Begorrah! Irish Rep Will Stage All 26 Plays by Irish Nobel Winner in The Yeats Project

News   Begorrah! Irish Rep Will Stage All 26 Plays by Irish Nobel Winner in The Yeats Project On the eve of St. Patrick's Day, Off-Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre announced an ambitious plan to present all 26 short plays written by Irish poet-playwright William Butler Yeats in readings or full productions. The Yeats Project will begin April 8 and open April 15.

Announced March 16, the plan — to include full stagings of eight Yeats (1865-1939) plays in repertory on the Rep Mainstage — is an Irish Rep presentation in association with Glucksman Ireland House, The American Irish Historical Society, and The WB Yeats Society of New York, with support from American Express.

The Yeats Project's plays will be directed by Charlotte Moore (Rep artistic director) and Ciarán O’Reilly (producing director). The company of actors for the Manstage plays will include Kevin Collins, Peter Cormican, Terry Donnelly, Patrick Fitzgerald, Sean Gormley, Amanda Quaid, Amanda Sprecher, Justin Stoney, Fiana Toibin and William J. Ward.

The eight fully mounted Mainstage productions in two cycles will be (Cycle A) The Countess Cathleen, The Cat and the Moon and On Baile's Strand and (Cycle B) The Land of Heart's Desire, The Pot of Broth, Purgatory, A Full Moon in March and Cathleen Ni Houlihan.

The remaining 18 plays will receive "concert readings" in the downstairs Studio Theatre. These plays — At the Hawk's Well, Calvary, Deirdre, The Hour Glass, The King's Threshold, Oedipus Rex, The Resurrection, The Shadowy Waters, The Words upon the Window Pane, The Green Helmet, The Only Jealousy of Emer, The Unicorn from the Stars, The Player Queen, The Dreaming of the Bones, Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus, The King of the Great Clock Tower, The Herne's Egg and The Death of Cuchulain — will be directed by George C. Heslin, artistic director and founder of Origin Theatre Company.

The creative team for the Mainstage works includes set designer Charlie Corcoran, costume designer David Toser, lighting designer Brian Nason, sound designer Zachary Williamson, composer Bill Whelan, choreographer Barry McNabb, properties designer Deirdre Brennan, stage manager Elis C. Arroyo, assistant stage manager Leslie Grisdale. *

William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1865, the son of Irish painter John Butler Yeats. He spent his childhood in County Sligo, where his parents were raised, and in London. He returned to Dublin at the age of 15 to continue his education and study painting, but quickly discovered he preferred poetry. Born into the Anglo-Irish landowning class, Yeats became involved with the Celtic Revival, a movement against the cultural influences of English rule in Ireland during the Victorian period, which sought to promote the spirit of Ireland's native heritage. Though Yeats never learned Gaelic himself, his writing at the turn of the century drew extensively from sources in Irish mythology and folklore. The politically engaged poet and playwright co-founded the Abbey Theatre, devoted to Irish plays, and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923. W. B. Yeats died in 1939 at the age of 73.

The Yeats Project plays to May 3. Performances on the Mainstage will be Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, matinees are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 PM.

Tickets to The Yeats Project are on sale now. A special $100 Festival Pass is good for one admission to all Yeats Project events presented at The Irish Rep, subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis.

Single tickets to each Cycle A and Cycle B performances are $65 and $55. Single tickets to all other events, are $20.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 727-2737 or in person at the box office.

The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 W. 22nd Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

For more information, visit www.irishrep.org.

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Other scheduled events include five special poetry evenings featuring distinguished guests, a Dance Recital from Darrah Carr Dance, a movie screening of "Words Upon the Window Pane" starring Geraldine Chaplin, Gerald McSorley and Donal Donnelly, and a literary evening featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt, Colm McCann and special musical guests.

Marian Seldes, Brian F. O'Byrne, John McMartin and David Staller will host an open microphone night wherein the general public are invited to take the stage and perform a favorite Yeats poem.

Others reading, events and panels are also planned. Visit The Irish Rep website www.irishrep.org for the complete schedule of events.

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