Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) continues its 23rd Season with a new Off-Broadway production of Dion Boucicault's comic masterpiece THE SHAUGHRAUN, will open on the company's Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage on May 1.
Charlotte Moore, who helmed the company's recent productions of MOLLY SWEENEY, A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, THE IRISH...AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY, ERNEST IN LOVE, and WHITE WOMAN STREET, directs.
Against a background ripe with the intrigue of the secret Fenian Uprising in Ireland in 1866, Dion Boucicault, the undisputed master of melodrama, unravels THE SHAUGHRAUN -- a comic masterpiece, springing to life once again on The Irish Repertory Theatre's stage. Desperate forbidden passions! Beautiful damsels in distress! Swashbuckling
swordplay! Villains of legendary mustache curling hurled from cliffs!
And a charismatic vagabond hero whose fiddle is the soul of every fair and the life of every funeral.
Patrick Fitzgerald, as Conn, and Terry Donnelly, as Mrs. O'Kelly, reprise their roles from the Irish Repertory's 1998 revival. Joining Mr. Fitzgerald and Ms. Donnelly in the ensemble are Rory Duffy, Katie Fabel, Sean Gormley, Laurence Lowry, Emma O'Donnell, Kevin O'Donnell,
Tim Ruddy, Mark Shanahan, Geddeth Smith, Gwenfair Vaughan, Allison Jean White, Jake Zachry, and Tatters, the dog.
THE SHAUGHRAUN has scenic design by Tony-nominee Klara Zieglerova (JERSEY BOYS, SISTER ACT); lighting design by Tony-nominee Brian Nason (METAMORPHOSIS); costume design by Linda Fisher and Jessica Barrios Wright; sound design by Zach Williamson; and choreography by Barry McNabb. Production stage manager is Elis Arroyo; assistant stage
manager is Arthur Atkinson. Alexis Doyle is the Associate Producer.
The production includes touches of Irish, spoken by actors fluent in the native language.
Dion Boucicault was one of the most popular entertainers and significant theatrical innovators in the second half of the 19th Century. Born in Dublin in 1820, Boucicault's first success came when he was only 20, with LONDON ASSURANCE. He was the first dramatist to write plays with truly Irish characters, situations and places. His
plays AFTER DARK and THE COLLEEN BAWN introduced cliffhangers and the "sensation drama" into Victorian society. As manager and producer of his own work, Boucicault is credited with instituting the royalty
system, and his most important victory was getting some copyright protection for playwrights. He is also credited with such innovations as fireproofing scenery, popularizing the matinee, and shortening performance times. THE SHAUGHRAUN, first performed in New York in
1874, was Boucicault's last big success. In his final years, scandal, family tragedy, and age put an end to his touring (he was the first major star to tour Australia) and reduced him to a schoolmaster who wrote plays on the side. He died on September 18, 1890 in New York. In
his obituary, the New York Times described Boucicault as "the most conspicuous English dramatist of the nineteenth century."