Irish Rue: U.S. Debut of Wife to James Whelan Opens Off-Broadway

News   Irish Rue: U.S. Debut of Wife to James Whelan Opens Off-Broadway
Teresa Deevy's Wife to James Whelan, starring Sean Fagan and Janie Brookshire as would-be Irish lovers whose relationship takes a rueful turn, officially opens Off-Broadway Aug. 23 in a production by the Mint Theater Company. Previews began July 29.

Shawn Fagan and Rosie Benton
Shawn Fagan and Rosie Benton Photo by Carol Rosegg

Mint artistic director Jonathan Bank directs the American premiere of Deevy's portrait of male ego, willful womanhood and capitalistic success — and how all three shatter a potential true love. The Mint has announced an extension through Oct. 3.


Wife to James Whelan is the first work in the Mint's Teresa Deevy Project, which will also include readings of the Irish playwright's work and a full production of her Temporal Powers in 2012.

The cast features Fagan (Peninsula) in the title role, opposite Brookshire (The Philanthropist) as Nan, the woman who is not to prepared to wait for him as his tries make himself a success. The cast also includes Rosie Benton (Accent on Youth) as Kate, Jon Fletcher as Apollo, Jeremy S. Holm (St. Louis Rep's Frost/Nixon) as Bill, Thomas Matthew Kelley as Jack, Aidan Redmond as Tom and Liv Rooth (Is He Dead?) as Nora.

According to the Mint, "Wife To James Whelan is the heart-wrenching story of star-crossed lovers. James is an ambitious young man determined to make his mark. Nan wants him to be content with what he has 'and not be forever pushing forward.' We meet them first on the day James learns he’s won a prize job in Dublin, leaving Nan behind. James asks Nan to wait for him, but she’ll 'make no promise.' We next see James seven years later, sole proprietor of a thriving new enterprise in Killbeggan, the 'Silver Wings' Bus Service and 'all the girls are going at him full tilt.' Three women might be Wife to James Whelan: Nan, his true love, Kate, his true friend, and Nora, who appeals to his ambition—but the unanswered question of the play is whether anyone or anything can bring him happiness." Designing the production are Vicki R. Davis (scenic design), Martha Halley (costume design), Nicole Pearce (lighting design) and Jane Shaw (sound design).

Deevy's first play Reapers was produced at Ireland's Abbey Theater in 1930. She returned to the Abbey in 1932 with Temporal Powers. Her most popular play, Katie Roche premiered in 1936 and played Broadway's Ambassador Theatre in 1937.

For tickets and further information phone (212) 315-0231 or visit MintTheater. The Mint Theater Company is located at 311 W. 43rd Street in New York.

Shawn Fagan and Janie Brookshire
Shawn Fagan and Janie Brookshire Photo by Carol Rosegg
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