Irish Repertory Theatre will welcome back in-person audiences this fall with a slate of shows including new adaptations of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband and the North American premieres of new plays like Autumn Royal. The Off-Broadway company will also continue its digital programming that launched during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Autumn Royal (October 8–November 21) by Kevin Barry will kick things off on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage. Helmed by Irish Rep Producing Director Ciarán O’Reilly, the dark comedy follows May and Timothy, played by Maeve Higgins and John Keating, respectively, as they look after their bedridden father and struggle with the decision to continue to help or move on with their own lives.
Up next is The Streets of New York (December 4-January 30, 2022) by Dion Boucicault, featuring adaptation, songs, and direction by Irish Rep Artistic Director Charlotte Moore. “There is still great poverty and hunger, and the heartbreak of lost love never changes,” said Moore. “Add to that a world-wide pandemic and a masked society, and Boucicault's 18th century world seems to fit right into our 21st with its darkness and restrictions. But, as always, I love the end of our story. It's filled with hope and the victory of the power of good. One day soon we will surely be headed in that light-filled direction.” Casting will be announced at a later date.
Reopening the W. Scott McLucas Studio Stage will be A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing (November 10-December 12), adapted by Annie Ryan and directed by Nicola Murphy. Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Eimear McBride, the story follows a girl from birth until the age of 20 as she tries to make sense of things amidst the crushing Catholicism and poverty of her Irish childhood. Jenn Murray stars.
Irish Rep will also present a special audio event, Bikeman (September 11-18), written by Thomas F. Flynn and directed by Joseph Discher. Modeled on Dante’s Inferno, Flynn’s autobiographical work chronicles the morning of September 11, 2001, as he follows his journalistic instincts in the initial events of the attack—only to find himself fighting for his own life as the horror continues to grow. The play features Robert Cuccioli, Steven Eng, April Ortiz, and Richard Topol. Tickets to Bikeman are free, but donations are encouraged with 50 percent of proceeds going to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund.
In addition, the company has launched The New Play Development Program to discover work by new Irish and Irish-American artists. The program will include a mix of staged readings and workshops from new voices that fulfill Irish Rep’s mission and feature diverse casts and creative teams. The program kicks off with a new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband by Ian Holcomb. The September 27 reading stars Kaliswa Brewster as Lady Gertrude Chiltern, Allen Darby as Mrs. Marchmont, Ianne Fields Stewart as Mabel Chiltern, Ian Holcomb as Lord Goring, David Lee Huynh as Nanjac/James, Colin McPhillamy as Lord Caversham, Olivia Oguma as Lady Basildon, Caroline Strange as Mrs. Cheveley, Jason Veasey as Sir Robert Chiltern, and Zoë Watkins as Lady Markby and Phipps.
For more information, visit IrishRep.org.