The Williamstown Theatre Festival has hired an experienced hand to direct its Aug. 15-26 revival of Brian Friel's Philadelphia, Here I Come!. Kyle Donnelly will pilot the early Friel work, which concludes the Main Stage season. Donnelly was behind the New York premiere of Friel's Give Me Your Answer, Do! and directed Dancing at Lughnasa at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.
Philadelphia was Friel's first big international success. The story tells of Gar O'Donnell, who wars with his pals, his stoic father and his very vocal private self (an actual character) on the eve of his emigration from rural Ireland to the City of Brotherly Love.
The Williamstown cast includes Lee Pace and Austin Levy, as private and public Gar, Nancy Robinette, Henry Strozier, Munson Hicks, Kevin O'Rourke, Barbara Sims, John Curless and Nesbitt Blaisdale.
The remaining season will run as follows: Main Stage:
• Philadelphia, Here I Come!, by Brian Friel, directed by Kyle Donnelly, Aug. 15-26. Friel's tale of an young Irish man (and his alter ego) trying to make peace with his homeland and his father before setting off for America.
• Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme, by Frank McGuinness, directed by Nicholas Martin, Aug. 9-19. A drama about eight Irish nationalists serving in World War I.
—By Robert Simonson