The Irish Repertory Theatre, which has been dark since the blackout following Hurricane Sandy, has announced that performances of A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter are set to resume as of Friday, November 2 at 8pm in its W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre; and performances of THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY are set to resume as of Saturday, November 3 at 3pm on its Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage, at 132 West 22nd Street in Manhattan.
Off-Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre launched its 25th Anniversary Season on October 3 with Brian Friel's THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY, directed by Ciarán O'Reilly, followed by Julian Sands in A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter, directed by John Malkovich, on October 10.
Set in Derry, Northern Ireland during the aftermath of a civil rights meeting, THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY revolves around an inquiry into the shooting by British soldiers of three marchers as they emerged from the Guildhall. As the inquiry continues, with testimony from 'expert' witnesses, the play relives the real events that led to its institution. When the police disrupt the peaceful protest, three unarmed strangers, Lily (Cara Seymour), a middle-aged mother of 11, and Michael (James Russell) and Skinner (Joseph Sikora), two youngmen, take refuge from the streets and find themselves inexplicably in the Mayor's Parlor. As the three settle in to the Lord Mayor's opulent office, word spreads about the "occupation" of the Guildhall. The motley trio is transformed into a band of armed and desperate terrorists, a fiction that is taken up by the church, the media, the army, and nationalist balladeers, all of whom use the myth for their own diverse ends.
THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY features Cara Seymour, Joseph Sikora, James Russell, Ciarán Byrne; Clark Carmichael; Christa Scott-Reed; John C. Vennema, Craig Wroe, and Evan Zes.
The production has set design by Charlie Corcoran; costume design by DAVID TOSER; lighting design by Michael Gottlieb; sound design by Ryan Rumery and M. Florian Staab; and wig & hair design by Robert-Charles Vallance. Dialect Coach is Stephen Gabis. Production Stage Manager is Pamela Brusoski; Assistant Stage Manager is Rebecca C. Monroe.
With personal anecdotes and reflections drawn from their work together, Julian Sands combines Harold Pinter’s poems and political prose to create a very fresh and intimate insight into the Nobel Laureate’s literary legacy in A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter.
A CELEBRATION OF Harold Pinter premiered at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival as an homage to Pinter, who died in 2008. The production was presented in San Francisco and Los Angeles earlier this year.