The Players at The Barker Playhouse to Open 109th Season with ECLIPSED
America's Oldest Little Theatre, The Players at The Barker Playhouse, will open their 109th season with ECLIPSED, PaTricia Burke Brogan's fact-based drama about penitents confined to one of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries.
In Ireland, from the 1940s to the mid 1990s, many unwed mothers were sent by their families to church-run laundries, where they spent their lives locked away in perpetual penance and forced labor, "washing away their sins".
Laboring under inhumane conditions, the women's humanity sustains them, their friendships comfort them, and their dreams give glimmers of hope. Part harrowing drama, part social commentary, ECLIPSED is sprinkled with unexpected moments of comedy as the girls snatch scraps of joy and laughter.
Ruled by the tyrannical Mother Victoria, the girls cope in unique ways. Star-struck Mandy dreams of rescue by her true love, Elvis Presley. Fiery Brigit burns with anger and challenges authority. Cathy, wracked with asthma, continually plots escape. The nurturing Nellie-Nora searches for discarded cigarettes and reads tea-leaves. And the young novice, Sister Virginia, faces a crisis of faith as compassion threatens her vow of total obedience.
Director Lynne Collinson says, "While filled with conflict, ECLIPSED has a surprising number of light-hearted moments, as the young women (the Maggies) form friendships, plot escapes, dream of Elvis, and find moments of joy that help them survive. Playwright, PaTricia Burke Brogan was once a novice assigned to a Magdalene Laundry, where she witnessed the mistreatment of the Maggies first-hand. Her memories elevate the play beyond social commentary to personal truth. Thousands of women were imprisoned in Magdalene Laundries. Their children were taken away from them. Their lives were eclipsed, made invisible. They deserve to be remembered. Their story deserves to be told."
WHERE: THE PLAYERS, Barker Playhouse, Providence, RI
WHEN: Oct. 13, 14, 20 & 21 @7:30pm
Oct. 15 & 22 @ 2PM
Tickets: $25; Student tickets $15
INFORMATION & TICKETS:
PHOTO CREDIT: The Players
Katie Preston as Sister Virginia and Sharon Carpentier at Mother Victoria