Amaryllis Theatre Company produces award-winning, professional theatre that is fully inclusive and accessible. Founded in 1999 by Linda Merians, Mimi Kenney Smith and Stephen Smith, Amaryllis is one of only a handful of professional theatres in the country that regularly hires actors with disabilities. Over the last eleven years, Amaryllis has opened its productions to all, producing plays featuring actors with and without disabilities. Amaryllis provides universal accessibility for both the actors and the audience members. The company has produced plays in American Sign Language and provides programs in traditional print, large print and Braille and not only provides captioning and audio description but also shares this equipment and trains its colleagues statewide in accessibility. Amaryllis is the theatrical producing arm of VSA Pennsylvania, the state organization on Arts and Disability and, through VSA, of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Amaryllis Theatre Company presents Dublin Carol, December 7 – 19, 2010 @ The Playground at the Adrienne
By Conor McPherson, Directed by Mimi Kenney Smith
PHILADELPHIA – Amaryllis Theatre Company will present Dublin Carol by celebrated Irish playwright Conor McPherson this holiday season. Directed by Amaryllis Artistic Director Mimi Kenney Smith, Dublin Carol is a character-driven play, rich in dialogue with “an artful blend of self-deception and self-revelation” (The New York Times). An alternative to traditional inspirational holiday stories, Dublin Carol presents an authentic Christmas story, one of struggle, introspection, and ultimately hope.
Dublin Carol runs from December 7 – 19, 2010 (opening night is Wednesday, December 8 at 7 p.m.) at The Playground at the Adrienne, located at 2030 Sansom Street in Philadelphia. All tickets are $10 and are available by calling the Amaryllis box office at (215) 717-2173 or online at www.amaryllistheatre.org.
The Amaryllis production of Dublin Carol is part of the Philadelphia Irish Theatre Festival, presented by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. During the Festival, six Philadelphia-area theatre companies will present works by Irish playwrights between December 2010 and May 2011. For details on participating theatre companies and ticket discounts, visit www.theatrealliance.org/irish-theatre-mixtix.
Dublin Carol explores the world of John Plunkett, an undertaker whose life was nearly destroyed by drinking, as he shares memories of his tangled past with his young assistant on a rainy Christmas Eve in Dublin, Ireland. When an unexpected visitor arrives, John’s present and past collide, creating an uncertain future. With acerbic wit and an eye for the telling phrase, this dramatic spellbinder offers a contemporary Christmas carol for our times.
A tour de force for three talented performers, thecastincludes Jim Schlatter as John Plunkett, Caitlin R. Antram as Mary, and Matt Mancuso, as Mark, John’s assistant.
“Dublin Carol is A Christmas Carol with real people – vulnerable yet tough, selfish yet caring, troubled and funny, trying to get themselves and, when they have the strength, each other, through the muck,” says Mimi Kenney Smith,director of the production and Artistic Director of Amaryllis Theatre Company. “We recognize these characters in ourselves, our friends, and our families.”
Smith, who hails from a large Irish family with thirteen children, feels a powerful connection to Irish stories and characters. Dublin Carol is Amaryllis Theatre Company’s sixth play by an Irish playwright and the second by playwright Conor McPherson that Smith has directed. McPherson’s The Good Thief, described as “serious and impressive theatre” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, was part of A Terrible Beauty: An Evening of Irish One Acts from Amaryllis’ 2006-07 season.
Through the character of John Plunkett, Dublin Carol presents a close look at the misery of alcoholism and a complex family relationship. The play was written in 1999, two years after McPherson himself became dependent on alcohol.
“I was tasting independence and freedom, but I was irresponsible, and probably the wrong person to have it,” said Conor McPhersonin a 2006 interview with The Guardian. “I became dependent on drinking: you think it makes you feel better, but all you’re ever doing is keeping withdrawal at bay.”
Born in 1971 in Dublin, Ireland, Conor McPhersonis considered among the best of contemporary Irish playwrights. His 2004 play Shining City prompted the London Telegraph to describe him as “the finest dramatist of his generation.” McPherson’s plays often examine lost souls, a reflection of his own troubled past and experiences, with stories of alcohol abuse, thorny relationships, and disappointment. Other plays include Port Authority and The Seafarer, in addition to the screenplays for the films, I Went Down and The Eclipse, which he also directed.
One aspect of McPherson’s work that continues to captivate critics and viewers alike is that the playwright does not sentimentalize his characters. Instead, he presents an honest look at imperfect lives.
“In spite of their sometimes pretty significant flaws, McPherson’s characters are people we care about from the beginning,” continues Mimi Kenney Smith. “Dublin Carol provides reflection, mirroring our own flaws and letting us know that even though we may never be free of them, we’re all in this together and somehow we’ll get each other through another Christmas Eve.”
CAST & PRODUCTION TEAM
Jim Schlatter (John Plunkett) has performed in over sixty stage productions. He worked for several years with the Villanova University Summer Theatre Festival, performing such roles as Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Reverend Morrell in George Bernard Shaw’s Candida, and Ben Franklin in 1776. He performs regularly with Philadelphia area theatre companies. Schlatter has been a member of the Theatre Arts faculty at the University of Pennsylvania since 1989. In addition to teaching courses regularly in acting, directing, and theatre history, Schlatter directs productions for the Penn’s Theatre Arts Program.
Matt Mancuso’s (Mark) Philadelphia credits include Much Ado about Nothing (Borachio) with Theatre Horizon, The Swedish Match (Pyotr) with Red Square Theatre, and A Christmas Carol (Fred/Young Scrooge) with Walnut Street Theatre.
Caitlin R. Antram(Mary) recently moved to Philadelphia. Recent credits include the role of a prison guard in Theater Exile’s acclaimed IRON, a tour of Babes in Toyland with American Family Theater and numerous productions with The Millbrook Playhouse, in Mill Hall, PA.
Theproduction team features lighting design by Jerold R. Forsyth, sound design by Susan Adelizzi, and costume design by Maggie Baker, with Assistant Director and Dramaturg Michael Durkin, Stage Manager Jessica Simkins and Production Manager Lance Kniskern. Mimi Kenney Smith, Director of Dublin Carol and Producing Artistic Director of Amaryllis Theatre Company, is also the set designer of the production.
Amaryllis welcomes back Philadelphia-based theater artist Michael P. Toner, who will serve as the Dialect Coach for Dublin Carol. Toner specializes in Irish theatre and has performed with Amaryllis many times. His work has taken him to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the American Shaw Festival, the International James Joyce Symposium, and the W.B. Yeats Society of NYC, among many others.
Amaryllis Theatre Company’s 2010-11 Season will continue with Lydia by Octavio Solis (March 1-13, 2011) and Song of Extinction by EM Lewis (June 7-19, 2011).
Dublin Carol Fact Sheet
Dates: December 7 – 19, 2010
*Opening night is Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.
Presented by: Amaryllis Theatre Company
Location: The Playground at theAdrienne,
2030 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Adrienne is wheelchair accessible.
Prices: All tickets are $10
Amaryllis Box Office: (215) 717-2173
Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. preview
Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Opening Night
Thursday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m.
Cast (in alphabetical order)
Caitlin R. Antram Mary
Matt Mancuso Mark
Jim Schlatter John Plunkett
Production and Artistic Team
Mimi Kenney Smith
Director, Set Designer, Producing Artistic Director of Amaryllis Theatre Company
Susan Adelizzi Sound Designer
Maggie Baker Costume Designer
Michael Durkin Assistant Director and Dramaturg
Jerold R. Forsyth Lighting Designer
Lance Kniskern Production Manager
Jessica Simkins Stage Manager
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|Amaryllis-Dublin Carol press release.pdf||55.02 KB|
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Emaleigh Doley, emaleigh [at] canarypromo [dot] com