Mint to Bring Back Works by St. John Ervine and Harley Granville-Barker in 2006-07

News   Mint to Bring Back Works by St. John Ervine and Harley Granville-Barker in 2006-07
The Mint Theatre Company will resurrect works from the first two decades of the 20th century during its 2006-07 season.

Among those selections is Harley Granville-Barker's 1909 play The Madras House. British Granville-Barker provided the Mint with one of its earliest hits, The Voysey Inheritance. Gus Kaikkonen, who directed that work, returns to the Mint to pilot Madras House.

The drama takes a hard and varied look at the plight of women in the early 20th century through the prism of The Madras House, a family concern that that caters to women shoppers. Among the characters: firm head Charles Madras, who fully resents the growing role of women in business and politics; the younger Philip Madras, who has married Jessica, a smart, modern women; and Mrs. Huxtable and her six daughters, who occupy their time with myriad pursuits but still feel the need for a husband and home.

But first the Mint will present John Ferguson, a 1919 drama by St. John Ervine. Martin Platt will direct. Performances begin Sept. 8, with opening night scheduled for Sept. 25.

The play was produced by The Theatre Guild and ran for 354 performances in 1919 and 1920. According to the Mint, "Set in a rundown farmhouse in County Down, this unassuming play wrings powerful feelings from a familiar tale. John Ferguson tells the story of a poor and pious farmer in Ulster County, Ireland, unable to keep up with his mortgage payments and threatened with eviction. He has great faith in the Lord—and the mail boat from America, which he expects will bring salvation in the form of a loan from his brother. When the postman arrives empty handed, a devastating chain of events are unleashed on this humble man's family that tests his faith to its limits."

The Irish-born Ervine was also the author of Jane Clegg, Robert's Wife and The Lady of Belmont. He died in 1971. Mint Theater begins a three-year initiative celebrating the important work of the Theater Guild with this production.

Platt directed Mint's acclaimed production of The Daughter-In-Law by D.H. Lawrence in 2003. John Ferguson will feature Robertson Carricart, Joyce Cohen, John Keating, Terrence Markovich, Mark Saturno, Justin Schultz, Greg Thornton, and Marion Wood. John Ferguson will have set design by Bill Clarke, costumes design by Mattie Ullrich, lighting design by Jeff Nellis and sound design by Lindsay Jones.

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