Two fierce friends bring Irish Theatre to RTR

On March 10th, 11th and 12th 2006 the work of two passionate Irish playwrights light up the stage at Readers Theatre Repertory, accompanied by live Irish music. The shows will be staged in the Pearl District, and at Grendel’s Cafe.

“Fierce Friends: Lady Gregory and W.B. Yeats” features two plays co-written by the forefather and mother of great Irish drama, with three addition penned by Lady Gregory. The production includes CoatsMcDonough’s WifeThe PoorhouseHeads or Harps and Cathleen ni Houlihan. The evening is co-directed by Mary McDonald-Lewis and Wendy Wilcox.

“These collaborations show the talents of both,” says director Wendy Wilcox. “Yeats’ poetry and great ambivalence and grief, and Gregory’s keen insight into the music of the dialogue, and the social climate of the poor.”

Well-known Uilleann piper Kevin Reitmann plays a role in McDonough’s Wife, as the story centers around the power of a piper’s music. Irish fiddler Ian Clemons, a musician with the Celtic band Talisman, will perform throughout the evening. The two will play together as well.

McDonald-Lewis found the parallels to today’s nationalistic fever compelling. “We’re asking whether there is a cause worth fighting and dying for,” she says. “Whether any cause is. We hope our audience walks away debating the subject.”

Cast members included Michael Berkson, Matt Haynes, Deb Lund, Suzanne Owens-Duval, Janet Penner, Charles Rule, Rick Sanders, Amanda Soden, and Mark Twohy, among others.

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