Back in January, the brand new Irish American Theatre Company staged a show titled, Some Things You Need To Know Before The World Ends. Well, the world didn't end, and the Manhattan-based company's back for its second season, mounting shows by Synge, O'Neill and others.
Dedicated to producing classic Irish theatre and plays by Irish-American writers, the Irish American Theatre Company promises, "an exciting season, which not only gives cutting edge drama, but also entertainment," said producer and artistic director, Thomas Henry.
Here's the 1997-98 I.A.T.C. Season:
The Waiting Room by Deirdre McNamara, and The Tinker's Wedding, one-acts by John Millington Synge (Aug. 12-23)
The first play concerns a chance encounter between two terrorists in Northern Ireland. Said Thomas, "We're calling The Waiting Room a peace play, but is it? I don't think these guys in the play ever reconcile anything."
"I wish that all parties involved would step back and take a more global viewpoint," playwright McNamara said in a statement. There are many, many alternatives to violence."
Said director Justin Golding about the play, "It's like [Harold] Pinter, because of the tension in minimalist dialogue."
Thomas told Playbill On-Line, "Synge's play is a farce set in 1905, about a tinker woman who desperately wants to get married, so she tries to con the local priest into marrying her." In September, I.A,T.C. will offer a trilogy of original plays about the Irish Famine, under the title, "Irish Ghost Stories." According to spokesperson Thomas Henry, two of the plays will be Mistletoe, The Hunger Grass and Sweet Dreams, all by McNamara.
Then, in January 1998, the company will stage Eugene O'Neill's masterwork, Long Day's Journey Into Night, about a family with a penny-pinching father, morphine-addicted mother, drunken older brother and consumptive younger brother.
The Irish American Theatre Company is the third Off-Broadway Irish troupe in NYC, joining Irish Repertory and the Irish Arts Center. This company will be unique in that their productions will play in Manhattan and then go on to tour Ireland. Artistic director Thomas Henry, a native of County Sligo, studied at the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts in the UK.
For tickets ($12) and information on plays at the Irish American Theatre Company, which plays at the Impact Theatre on 8th Ave., call (212) 462 9345.
--By David Lefkowitz