Charlotte Jones' Airswimming, the Story of Injustice Toward Women, Gets Its U.S. Premiere Jan. 13
By Kenneth Jones
Airswimming, the 1997 play by Charlotte Jones — known for Humble Boy and The Woman in White — gets its U.S. premiere by Irish Repertory Theatre and Fallen Angel Theatre Company in Manhattan, opening Jan. 13 following previews from Jan. 9. John Keating directs Aedin Moloney and Rachel Pickup in the fact-based drama about women imprisoned for having children out of wedlock.
Airswimming is set in 1920s England and is based on the "true story of two women (Miss Kitson and Miss Baker), who have been incarcerated in a hospital for the 'criminally insane' for having borne illegitimate children. Forgotten by their families and not released until the 1970s, Dora and Persephone adopt alter-egos, Dorph and Porph, to enact their fantasies and survive the silence of incarceration."
Performances play Irish Rep's intimate W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre at 132 W. 22nd Street.
Actresses Moloney and Pickup, recently seen in Irish Rep's Dancing at Lughnasa, play Dora and Persephone, respectively.
The production team includes set designer Melissa Shakun; lighting designer Jessica M. Burgess; sound designer Kortney Barber; and choreographer Laura Knight Keating. Production stage manager is Lauren McArthur.
Charlotte Jones is best known for her play Humble Boy, which debuted in London in 2002, garnering its author the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Humble Boy played Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2003, earning a Drama Desk nomination for Best New Play. She also penned the libretto to The Woman in White, the musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by David Zippel, among other plays. Airswimming is her first play.
Moloney, of Fallen Angel, told Playbill.com, "Charlotte Jones has written a very brave piece. She explores with effortless wit a topic that many writers would shy away from. [Her] fearless humor and her complete lack of self-censorship in her writing are more than reason enough to draw me to the challenges of the play."
For tickets and more information, visit irishrep.org.
For more about Fallen Angel Theatre Company, a non-profit troupe based in New York and committed to presenting new Irish and British plays written by and about women, visit fallenangeltheatre.org.
Irish Rep's fall production of Brian Friel's The Freedom of the City has resumed performances, now to Jan. 20 on the company's Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage. Ciarán O'Reilly directs.
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