W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre
The Pot of Broth, by William Butler Yeats, in collaboration with Lady Gregory (1903)
The Rising of the Moon, by Lady Gregory (1907)
Riders to the Sea, by John Millington Synge (1904)
Directed by Charlotte Moore
With Colin Lane, Terry Donnelly, Clare O’Malley, David O’Hara, Adam Petherbridge, and Jennifer McVey
Extended Through April 22, 2018
A simple policeman looks into his heart and turns himself into a wide-eyed folk hero. A hungry trickster makes a hearty meal of a stone and a song. A poignant tale is told of a solitary man washed up by the sea on the faraway coast of Donegal. This is the stuff of which great drama can be wrought.
A one-act play can achieve a kind of greatness. If that one-act play is written by John Millington Synge, Lady Gregory, or William Butler Yeats, surely it has a head start in that direction. With their romantic views of the past, and their wondrous sets of laws and techniques, these three plays, lovingly presented, full of politics, wild humor, unique displays of language, and finally, deep tragedy, come as close as can be to masterworks.
In addition to their artistic merit, these plays are significant to Irish history. In the late 19th century, during the Celtic Twilight (also known as the Irish Literary Revival), Yeats and Lady Gregory turned their attention to Irish theater as a means of increasing national pride and identity through a shared mythology. These short plays, along with many others, were written and performed as part of this initiative. Joined by Synge and Edward Martyn, Yeats and Gregory founded the Irish National Theatre Society, which opened The Abbey Theatre in 1904, solidifying the preservation and presentation of Irish theatre going forward.
Putting the word “Masterpieces” in the title seems to set an impossibly high bar for an evening of one-act plays. And yet the Irish Repertory Theatre clears it (and then some) in this delightful excursion to Éire.” – Theatermania