Riverside Stage Company in New York City began the world premiere of Carrin Beginning, about a group of misfit patrons in an Irish pub, Dec. 1 for a run that continues through Dec. 19 at The Chelsea Playhouse. W. August Schulenberg's play, set in Mullin's Pub and Inn, in 1927 Donegal, concerns the patrons' brush with Turlough O'Lochlainn, "the last of the great bards of Ireland," who changes their lives forever.
Riverside artistic director Brian Feehan directs and Australian actress Katrina Ferguson takes the title role in troupe's season- closer. The cast also includes Norman Allen, Dawn Denvir, Stephen Guarino, Mary Jo McConnell, Liam Christopher O'Brien, G.W. Reed and Cara Stoner.
There is talk that the haunting drama, which has been likened to an Irish "Big Chill," may extend beyond Dec. 19. Norman Allen plays the fictional limerick songwriter-singer, Turlough, and Ferguson is Carrin, the pugilistic bull of a woman who is moved by his philosophy.
Designers are Jennifer Collins (set), Mira Goldberg (costumes) and Rick Belzer (lighting). Mary Beth Griffith is the choreographer.
The twentysomething playwright Schulenberg recently directed his play, Night and the Maiden, in Philadelphia and his Sleeping Beauty at Allentown College (his alma mater).
Riverside is devoted to developing and premiering new American plays.
The Chelsea Playhouse is at 125 W. 22nd St. Tickets are $32.50. Call (212) 279-4200 or the Chelsea box office at (212) 924-6185.
-- By Kenneth Jones