Irish Theatre of Chicago Announces Full 2016-17 Season

Irish Theatre of Chicago is pleased to announce its 2016-17 Season, featuring a modern Irish classic, a Midwest premiere and a new staged reading festival of the works of emerging Irish playwrights. The season kicks off this winter with Conor McPherson’s haunting and humorous play THE WEIR, directed by Siiri Scott. THE WEIR will features ensemble members Brad Armacost*, Jeff Christian*, Dan Waller* and Sarah Wellington*, with guest artist Brad Smith. ITC’s 22nd Season continues in February 2017 with THE NEW IRISH VOICES FESTIVAL, a staged reading series featuring three scripts from some of Ireland’s most exciting young playwrights, never before produced in the U.S. The season concludes in spring 2017 with the Midwest premiere of Donal O’Kelly’s black comedy LITTLE THING, BIG THING, directed by ensemble member Jeff Christian* and starring ensemble members Brad Armacost* and Jamie Young*.

THE WEIR and LITTLE THING, BIG THING will be presented at Irish Theatre of Chicago’s resident home, The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. THE NEW IRISH VOICES FESTIVAL will be presented at Chief O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant, 3471 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago. Season subscriptions and single tickets for THE WEIR are currently available at www.irishtheatreofchicago.org or by calling (773) 878-3727. Single tickets for LITTLE THING, BIG THING will go on sale at a later date.

The cast of Irish Theatre of Chicago’s production of THE WEIR (left to right) ensemble members Brad Armacost, Jeff Christian, Dan Waller and Sarah Wellington with guest artist Brad Smith.

The cast of Irish Theatre of Chicago’s production of THE WEIR (left to right) ensemble members Brad Armacost, Jeff Christian, Dan Waller and Sarah Wellington with guest artist Brad Smith.

IRISH THEATRE OF CHICAGO’S 2016-17 SEASON:

December 15, 2016 – January 22, 2017

THE WEIR

By Conor McPherson

Directed by Siiri Scott

Featuring ensemble members Brad Armacost*, Jeff Christian*, Dan Waller* and Sarah Wellington*, with guest artist Brad Smith.

at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

An enigmatic young woman from Dublin finds herself the center of attention at a local pub. Pints in hand, the local barflies recount ghostly yarns of the supernatural to impress and entertain her, but it is the visitor herself who relates the most unsettling story of all. McPherson wrote the hauntingly beautiful and humorous play The Weir at the age of 26, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Play, and the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright.

February 9 – February 24, 2017

THE NEW IRISH VOICES FESTIVAL 

Fully staged readings of three new plays from some of Ireland’s freshest voices, never before produced in the U.S. Titles to be announced.

at Chief O’Neill’s Pub and Restaurant, 3471 N. Elston Ave., Chicago

May 17 – June 25, 2017

LITTLE THING, BIG THING – Midwest Premiere!

By Donal O’Kelly

Directed by ensemble member Jeff Christian*

Featuring ensemble members Brad Armacost* and Jamie Young*

at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

A botched robbery of a prized Virgin Mary statue entangles a nun and an ex-convict in a comedic caper, filled with international espionage, political intrigue and narrow escapes. Two actors play all the roles in Donal O’Kelly’s raucous tale of goodness, guilt and an aching backside.

*Denotes Irish Theatre of Chicago ensemble members

About the Playwrights: 

Conor McPherson is one of Ireland’s premier contemporary playwrights, currently produced worldwide, in London’s West End and on Broadway to both critical and audience acclaim. His other plays include The Veil (premiered at the Royal National Theatre October 2011, directed by the author) The SeafarerPort AuthoritySt. Nicholas, Shining City, Dublin Carol and The Night Alive.

Donal O’Kelly is a writer and actor. His much-travelled solo plays include the award-winning Catalpa (Edinburgh Fringe First, London Time Out Critics’ Choice, Best Event Melbourne International Festival), Bat The Father Rabbit The Son (Best Writer and Best Actor nominations Irish Theatre Awards) and Jimmy Joyced! (Best Actor nomination Irish Theatre Awards). His play The Cambria, about Frederick Douglass’ voyage to Ireland in 1845, performed with Sorcha Fox, toured Ireland, as well as playing the UK and Los Angeles. Vive La, a 1798 spy story mummer play, toured Ireland in 2007, and was revived in the Project in 2008. Running Beast, his music-theatre piece with music by Michael Holohan, has toured Europe since its premiere in September 2007. Other plays include The Dogs (Rough Magic), Hughie On The WiresTrickledown TownThe Business Of BloodFarawayan, (all Calypso) Asylum! Asylum! (Peacock, Traverse Edinburgh, Ottawa and Boston), Mamie SighsJudas Of The Gallarus (Peacock) and The Hand (Dublin Theatre Festival).

About the Directors

Siiri Scott most recently directed ITC’s critically acclaimed production of the one-woman show My Brilliant Divorce last season, which garnered a Jeff Nomination for Best Solo Performance for the star of the show, ensemble member Barbara Figgins. Ms. Scott is the Head of Acting and Directing at the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre, where she has taught acting, voice and movement and directed shows for the last 18 years. She currently focuses on preparing students for professional training. She worked with the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival for six years, both as an actor (Queen in Cymbeline) and as their voice and dialect coach. Recently Siiri moved back to Chicago to continue her professional work and commutes back to Notre Dame to teach. A graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul, she has worked locally with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Lifeline Theatre and hosted the KidsWB Network for WCIU. Regional work includes a stint in Los Angeles where she appeared on City of Angels; Milwaukee, where she performed in The Kentucky Cycle and co-directed Roll of ThunderHear my Cry; and Seattle, where she worked with Theatre Babylon, Book-it Repertory Theatre and Seattle Children’s Theatre. In 2009 she joined Theatre Nohgaku, an international Noh theatre company, as a performing member.

Jeff Christian has been an ensemble member since 2003. He directed Shining CityMojo MickyboOur Father and A Whistle in the Dark for the company, and appeared in Lay Me Down SoftlyThe Shadow of a Gunman, The Weir, Our FatherScenes From The Big PictureWar and David Cromer’s production of Journey’s End.  He shared in three Jeff Awards with The Journeymen’s Angels in America, and directed The Skin of Our Teeth for The Artistic Home, Proof and Driving Miss Daisy for New American Theater, Romeo & Juliet, As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s LostA Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Two Gentlemen of Verona for Lakeside Shakespeare, Kill Me for WildClaw Theatre and James Krag’s one man show, According to Mark. He was the Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Project of Chicago for eight seasons and directed his adaptations of Dickens, Moliere, Ibsen, Euripides, Shakespeare, Marlowe and Goethe. He teaches directing in Columbia College’s Department of Cinema Art + Science and was the 2014 recipient of The Excellence in Teaching Award.

Irish Theatre of Chicago (formerly Seanachaí Theatre Company) is supported in part by The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council and The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs: City Arts Program.