The Colleagues Theatre Company, New York City's unique troupe devoted to work by or about mature people, picked Irish Strawberries for a world premiere presentation, Feb. 25-March 12.
George Bamford's drama is set on Mother's Day in 1968, "in the gentle rolling hills of Maryland," when Julia awaits the arrival of her son, Jake, his wife Annie and their new baby. Family relationships are shaken and lives changed forever as secret memories are revealed.
Directed by Thomas G. Waites, Irish Strawberries features Meg Myles as Julia, George Bamford as Stu (the father), Tom Biglin as Jake and Annie McGovern as his wife, Annie. Official opening is Feb. 29. Performances are at Theatre Three, 311 West 43rd Street in Manhattan.
Irish Strawberries is Bamford's second play. His first, A Father's Day Diary, is the basis for a film scheduled to begin shooting in June. Bamford has acted on Broadway in Arsenic and Old Lace, Sweet Bird of Youth and Precious Sons. His Off-Broadway acting credits include Horton Foote's Night Sessions, The Kid, Anna K, Yanks 3-Detroit 0-Top of the Seventh and Seduced at the American Place Theatre.
Director Waites is an actor-playwright-director who has appeared in the Broadway productions of American Buffalo with Al Pacino, Awake and Sing and Richard III. He has directed at The Actors Studio in New York City at Los Angeles' Complex Theatre, among others. His produced plays include Dark Laughter, Blue Moon, Survivors and Spike's Story. *
The Colleagues Theatre Company was founded in 1995 by producing director Catherine Wolf to commission and produce plays that celebrate the mature life experience. The company debuted in 1998-99 with Angela Huth's The Understanding, featuring seasoned Broadway actors William Cain, Mary Fogarty, Elizabeth Parrish and Wolf.
Designers for Irish Strawberries are Deborah Edelman Caney (costumes), Steve Mitchell (set) and Jeff Fontaine (lights).
Tickets are $12. Theatre Three is on the third floor at 311 W. 43rd St. For tickets, call (213) 279-4200.
-- By Kenneth Jones