Seanachaí Theatre Company has announced its 2012-13 Season 'Rag-Tags and Wayward Souls', feautring the World Premiere of IN PIGEON HOUSE by Honor Molloy, October 17 - November 18, 2012, and the U.S. Premiere of LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY by Billy Roche, March 27 - April 28, 2013.
Lay Me Down Softly by Billy Roche
Early 1960s. Delaney's Travelling Roadshow lights up entertainment-starved rural Ireland with a helter-skelter world of bumper cars, bearded ladies, and rifle ranges. The main attraction is Dean, the carnival's amateur scrapper, inviting all comers into the ring. Looking on from the other corner is Theo, the iron-fisted patriarch of this rag-tag outfit. Aided by his disgruntled cashier girlfriend, Lily, and loyal cornerman, Peadar, he keeps the show on the road. That is until one day. Sucker-punched by a sudden one-two combination, Theo finds himself on the ropes at the unexpected arrival of his long-abandoned daughter, Emer, and a pro boxer with a score to settle.
Billy Roche is a playwright, novelist, screenwriter, director, musician and actor. He lives in Wexford, Ireland, where most of his plays are set. He often writes of rural life, just outside of modern, urban Ireland, a world where the inhabitants frequently feel out of place.
Roche's other stage plays include Amphibians commissioned by the RSC and performed at the Barbican, The Cavalcaders (Royal Court, London, and Abbey Theatre, Dublin), and On Such As We (Abbey). He is best known for The Wexford Trilogy, directed by Robin LeFevre, and performed in its entirety at the Bush, the Peacock and the Theatre Royal, Wexford. Roche wrote the screenplay for Trojan Eddie which was directed by Gillies MacKinnon and starred Stephen Rea and Richard Harris. He has been writer-in-residence at the Bush Theatre, and Writer-in-Association with Druid and The Abbey Theatre.
Tony-award winning playwright, Conor McPherson, described Roche as "an inspirational figure in contemporary Irish drama." McPherson wrote and directed the film The Eclipse, an adaptation of Roche's short story Table Manners.
In Pigeon House by Honor Molloy
Juxtaposed against the contemporary drug-fueled club scene in Dublin, In Pigeon House weaves together vaudeville, music hall, and cinema in this love letter to traveling shows. Moving between time and genres, the itinerant players Basher, Masher, Rasher and Dolly rip up the stage with a furious tornado of language and Moving Pictures. A startlingly theatrical and darkly comic oeuvre, In Pigeon House at once explodes and upholds the romantic myth of the wandering player.
In Pigeon House owes its inspiration to the "fit-ups," traveling shows that toured Ireland's countryside in the first half of the twentieth century. Farmers and villagers "starved for a bit of culture" prized the indigenous touring companies from whose talented and highly accomplished ranks emerged such actors as Cyril Cusack and Milo O'Shea. John Molloy, Honor's father, began his own career in the fit-ups before moving on to star in Ireland's first soap opera, Tolka Row.
In the spirit of both traveling shows, Seanachaí has packed its proverbial tents to present the entire 2012/13 season at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622.
Previews for In Pigeon House are Sunday October 14th and Tuesday October 16th at 7.30pm, with PRESS OPENING on Wednesday, October 17th, at 7.30pm. Performances run Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm, Sundays at 3pm. NO show Thursday October 18th. Tickets are $26-$30.
In Pigeon House's cast includes Ensemble actors Ira Amyx and Barbara Figgins. Amyx received Jeff nominations for his work in Seanachaí's productions of That Was Then (supporting actor) and A Moon for the Misbegotten (co-scenic designer with Merje Veski). John Mossman, who directed Figgins in Seanachaí's The Shadow of a Gunman, rounds out the cast along with Katherine Schwartz.