Rayner, Numrich, Shaw-Robinson, Ciesla, McNenny to Open U.S. Premiere of McGuinness' Gates

News   Rayner, Numrich, Shaw-Robinson, Ciesla, McNenny to Open U.S. Premiere of McGuinness' Gates The American premiere of Irish writer Frank McGuinness' comedic drama about Irish theatre, Gates of Gold, directed by Kent Paul, will play Feb. 19-March 29 at 59E59 Theaters in Manhattan.

The Off-Broadway production, to open March 1, a change from an earlier announcement, will feature Martin Rayner, Charles Shaw-Robinson, Diane Ciesla, Seth Numrich and Kathleen McNenny. (Lonny Price was originally announced to be the director, but that has changed.)

The producers are Artists Theatre Group, Inc., Warren Baker and Sally Jacobs.

From the Tony Award-nominated author of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, whose adaptation of A Doll's House received a Tony Award for Best Revival in 1997, Gates of Gold is billed as "an acerbic duel between Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir, fashionable and eloquent theatrical trailblazers who founded Dublin's Gate Theatre. Gates of Gold is funny, witty, deeply moving and a vibrant celebration of art, love, and, finally, life itself."

Previous productions starred Alan Howard in Dublin and William Gaunt in the West End.

Director Paul helped launch Contemporary Stage Company in Wilmington, DE, where he directed productions of Donald Margulies' Collected Stories starring Lynn Redgrave, Joe Sutton's Restoring the Sun, and two plays in the 2006 Athol Fugard Festival: The Island with Keith Powell and Sean Patrick Thomas, and Exits and Entrances. Among many credits, he also staged The Bird Sanctuary by Frank McGuinness, with Elizabeth Franz and Hayley Mills (U.S. premiere, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Alabama Shakespeare Festival). The production team includes set designer Michael Schweikardt, assistant set designer Ryan Scott, lighting designer Phil Monat and costume designer Nanzi Adzima.

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McGuinness was born in Buncrana, County Donegal, and lives in Dublin and lectures in English at University College, Dublin. His plays include The Factory Girls (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1982 and Arcola Theatre, London, January 2006), Baglady (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1985), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1985; Hampstead Theatre, London, 1986), Innocence (Gate Theatre, Dublin, 1986), Carthaginians (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1988; Hampstead Theatre, London, 1989), Mary and Lizzie (RSC, 1989), The Bread Man (Gate Theatre, Dublin, 1991), Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Hampstead, West End and Broadway (Tony-nominated Best Play, 1992); The Bird Sanctuary (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1992), Mutabilitie (RNT, 1997), Dolly West's Kitchen (Abbey, 1999; Old Vic, 2000) and Gates of Gold (The Gate Theatre, Dublin, 2002, Finborough Theatre, London, 2004). An adaptor of many international works, his recent adaptation of Oedipus recently played at the National in London.

Tickets are $35 and can be ordered by calling Ticket Central (212) 279-4200, online at www.59E59.org, or in person starting at noon daily at 59 East 59th Street (between Madison and Park.