The W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre
Directed by Tim Ruddy
Saturday, February 16 at 8pm
Sunday, February 17 at 3pm
As the world was swept up in the rise of fascism, O’Casey wrote this four-act political allegory about a conflict between communist and fascist forces. The story follows Red Jim, a character based on O’Casey’s friend James Larkin, a trade-union leader and socialist, in a fictionalized event that resembles the 1913 Dublin General Strike. Red Jim leads his union to take over an unnamed country while contending with the ruthless efforts of the Saffron Shirts, a fascist organization supported by the Catholic hierarchy.
Considered one of O’Casey’s most overtly political plays, The Star Turns Red was difficult to present when completed in 1939. The play was finally premiered on March 20, 1940 by the Unity Theatre in London, an amateur left-wing company. It was published that year by Macmillan in London, but the firm’s New York office rejected the work due to its positive Communist themes. It made its Irish debut in 1978 at the Abbey Theatre. Although it received some critical success, The Star Turns Red remains one of O’Casey’s most obscure and rarely-seen works.
All readings are free to attend. Invitations were sent via email. To request an invitation, call the Irish Rep box office at 212-727-2737.