The Charitable Irish Society
The Oldest Irish Society in the Americas

Plough and the Stars

  • 09/30/2016
  • 7:30 PM
  • Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge

        We received exciting news from Consul General Fionnula Quinlan about a special performance of Sean O’Casey’s monumental work, The Plough and the Stars, by The Abbey Theatre at the American Reparatory Theatre on Friday, September 30.   The performance will be at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge.  This is the first stop on the Abbey Theatre’s 2016 North American tour.  We have been invited to attend.  A $12.00 discount is available for tickets purchased before August 30.  And furthermore, the Consulate has arranged for a special presentation about the play to be held before the performance.  Here are some further details:

          As part of the commemorations of the 1916 Centenary, the Irish Consulate Boston is working with the American Conference of Irish Studies and Irish Network Boston to host a special evening to mark the staging of this award-winning play at the American Repertory Theater.  On the afternoon before the September 30th performance, the Consulate will host a lecture by Professor Clair Wills, Chair of Irish letters at Princeton University, at the Loeb Theater venue of the American Repertory Theater. This will be followed by a reception for the Irish community before the performance of The Plough and the Stars begins Curtain time is at 7:30 pm.  A brief overview of Professor Wills’ lecture and some information on The Plough and the Stars (which I am sure are not needed) are below.

           The American Repertory Theater has set aside a block of tickets for members and friends of the Irish community who would like to attend the play on September 30. There is a $12 reduction on tickets booked using the dedicated code.  Details on how to book these tickets are set forth on the attached sheet.

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The Plough and the Stars – Sean O’Casey (A brief description):

           Set amid the tumult of the Easter Rising, The Plough and the Stars is the story of ordinary lives ripped apart by the idealism of the time. The residents of a Dublin tenement shelter from the violence that sweeps through the city’s streets. A revolution that will shape the country’s future rages around them. What kind of Ireland awaits them?

           The Plough and the Stars was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1926. The audience rioted. Now regarded as a masterpiece, this provocative play is an essential part of our understanding of 1916.  Olivier Award-winning director Sean Holmes will bring a new perspective to O’Casey’s absorbing play. The Plough and the Stars is one of the highlights of the centenary program.

 About Professor Clair Wills’ Sep 30 Lecture:

           This talk will explore the impact of the 1916 Easter Rising on ‘the person who is so oppressed by poverty and exploitation that he hasn’t even enough sense to loot properly,’ as Owen Sheehy-Skeffington later put it.  O’Casey focuses on the tenement poor, and women in particular, in his exploration of The Rising. Why was it that women were so incensed by the way they were portrayed that they orchestrated riots and protests against the play on its premiere in 1926?

           Consul General Quinlan extends special thanks to Kelly Matthews and the American Conference for Irish Studies, Irish Network Boston and the American Repertory Theater for their support and assistance in making this evening possible.  We are grateful to them and to Consul General Quinlan for including The Charitable Irish Society on the invitation list and for presenting us with the wonderful opportunity. 

           I hope to see you all there on September 30.

  Christopher A. Duggan, President



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