Thursday, August 11, 2011

Molly Sweeney Will Play Long Wharf

Long Wharf Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Interim Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, present The Irish Repertory Theatre production of Molly Sweeney, by Brian Friel, directed by Charlotte Moore.
The show will run from Sept. 14 through Oct. 16 on Stage II. The cast is comprised of Jonathan Hogan (Mr. Rice), Simone Kirby (Molly Sweeney) and Ciaran O’Reilly (Frank Sweeney). Simone Kirby is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.
The artistic team is comprised of James Morgan (sets), Linda Fisher (costumes), Richard Pilbrow and Michael Gottlieb (lights), and Zachary Richardson (sound).
Blind since infancy, Molly Sweeney only knows of the world through touch, sound, taste, and smell.  But when she is goaded into an operation to restore her sight by her husband and doctor, she sees for the first time all the glory and harsh realities of the life she is living.  Molly’s tale moves toward an unexpected and poignant conclusion about the way we perceive our existence. The New York Times described the Irish Repertory Theatre production as “A deeply moving meditation on hope, change and despair, it’s a compelling piece of theatre, one in which the ending applause is only the beginning of the play’s effects.”
"This late masterpiece from the great Brian Friel is, among other things, an investigation into the power and limitations of modern science," said Gordon Edelstein, artistic director. "The question the play asks is what makes us happy? What do we need to live a satisfied life?"
Brian Friel, born in Ireland in 1929 and best known for Dancing at Lughnasa and Translations, was inspired to write Molly Sweeney after reading a New Yorker article by Dr. Oliver Sacks called “To See and Not See.” Friel directed the world premiere of the play at Dublin’s The Gate Theatre in 1994.
“A neurologist’s life is not systematic, like a scientist’s, but it provides him with novel and unexpected situations, which can become windows, peepholes, into the intricacy of nature – an intricacy that one might not anticipate from the ordinary course of life,” Sacks wrote in the May 10, 1993 article. 
For more information about Long Wharf Theatre’s 2011-12 season, visit or call 203-787-4282.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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