Photo Flash: First Look at HOW TO KEEP AN ALIEN from Corrib Theatre

Corrib Theatre presents Sonya Kelly's How to Keep an Alien, directed by Gemma Whelan, a comedy-filled play about two women falling in love and battling the international red tape that's working to keep them apart. The production features Sara Hennessy as Sonya Kelly, with Amy Katrina Bryan on stage as herself, the stage manager. How to Keep an Alien runs for four weeks, April 12 through May 5, at New Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont St., in Portland, Oregon.

The journey begins when Irish Sonya and Australian Kate meet and fall in love while working on a Russian play with English accents in an Irish castle. Together, they embark on a global odyssey to prove they have a right to live together in Ireland. How to Keep an Alien is a tender and hilarious story attesting to the perils and obstacles of emigration, and the transformation that Irish society has undergone in recent times. This is a story about falling in love and proving it to the government.

How to Keep an Alien's 2013 world premiere was in Dublin, Ireland. Since, it has been on several national and international tours, including theEdinburgh Fringe, to New York, Finland, and New Zealand. Presented by the Washington D.C. Irish arts group Solas Nua, December 2018 marked the first time the lead character was played by an actor other than Sonya Kelly.

"How to Keep an Alien first grabbed my attention with its quirky double-meaning title," said Gemma Whelan, play director and artistic director of Corrib Theatre. "The true-to-life storytelling by comedic playwright and actor Sonya Kelly got my full attention again. How could I not relate to Sonya telling her own story about having a crisis over the value of acting as a profession, and then falling in love with a stage manager from Australia? At the same time, it is a true story about her journey to attain a visa for her partner and giving voice to those fleeing persecution seeking asylum from the Irish Immigration Office. Living in the U.S., that sounds awfully familiar. The play also reaches back in time to the Famine when Kate's great-great grandmother was evicted from her homeland. Sonya weaves together the intersection of past and present, here and there, and the act of writing and performing into a story that feels relevant to us all."

"I am absolutely delighted that Corrib has decided to do How to Keep an Alien," said playwright Sonya Kelly. "It is a real privilege for me to see that the play has such reach. In these uncertain times, it is important that stories of immigration remain buoyant in our creative arts. I hope the story resonates with the American people. Best of luck to Corrib."

Photo Credit: Adam Liberman

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