The final performances of The Weir this weekend also signal the end of Santa Barbara Ensemble Theatre's 2000-01 season. Conor McPherson's haunting Irish drama began performances June 29 and ends July 29. Ensemble Theatre Company artistic director Robert Grande-Weiss directs.
McPherson's play of small-town pub regulars who spend a night telling ghostly stories to impress their new neighbor, a quiet young Dublin woman, opened on Broadway April 1, 1999. Although the play received no Tony nominations, The Weir was the last survivor of 1999's new plays, with a run of 276 performances and 11 previews. In London, the drama garnered the UK’s 1998 Olivier Award for Best New Play. McPherson's other works include St. Nicholas, This Lime Tree Bower, The Good Thief and Dublin Carol.
Guest Irish actors Geraldine Hughes, Tim Murphy and Kevin Kearns, all seen in 1998's The Cripple of Inishman at the Ensemble Theatre, assay the roles of Valerie, Finbar and Brendan, respectively. Also in the cast are Rudolph Willrich as Jack and Robert Lesser as Jim.
Designing The Weir are Barbara Lackner (costumes), Vicki Scott (lighting) and Tal Sanders (sets). Michael Madden is the technical director.