Outside, sunny Santa Barbara will remain sunny Santa Barbara; inside, the city's Ensemble Theatre will turn the weather decidely rainy and cold. The company finishes off its 2000-01 season with Conor McPherson's haunting Irish drama, The Weir, playing June 29-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.