Actress Returns to Irish Roots in U.S. Premiere of Mushroom Pickers, in NYC

News   Actress Returns to Irish Roots in U.S. Premiere of Mushroom Pickers, in NYC
Jacqueline McCarrick's The Mushroom Pickers, the story of a London actress who returns to Ireland to get her hands dirty in the soil of her homeland, makes its American premiere Feb. 12-28 in New York City.

The Equity showcase production is produced by alloy theater company, which staged the cabaret premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tell Me On a Sunday in 2008 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. The Mushroom Pickers, which was critically acclaimed in London, plays The Gene Frankel Theater, at 24 Bond Street in New York City. (A preview performance played on Feb. 11.)

Hondo Weiss-Richmond directs a cast that includes Maxine Linehan, Jonathan Tindle, Timothy Roselle, Karin de la Penha, Drew Sutherland and David Sedgwick.

According to alloy theater company, "Set in the border 'bandit' country of County Monaghan, The Mushroom Pickers tells the story of Laura, an aspiring actress who's left her career in London because her life has unexpectedly changed course. A self-confessed 'square peg in a round hole,' she returns to her homeland in search of her place in life. She joins her father, Philip, a lovable and ebullient widower, to work in the mushroom tunnels…

"Frank McElroy, owner of the nursery and proponent of the exotic mushroom, takes a shine to Laura and shares with her his dream of wooing the restaurateurs of Ireland and beyond, thanks to the verdant soil of his land and its 'allegedly' unique compost… But Frank has a secret, and so does Laura…"

Playwright McCarrick is a graduate of Middlesex University and Trinity College, Dublin. Her first play, The Mushroom Pickers, won the 2005 Scottish Drama Association's National Playwriting Competition and premiered at the Southwark Playhouse in London in May 2006. Her second play, The Moth-Hour, was short-listed for the Sphinx Playwriting Award, and had a rehearsed reading at the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York in January 2007. She has also published poetry and short stories and was Writer-in-Residence at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for the Pushkin Trust in July 2007. Her latest play, Leopoldville, is slated for the London stage in 2009. Maxine Linehan, executive and artistic director of alloy, told, "Jacqueline McCarrick is a playwright to watch. We were so lucky to have her come spend time with us during the rehearsal process. While the play is set in Ireland there are so many universal themes that will resonate with a New York audience — like leaving home to pursue a dream and how it changes you and the people you leave behind. It also deals with the sensitive subject of fighting for one's country and what that does to you."

Performances will play Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM. Tickets are $18. For information, call (866) 811-4111 or visit


The alloy theater company is a non-profit theatre in New York City. Founded in 2008 by Maxine Linehan and Michelle Pruett, the mission of the company is to bind together seemingly disparate elements to create dynamic theatre through the production of new plays, innovative revivals and original works.

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