The Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage
Directed by Mary Beth Yarrow and Shivaun O’Casey
Narrated by Shivaun O’Casey, who will join the event for a post-screening discussion
Monday, May 13 at 7pm
Under a Coloured Cap is a documentary film exploring the life and work of the great Irish playwright Sean O’Casey by his daughter, Shivaun O’Casey. Join us for this remarkable film followed by a discussion with Shivaun O’Casey.
Experience Sean O’Casey’s incredible life story through his daughter’s perspective in Under a Coloured Cap. Born in 1880 and raised in the slums of Dublin, O’Casey’s life was deeply shaped by the troubled and turbulent times of the 1913 Lock-Out and Strike, in which O’Casey was directly involved, and the 1916 Easter Rising, the Anglo-Irish War and the Civil War. These formative events inspired his famed Dublin Trilogy, written over three years when O’Casey was in his 40s.
The success of these works made O’Casey a world-wide figure and changed his life dramatically. He soon moved to London where he met and married Eileen Carey, later moving to Devon, where he remained until his death. He had three children, Niall, Breon, and Shivaun. Niall tragically died of Leukemia at age 21, eight years before his father’s death at age 84.
This intimate documentary illustrates O’Casey’s personality through privileged personal insight from interviews with O’Casey himself, his son Breon, and his wife, Eileen. Actor John Kavanagh reads from O’Casey’s autobiography and letters, and the film features rare and fascinating archival footage and scenes, revealing O’Casey as a diverse and innovative artist, and optimistic humanist.
After the film, Shivaun O’Casey will take the stage for a discussion and brief audience Q & A.
Irish Repertory Theatre is proud to present this special evening as a culminating event in our Sean O’Casey Season.
Biography of Shivaun O’Casey, Director, Writer, and Narrator of Under the Coloured Cap
Shivaun O’Casey began directing and producing in New York City in 1987 with Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, followed by Baglady (Frank McGuinness), and Purple Dust (Sean O’Casey). In 1991, she formed The O’Casey Theater Company, based both in Northern Ireland and New York, and forged an agreement with three Equities to use artists from America, Ireland and Great Britain. The company produced three international tours: The Shadow of a Gunman, Three Shouts from a Hill, The Plough and the Stars – and finally, for performance in Derry only, Behind the Green Curtains. Her most recent production is Song at Sunset, a one-man-show about Sean O’Casey which received its American Premiere at Irish Repertory Theatre in 1998. Shivaun is the daughter of Sean O’Casey and has partnered with Irish Rep throughout this year’s 30th Anniversary Celebration: The Sean O’Casey Season.
Biography of Mary Beth Yarrow, Co-Director, Producer, and Writer of Under the Coloured Cap
First worked with Shivaun O’Casey in New York City in 1987 on the theatrical production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days. She has been producing documentaries and television films since 1979 including The Willmar 8 (PBS/TV) When Women Kill (HBO) – What Sex Am I? (HBO) – A Matter of Sex (NBC/TV Movie of the Week) – No Place Like Home (CBS/TV Movie of the Week). Intimate Portraits: Vanessa Redgrave, Liz Tilberis and Bella Abzug (Lifetime Channel) and Sidney Poitier – “One Bright Light” (American Masters Series for WNET-PBS/TV & BBC2).