Scranton's Northeast Theatre Will Premiere Locally-Set Post-WW II Comic Drama

News   Scranton's Northeast Theatre Will Premiere Locally-Set Post-WW II Comic Drama
The Northeast Theatre, the resident Equity theatre in Scranton, PA, will present the world premiere of An American Wife by married playwrights Michael Downend and Karen Blomain.

The play, slated for March 21-April 7, is "a comic drama set in the Scranton area shortly after World War II." It concerns an Irish-American soldier returning home — and his Polish bride who receives a mixed reception from her new husband's family.

Performances will play the Performance Space at the Hotel Jermyn, 326 Spruce Street, Second Floor, in downtown Scranton.

The Northeast Theatre's producing artistic director David Zarko will direct An American Wife.

The cast will feature New York actor Amber Irvin, and Scranton actors Tessa Barrett, Melanie Brown, Agnes Cummings, Christa Manning and Conor McGuigan.

The creative team includes set designer Lausanne Davis Carpenter, lighting designer James Langan, costume designer Cheri Vasek and sound designer Malcolm Bowes. According to production notes, "We are taken through a year in their lives as they get to know one another again after having been immutably changed by the war. Sweet, funny, and true to life, it flows through time and space like a song from the era."

Playwrights Michael Downend and Karen Blomain are residents of Wilkes-Barre and Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. Poet, essayist, translator, short story writer, novelist and now playwright, Karen Blomain holds an MFA from Columbia University and is a professor in the Professional Writing Program at Kutztown University. With her husband, playwright, novelist and photo journalist Michael Downend, she has taught and conducted workshops in France, Ireland, Russia and Mexico and across the U.S. An American Wife is her first play.

Michael Downend's career as a playwright began with a one act called The Mola Mola Fish, which received productions in theatres across the country. A series of other plays followed, among them High Thin Cirrus, Lone Ranger Mornings and Occoquan, and with them a series of awards including a Rockefeller/OADR playwriting grant, two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowships and an ABC Filmwriting Fellowship.

For information about The Northeast Theatre, call (570) 558-1515 or visit

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