King Fishers Catch Fire
by Robin Glendinning
King Fishers Catch Fire will be read by Sean Gormley* (The Weir, Da) and David Lansbury* (War Horse, Groundswell) *courtesy of AEA
In King Fishers Catch Fire, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a Kerry priest who was stationed in Rome during World War II, visits his old enemy, a former Gestapo officer who is serving a life sentence in prison. In the horrific aftermath of this war, are redemption, faith, understanding, and friendship possible? Based on a true story, the play is a taut exploration of two very different men.
Robin Glendinning (playwright) stage plays include Jennifer’s Vacation, the Gate Theatre Dublin, and Stuffing It at Tricycle Theatre London. Also, Culture Vultures, Lyric Theatre Belfast and Minerva Theatre Chichester; Mumbo Jumbo (Joint winner of the Mobil Theatre Award 1986) Manchester Royal Exchange and the Lyric Hammersmith; Donny Boy (Winner of the Manchester Evening News and Martini Rossi Provincial Theatre Award for Best New Play 1991) Manchester Royal Exchange, Theatre Royal Oslo and on tour in Ireland with Tinder Box Theatre; and Summer House in the Druid Theatre Galway and the Ulster Theatre Company in the Group Theatre Belfast. He has written thirty radio plays for the BBC; was nominated for a Sony Award for his “Condemning Violence” in 1987 and received a Giles Cooper Award for “The Words are Strange” in 1991. Most recent radio plays include “The Windsor Jewells” (2007) and “Edith’s Story” (2010) and “Operation Black Buck,” (2012) and “Lizzy Barry’s Lesson” (2015). Three of his other plays were rebroadcast the same year. His short stories in English and Irish have been published in Irish journals.
House Strictly Private
by Jimmy Kerr
House Strictly Private will be read by Billy Carter* (The Weir, Port Authority), Jo Kinsella* (For Love, Dancing at Lughnasa) and Jenny Sterlin* (Design for Living, Major Barbara). *courtesy of AEA
The Irish love to laugh, they love to cry and the McCrackens are no exception, especially when an elderly uncle dies a lot sooner than any of them were expecting. Faced with an uncertain future and a distorted past, the McCracken family get the chance of a lifetime: break-up or stick together. House Strictly Private is a dark-comedy set in the rural Ireland.
Jimmy Kerr (playwright) trained as an actor at the William Esper Studio in New York (NY). He holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. Jimmy last appeared on stage in NY at a command performance of In Shorts, a collaboration with Geraldine Hughes at The Irish Repertory Theatre. Jimmy Kerr is the recipient of the 2013 Origin Award for Special Achievement; he is currently based in Belfast. His plays include Ardnaglass on the Air (1st Irish 2010).
by Jennifer O’Grady
A fresh, imaginative take on the Brontë sisters, Charlotte’s Letters intertwines novelist Charlotte Brontë’s two years as a young woman at a girls’ school in Brussels—where she became close to her married teacher and employer, Monsieur Heger—with her friend and biographer Mrs. Gaskell’s struggle to salvage Charlotte’s posthumous reputation and save her trailblazing novels. Linking the stories is the mystery of Charlotte’s attraction to Heger, who encouraged her rare writing talent and that of her sister, Emily, while helping inspire scandalous books like Jane Eyre. Charlotte’s Letters is a vividly theatrical and wryly humorous exploration of the boundaries between love and friendship and the making of art and identity.
Jennifer O’Grady (Playwright) is an award-winning poet and playwright who was born and raised in New York City. Her other plays include Paranormal Love (Manhattan Theatre Works 2015 NewBorn Festival and a Finalist for the 2015 NEWvember New Plays Festival); Quasars, featured in The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2014 (Smith and Kraus) and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35 (Applause, 2014); and Juggling with Mr. Fields(nominated for The Kilroys List, 2015). Her ten-minute play Persephone was a Semifinalist for Little Fish Theatre’s 2016 Pick of the Vine. Charlotte’s Letters was shortlisted for Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s (BETC’s) 2015 Generations Award. Her poems have appeared in Harper’s, The New Republic, The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, American Poetry: The Next Generation and many other places, including her prizewinning book, White (Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry). She holds a BA from Vassar and an MFA from Columbia University and lives near New York City with her husband, son, and daughter. For more information: JenniferOGrady.net.
by Jane Madden
The Windstealers will be read by Ciaran Byrne* (The Night Alive, Juno and the Paycock), Terry Donnelly* (The Shaughraun, Transport), Sean Gormley* (The Weir, Da), Laurence Lowry* (Juno and the Paycock, The Shaughraun), Kate Lydic*
(The Belle of Belfast, Titus Andronicus), Dónall Ó’ Héalaí* (Moll, Focal Point), and Rachel Pickup* (Merchant of Venice, Dancing at Lughnasa). *courtesy of AEA
Welcome to Ballygweeha, the windiest town in Ireland. In Jane Madden’s The Windstealers, the houses teeter over, the locals walk at an angle into the gusts and no-one’s ever properly lit a fire. When prodigal son Luc Torney returns after ten years to save the town from ruin with a windfarm scheme, he is hailed as a hero. But town layabout Jacinta Nangle smells a rat. A cast of gurriers, property developers and mammies collide in this modern Irish satire on corruption and national character.
Jane Madden (Playwright) is from Dublin, Ireland where she recently completed an MFA in Playwriting at the Lir Academy of Dramatic Art. She also holds an undergraduate degree from Trinity College, Dublin in English and Theatre Studies. Playwriting credits include Scripted (Tiger Dublin Fringe 2015) The Windstealers (Tiger Dublin Fringe 2015) Memory Palace (Bluepatch Productions, Galway Arts Festival 2010) He and She (Mamuska at the Back Loft Theatre 2010) and 246 Letters (Daguerrotype Theatre Company 2010) Previously, she worked in television production (“The Savage Eye,” “Irish Pictorial Weekly,” “Ar Intinn Eile”) and in literary management.
The Pigeon in the Taj Mahal
by Laoisa Sexton
directed by Kara Manning
The Pigeon In The Taj Mahal will be read by Patrick Fitzgerald* (Sea Marks, The Shaughraun), Sean Gormley* (The Weir, Da), Jo Kinsella* (For Love, House Strictly Private), Dónall Ó Héalaí* (Moll, Focal Point),
and Laoisa Sexton* (For Love, Oh The Power). *courtesy of AEA
Laoisa Sexton’s The Pigeon in the Taj Mahal is a dark comedy about trying to get home. Somewhere in the rural West of Ireland, in a remote in-between place in the middle of nowhere a mentally impaired outsider is banished to live on an abandoned dilapidated campsite. Cut off from his community and the modern world, he lives a solitary existence until one night, he finds an injured bride-to-be from the mean streets of Limerick, who has been separated from her bachelorette party. It’s clear these two must find a way to communicate, so they can help each other find the way home.
The 2015-2016 Reading Series is underwritten in part by the members of our Patron’s Circle.