Off-Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre launches its 25th Anniversary Season with Brian Friel's THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY with previews set to begin October 3 at the Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street), directed by Ciarán O'Reilly.
On October 10, the company continues its 2012-13 Season with the New York premiere of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter, starring Julian Sands ("The Killing Fields," "A Room with a View") in his New York stage debut, directed by Academy Award-nominee John Malkovich. The 25th Anniversary Season continues, on November 29, with THE SONGS I LOVE SO WELL, starring acclaimed Irish musician, Grammy-nominee Phil Coulter. An additional Christmas show is to be announced for 2012.
Details are as follows:
THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY
By Brian Friel
Directed by Ciarán O'Reilly
October 3 – November 25.
Opens October 14 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage
Set in Derry, Northern Ireland during the aftermath of a civil rights meeting, THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY revolves around an inquiry into the shooting by British soldiers of three marchers as they emerged from the Guildhall. As the inquiry continues, with testimony from 'expert' witnesses, the play relives the real events that led to its institution. When the police disrupt the peaceful protest, three unarmed strangers, Lily, a middle-aged mother of 11, and Michael and Skinner, two young men, take refuge from the streets and find themselves inexplicably in the Mayor's Parlor. As the three settle in to the Lord Mayor's opulent office, word spreads about the "occupation" of the Guildhall. The motley trio is transformed into a band of armed and desperate terrorists, a fiction that is taken up by the church, the media, the army, and nationalist balladeers, all of whom use the myth for their own diverse ends.
Casting for THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY is to be announced.
The production features set design by Charlie Corcoran; costume design by DAVID TOSER; sound design by Ryan Rumery; lighting design by Michael Gottlieb. Additional designers are to be announced.
Director Ciarán O'Reilly helmed the company's recent productions of Eugene O'Neill's BEYOND THE HORIZON and THE EMPEROR JONES (Joseph A Callaway Award winner for Direction; Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Audelco nominations). As an actor, he co-starred in Irish Repertory's revivals of Brian Friel's DANCING AT LUGHNASA and MOLLY SWEENEY.
In addition to DANCING AT LUGHNASA and MOLLY SWEENEY, which were both presented in 2011 at The Irish Repertory Theatre, directed by Charlotte Moore, Brian Friel's best known plays include TRANSLATIONS and the Tony Award-nominated PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! which was revived at Irish Rep in 2005. Mr. Friel's other plays include FAITH HEALER, WONDERFUL TENNESSEE, THE MUNDY SCHEME, ARISTOCRATS, MAKING HISTORY, and among others, the Tony Award-nominated LOVERS. THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY was first performed at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, in 1973, and opened on Broadway in February 1974.
A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter
Starring Julian Sands
Directed by John Malkovich
October 10 –November 4.
New York Premiere.
Opens October 16 in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre