Airswimming, the 1997 play by Charlotte Jones — known for Humble Boy and The Woman in White — gets its U.S. premiere by Irish Repertory Theatre and Fallen Angel Theatre Company in Manhattan beginning Jan. 9. John Keating directs Aedin Moloney and Rachel Pickup in the fact-based drama about the injustice of women imprisoned for having children out of wedlock.
Airswimming is set in 1920s England and is based on the "true story of two women (Miss Kitson and Miss Baker), who have been incarcerated in a hospital for the 'criminally insane' for having borne illegitimate children. Forgotten by their families and not released until the 1970s, Dora and Persephone adopt alter-egos, Dorph and Porph, to enact their fantasies and survive the silence of incarceration."
Opening night is Jan. 13 at Irish Rep's intimate W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre at 132 W. 22nd Street.
Actresses Moloney and Pickup, recently seen in Irish Rep's Dancing at Lughnasa, play Dora and Persephone, respectively.
The production team includes set designer Melissa Shakun; lighting designer Jessica M. Burgess; sound designer Kortney Barber; and choreographer Laura Knight Keating. Production stage manager is Lauren McArthur.
Charlotte Jones is best known for her play Humble Boy, which debuted in London in 2002, garnering its author the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Humble Boy played Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2003, earning a Drama Desk nomination for Best New Play. She also penned the libretto to The Woman in White, the musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by David Zippel, among other plays. Airswimming is her first play.