The W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre
Written by Sean O’Casey
Directed by John Ford
Starring Barbara Stanwick, Preston Foster, Barry Fitzgerald, and members of the original Abbey Theatre cast of The Plough and the Stars
Just ten years after The Abbey Theatre’s premiere of The Plough and the Stars incited riots in Dublin, renowned Hollywood director John Ford adapted the play for a much anticipated film. He planned to cast it with the actors from the original stage production, but his studio (RKO) insisted that he hire known American actors for the leads. He was ultimately able to hire five actors from the original production including Barry Fitzgerald, who would go on to have a long career in film. During editing, O’Casey’s political opinions caused problems once again as RKO objected to the overt politics in the film and interjected, reshooting several scenes against Ford’s wishes with another Director.
The Plough and the Stars Plot Description:
Pretty young newlywed Nora Clitheroe is the talk of her tenement as she tirelessly works to lift her family out of their impoverished circumstances. She tries to keep her husband Jack from the revolutionary fervor sweeping through Dublin. But Jack becomes a Commandant in the Irish Citizen Army, and when the Easter Rising of 1916 begins, he leaves a pregnant Nora to help lead the fight. The disparate, quarrelsome tenement residents are forced to shelter together as urban warfare makes their home nearly as treacherous as the streets. Passions and ideals rise and converge, but in the end, loss and devastation triumph over the promise of a new Ireland.
Don’t miss our live production of The Plough and the Stars beginning on Saturday, April 20 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage. Learn more.
Tickets to this screening are available now for $15 ($10 for Irish Rep Members & O’Casey Cycle Subscribers).