatango New Writing Prize for her play Leopoldville. Her play Belfast Girls, developed at the National Theatre London, was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the 2014 BBC Tony Doyle Award. Belfast Girls premiered in Chicago, May 2015, to much critical acclaim (Windy City Times Critics' Pick) and opened Spring 2016 in Vancouver. MORE HERE

By Nicola McCartney
Directed by Avital Shira
VENUE: Northwest Children's Theatre, 1819 NW Everett St., Portland
DATES: Jan 12 - Feb 4, 2018

Lifeboat is the extraordinary true story of Bess Walder and Beth Cummings, teenagers whose ship was torpedoed while they were escaping the relentless bombing of Britain during World War II. It is a story of courage, survival and enduring friendship. A co-production with Northwest Children's Theatre.

CAST: Kayla Lian (Bess) and Britt Harris (Beth)

CREATIVE TEAM: Emily Trimble (Stage Manager, Production Manager), Kim Williams (Set & Props Design), Gina Piva (Costume Design), Amir Shirazi (Sound Design), Sarah Hughey (Lighting Design), Karl Hanover (Dialect Coach)

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Nicola McCartney, originally from Belfast, is an award-winning writer and director, based in Scotland. A graduate of Glasgow University, she was Artistic Director of Glasgow-based new writing theatre company, lookOUT from 1992 to 2002. Her plays include Heritage, Lifeboat and Easy. Her most recent plays include, Rough Island (Mull Theatre/Oran Mor), Sullom Voe (BBC Radio Drama), Dear Scotland (National Theatre Scotland). Nicola has worked as a dramaturge for a range of companies including Vanishing Point and the Edinburgh International Festival 2005. She has had a range of residencies both academic and community based and is one of the Associate Playwrights of the new Playwrights Studio Scotland. She was a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award 2003 to work on her first novel entitled, Ice Angel and also works in radio, TV and film. She is currently under commission to, among others, National Theatre of Scotland, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and the Abbey Theatre Dublin.


By Owen McCafferty
Directed by Gemma Whelan~
VENUE: New Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont St., Portland
DATES: Apr 13 - May 6, 2018

Two middle-aged men with a shared past meet in a bar in present day Belfast. Sharing pints as a football match between Northern Ireland is playing Poland on the TV, the men must tell their disparate stories of a day etched in their psyches, while the Polish bartender bears witness to the outcome. This is a powerful story of violence and forgiveness in the aftermath of The Troubles.

CAST: Ted Rooney* (Jimmy), Tim Blough* (Ian), Murri Lazaroff-Babin (Robert)

CREATIVE TEAM: Sarah Marguier (Costume Design), Karl Hanover (Dialect Coach), additional creative team TBD

LEARN MORE: Culture Northern Ireland in-depth article HERE.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Owen McCafferty is a playwright from Belfast, Ireland. His play Quietly was produced at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in 2012 as part of their Great Irish Writers Season. The original production transferred to the Irish Rep Theatre in New York from July 20 to September 11, 2016. In 2013, the play was nominated for Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards, at Edinburgh Fringe won the Scotsman's coveted Fringe First award for new writing and the UK Writer's Guild Best New Play Award. At present, Owen is commissioned to write the book and lyrics for Mojo Mickybo The Musical and is writing an adaptation of Julius Caesar for the children's Ark Theatre in Dublin, and Beneath for The Abbey Theatre in Dublin.


Gemma Whelan is the founding Artistic Director of Corrib Theatre. For Corrib she has directed The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín, Our New Girl by Nancy Harris, Chapatti by Christian O'Reilly, Little Gem by Elaine Murphy, The Hen Night Epiphany by Jimmy Murphy, St. Nicholas by Conor McPherson, and A Night in November by Marie Jones (Drammy nomination for Direction, Drammy award for Solo Performance). In Portland she has directed Broomstick by John Biguenet, and Ithaka by Andrea Stolowitz at Artists Repertory Theatre, The Call by Tanya Barfield at Profile Theatre, Words that Burn by Cindy Williams Guttierez for Los Porteños at Milagro Theatre, and others at CoHo Theatre, Boom Arts, and Portland Center Stage's Just Add Water (JAW) Festival. She was the founding Artistic Director of Wilde Irish Productions in the Bay Area. For Wilde Irish she directed Michael Mac Liammoir's The Importance of Being Oscar (Dean Goodman Award for Direction, Dean Goodman Award for Solo Performance), the U.S. premiere of Ariel by Marina Carr, Frank McGuinness' Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, PaTricia Burke Brogan's Eclipsed, and Samuel Beckett's Endgame. Other favorites include Jane Chamber's Last Summer at Bluefish Cove (Cable Car Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Directing), and Eileen Atkins' Vita and Virginia (Curve Magazine, Best Theatre of the Year Award), both at Theatre Rhinoceros; Tom Kempinski's Duet for One (Zephyr Theatre); Caryl Churchill's Top Girls (Phoenix Theatre) and Equus by Peter Schaffer (Little Theatre Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Directing). Gemma received the Gerald Duff Award for Continuing Contribution to Theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area. Educational credits include Mills College (Chair, Drama Dept), UC Berkeley, American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, Portland Actors Conservatory, Portland State University, Literary Arts (Delve), Pacific University, Willamette University, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (Singapore). She is an award-winning filmmaker and a published novelist. She holds a BA from Trinity College Dublin, an MA in Theatre from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University. She is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Go to

Corrib Theatre engages, inspires, entertains, and challenges audiences with theatrical productions filtered through the Irish experience, and with a focus on contemporary and lesser-known voices; we foster a diverse theatre community in our artists and patrons, and celebrate the essential power of the theatre to illuminate our common humanity. Corrib is a river and a lake on the west coast of Ireland. According to place name lore, Corrib was a god of the sea. Visit for more information.

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