Two Irish brothers separated by years, ideologies and miles are at the center of a new play, Locating the Plant, having its world premiere at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan, Sept. 14-Oct. 1.
Hand Rubbed Productions presents Tim Marks' drama, about an Irish American who returns to Ireland on business and finds his homeland's "troubles" still troubling.
In the atmosphere of the 1980s, when ancient hates between Britain and Ireland, Protestants and Catholics, and Loyalists and Republicans continue, the estranged brothers meet again. Barry is a successful entrepreneur, Kieran is a convicted member of the IRA. When Barry makes a mistake that could destroy him and his family, it falls to Kieran, still a believer in the "Cause" that cost him his liberty, to clean up after his brother.
In between the brothers is their Ma, whose loyalty to Kieran is absolute.
Paula D'Alessandris directs an Equity cast including Laura Flynn, Mark Hankla, Daniel Haughey, Sean Heeney, Richard Lester and Trish McGettrick. Playwright Marks is a Welshman currently living in Baltimore. He was a member of the British Army serving in a bomb disposal crew in Belfast and drew upon his memories of Belfast as a background for the play, which is the first part of a trilogy about Ireland.
Locating the Plant was originally workshopped in New York at the American Theatre of Actors in 1996. The show has since been rewritten and this marks its first full-length production. The other plays in the trilogy are Pearldivers, produced at ATA in 1999, and Reel, a musical set in Baltimore.
The debut production by Hand Rubbed Productions (Catherine Preis, founder) was Marks' Pearldivers in 1999 at the ATA.
Tickets are $12-$15. The Irish Arts Center is at 553 W. 51st St. between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.
For ticket information, contact the Irish Arts Center box office at (212) 560-7308, visit the web site at www.locatingtheplant.homestead.com.
-- By Kenneth Jones