The Playboy of the Western World
Scenes from On the Verge's April 23, 2009, production of J. M. Synge's Playboy of the Western World, directed by Claire Gleitman.
From the director's program notes:
When it premiered in 1907 at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Playboy provoked riots so intense that the police had to be called in to try (with little success) to the keep the crowd in order.... A Dublin newspaper summed up the general outrage when it pronounced the play "an unmitigated, protracted libel upon Irish peasant men, and worse still, upon Irish peasant girlhood."
The "playboy" for whom the play is named is a cowardly boy who is transformed into a man when he inadvertently acts out the unconscious desires of a peasant village through a dramatic act that turns out to be not quite what it seems. The act, simply described, is a rebellion against the father and, more broadly, against repressive, authoritarian control. Ireland, not yet an independent nation, had many reasons to long to strike out against tyrants... but finally lacks the courage of its dreams and banishes revolutionary promise, and also poetry, from its door.
Christopher Mahon: Ned Donovan (student, Theatre Arts)
Old Mahon (his father, a squatter): Kevin Murphy (faculty, English)
Michael James Flaherty (a publican): Michael Twomey (faculty, English)
Margaret Flaherty (his daughter, called Pegeen Mike): Nicole Intravia (student, English)
Shawn Keogh (her cousin, a young farmer): Alex Krasser (student, Theatre Arts)
Widow Quin (about 30 years old): Paige LaRoss (student, Theatre Arts)
Philly Cullen (a small farmer): Anthony Derrick (student, English)
Jimmy Farrell (a small farmer): Sean Golan (student, Theatre Arts)
Sara Tansey (village girl): Annie Goodenbour (student, Theatre Arts)
Susan Brady (village girl): Dani Stoller (student, Theatre Arts)
Honor Blake (village girl): Alana J. Webster (student, Theatre Arts)