SCENA'S AUTHENTIC IRISH PRODUCTION OF THE WEIR IS HELEN HAYES AWARDS RECOMMENDED©. SHOW IS EXTENDED ONE WEEK THROUGH MAY 1, AS PATRONS PRAISE THIS HAUNTING MASTERPIECE BY IRISH PLAYWRIGHT CONOR McPHERSON
Washington, DC, April 9, 2011 — The Directors of SCENA Theatre are thrilled to announce their genuine Irish production of THE WEIR is Helen Hayes Awards Recommended©. Given the box office demand and strong patron praise, the show is being extended one extra week through May 1st. SCENA's show features three acclaimed, veteran actors who were brought in from Ireland, plus local talent with deep roots in Irish classics. Likewise, Director Robert McNamara was a long-time resident of Dublin and founder of the Dublin Stage One Theatre.
SCENA's production of THE WEIR will literally transport patrons to the rural countryside of Ireland because three lead actors all hail from that country. So, their unique understanding of Irish culture, combined with their great story-telling skills, are creating a rare and rewarding experience for Washington theatregoers. This production is yet another example of how SCENA brings the best international theatre to Washington by hiring great talent from abroad, as well as New York, Los Angeles, and Washington.
Given the acclaim of past productions in New York and London, Artistic Director Robert McNamara insisted that his production of THE WEIR be produced at an extremely high level with talent from Ireland. “With SCENA, Washingtonians will feel like an insider as they experience McPherson's chilling ghost stories as told by real Irishmen. This dynamic production recreates the magic of Broadway and London's West End, yet it also takes the script to a new and exciting level”, he said. McNamara took an M.Litt Degree in Classical Languages from Trinity College, Dublin—the training-ground of many great Irish writers such as Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett.
The story opens in a rural Irish pub where three local lads—Brendan, Jack, and Jim—revel in their usual high jinks. Soon they discuss the pretty young woman from Dublin named Valerie who has just rented an old house nearby. Suddenly, Valerie enters the pub with another mate of theirs, Finbar, and they join the trio. Before long, the four men swap ghost stories in an effort to impress her and entertain themselves. After a few more drinks, Valerie opens up and reveals the haunting secret behind her unexpected departure from Dublin. Her heartfelt and haunting story softens the brash nature of the men and ultimately exposes their true kindness, and puts them on a path of friendship and understanding that they never anticipated. In the end, THE WEIR is a rich, human story filled with emotional ghost stories, as told by unique characters from the country.
THE WEIR debuted at The Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in London, England, on 4 July 1997. It later appeared on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on 1 April, 1988. It won the Lawrence Olivier BBC Award as the Best New Play of 1997 - 98. And McPherson won the Critics' Circle Award as the most promising playwright in 1998 after the success of THE WEIR. It was voted one of the 100 most significant plays of the 20th Century in a poll by the Royal National Theatre, London. Further, it tied at 40th place with Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, Samuel Beckett's Endgame and Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge.
Extended Through May 1st Due to High Demand:
Run: March 24 – May 1, 2011 (Thur. – Sat. 8pm; Sun. 3pm)
Place: H STREET PLAYHOUSE
1365 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Press: Email ScenaMedia@gmail.com
Phone 410.627.4454 or
Click on Press link (at left) for Photos
Cost: $25 - $40 ($18 Thursday, 30 & under)
Tickets: Click on Tickets link at left or
Reserve by Phone 703-683-2824.
Events: “Supernatural Soiree” is a special event after the show featuring a group Seance led by the evidential medium Callie Claire from TV's hit show "Talking to the Dead". Import beer, fine wine & hors d'oeuvres are also included with the ticket. (Personal readings extra.) Patrons may join us for this unique theatrical event on:
• Sat. April 2 after the 8pm show &
• Sat. April 16 after the 8pm show
“Thirsty Thursdays” introduce great international works to a new generation. Patrons 30 & under get a discounted $18 ticket plus a free drink at any Thursday show.
“Literary Talkback” is a Q&A forum with a panel of experts in Irish literature & the supernatural on:
• Sun. April 17th after the 3pm show
Deals: “Nonprofit Nights” – $20 tickets for all staff at nonprofits & associations. Please present biz card for discount.
“Student Specials” – $18 tickets for all students. Please show student ID for discount.
Conor McPherson (Playwright) is deemed one of the best contemporary Irish playwrights today. His plays have garnered critical acclaim, and have been performed internationally. McPherson achieved great notoriety after the debut of THE WEIR in 1999 at the Royal Court Theatre in London. His other famous plays include: Port Authority, which was first produced in 2001, Dublin Carol from 2003 (which SCENA produced in 2009), and Shining City from 2004, which earned him the distinction as “the finest dramatist of his generation“ by The Telegraph in London. McPherson was born in Dublin, Ireland and studied at University College Dublin where he began writing his first plays as a member of UCD Dramsoc, the college's dramatic society. He went on to found Fly By Night Theatre Company, which produced several of his plays.
Featured Actors: SCENA's production includes acclaimed artists from Ireland—all of whom have vast experience performing great Irish works: Barry McEvoy, Gordon Fulton, and Brian Mallon. Barry McEvoy (AEA) performed in the Broadway touring company of Sisters Rosensweig, Stones in His Pockets in Los Angeles, and in SCENA's Public Enemy last May. His film credits include Gloria (with Sharon Stone), An Everlasting Piece (playwright / lead) directed by Barry Levinson for Dreamworks, and The Tudors. Gordon Fulton's extensive film work includes Wilderness and Sunset Heights, as well as many TV series here and abroad. Brian Mallon (AEA) garnered acclaim for his one-man show in Britain and Ireland, Secrets of the Celtic Heart. He performed in Translations on Broadway, A Child's Christmas in Wales, Playing Burton in New York and LA, plus he is director of the NYC Irish Arts Center.
The cast is rounded out with distinguished Washington actors. Kerry Waters has performed numerous roles for SCENA in Endgame, Faith Healer, Happy Days, Salome and The Persians. Her real-life husband, Eric Lucas, has appeared in SCENA's The Good Thief and This Lime Tree Bower, both by Conor McPherson, and in The Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh.
Design Team: The set is designed by Michael C. Stepowany and Sound design is by Erik Trester (both: The War of the Worlds and Sink the Belgrano). Costumes are designed by Stephanie Petagno. And Lighting is designed by (T.B.A.)
SCENA Theatre brings the best international theatre to Washington, DC and stimulates cultural exchange between theatre artists, locally and worldwide. Founded in 1987 under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert McNamara and Managing Director Amy Schmidt, SCENA produces an annual season of plays, seasonally staged readings, as well as a Workshop Series aimed at developing new works from around the globe. To learn more about our mission or past stage productions, please visit www.scenatheater.org.