Showing posts with label Lay Me Down Softly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lay Me Down Softly. Show all posts

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ACT OUT OPENING: Lay Me Down Softly by Seanachai Theatre Company

Seanachaí Theatre Company Presents U.S. Premiere of
By Billy Roche
Directed by Kevin Christopher Fox
April 23 – May 25, 2014

LayMeDown-4 (left to right) Michael Grant, Dan Waller, Jeff Christian and Matthew Isler

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we were quite impressed with Seanachai's production of The Seafarer and we're looking forward to what's next. There have been a plethora of boxing plays in the recent past. We saw Griffin Theatre's Golden Boy at Theater Wit back in February, and The Opponent at A Red Orchid, by local fav, Brett Neveu. The boxing ring size is conducive to shows and there's something about the pacing, blocking and rhythm that rings true for stage and sport alike. This time there's the added bonus of the Irish brogue and the quirky, multiculti back story!

Following its wildly successful production of the The SeafarerSeanachaí Theatre Company is pleased to continue its 2013-14 season with the U.S. premiere of Billy Roche’s drama LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY directed by Kevin Christopher Fox (Hughie). LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY plays April 23 – May 25, 2014 at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee in Chicago. Tickets are available at or by calling (866) 811-4111. 

We do dig Seanachaí Theatre Company's name and creative statement.  In case you're curious, Seanachaí is the Gaelic word for Storyteller. It was the duty of the Seanachaí to keep these stories alive. Seanachaí Theatre Company's mission is to create compelling productions and programs that focus energy on exceptional storytelling.  Check it out.

(left to right) Michael Grant, Jamie L. Young, Dan Waller, Matthew Isler and Jeff Christian

LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY features Seanachaí ensemble members Jeff ChristianMichael GrantCarolyn Klein and Dan Waller with Chicago actors Matthew Isler and Jamie L. Young.

Early 1960s. Delaney’s Traveling Roadshow tours the Irish countryside with bumper cars, bearded ladies, rifle ranges and the main attraction: the boxing ring. The Roadshow invites all comers to fight them to win a prize. Theo, the iron fisted patriarch, struggles to keep his crew in line and when his long abandoned daughter arrives, the patchwork family is thrown against the ropes.

(left to right) Dan Waller and Jamie L. Young in Seanachai Theatre Company’s U.S. Premiere of LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY by Billy Roche, directed by Kevin Christopher Fox.  All production photos by Emily Schwartz.

The production team for LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY includes: Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Beth Laske-Miller (costume design), Julian Pike (lighting design), Stephen Ptacek (sound design), Eva Breneman (dialect design) and John Tovar (fight choreographer).


Playwright: Billy Roche
Director: Kevin Christopher Fox
Cast: Seanachaí ensemble members Jeff Christian (Theo), Michael Grant (Peadar), Carolyn Klein (Lily) and Dan Waller (Junior) with Chicago actors Matthew Isler (Dean) and Jamie L. Young (Emer).

Location: The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee, Chicago
Dates: Preview: Wednesday, April 23 at 7:30 pm
Press performance: Thursday April 24 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Friday, April 25, 2014  – Sunday, May 25, 2014.
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: Previews $12. Regular run $26 Thursdays & Fridays; $30 Saturdays & Sundays. Seniors/students $5 off. Tickets are available at or by calling (866) 811-4111. Group discounts (8 or more) are available by calling (773) 878-3727.

(left to right) Dan WallerCarolyn KleinMichael Grant and Jamie L. Young 

About the Playwright
Billy Roche’s first novel, Tumbling Down, was published by Wolfhound Press in 1986 (revised version published by Tassel Publications in 2008).  His first stage play, A Handful Of Stars, was staged at The Bush Theatre in 1988, followed by Poor Beast In the Rain in 1990. Belfry completed this powerful trilogy at the Bush Theatre.  All three plays, directed by Robin LeFevre, became known as The Wexford Trilogy and were performed in their entirety at The Bush, the Peacock and the Theatre Royal, Wexford.  Later, The Wexford Trilogy was filmed for the BBC, directed by the late and great Stuart Burge.  Roche’s fourth play, Amphibians, was commissioned by the R.S.C. and performed at the Barbican, followed by The Cavalcaders at The Peacock and Royal Court, London. He wrote the screenplay for Trojan Eddie, which was directed by Gillies MacKinnon and starred Stephen Rea and Richard Harris.  Trojan Eddie won the Best Film Award at The San Sebastian Film Festival in 1996.  His sixth play, On Such As We, was performed at the Peacock in 2001, directed by Wilson Milam and starring Brendan Gleeson. Tales From Rainwater Pond, his collection of short stories, was published by Pillar Press in 2006.  Lay Me Down Softly, his seventh play, was originally performed at the Peacock Theatre in 2008, directed by Wilson Milam.  Billy has been Writer-In-Residence at the Bush and Writer-In-Association at Druid and the Abbey Theatre.  The Eclipse, a film that was co-written with Conor McPherson, won IFTA awards for Best Screenplay and Best Film.  The film is inspired by Billy’s short story Table Manners (from the Tales From Rainwater Pond collection). In 2013, his short novella The Diary Of Maynard Perdu was published by 

About the Director
Kevin Christopher Fox is an actor and director based in ChicagoWith Seanachai, he directed Hughie with Brad Armacost and Jeff Duhigg last season – and last century he played Manus in David Cromer's production of Translations. Chicago directing credits include Accidental Rapture and Pull of the Moon (16th Street Theater), Widowers' Houses and Androcles and the Lion (ShawChicago), St. Crispin's Day (Strawdog), Arms and the Man and Betrayal (Oak Park Festival), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Gift Theatre Company), Beggars in the House of Plenty (Mary-Arrchie), Widowers' Houses (TimeLine), Patient No. 1 (WNEP)and his debut Buicks (Precious Mettle). At TheatreSquared (Fayetteville, AK) he directed world premieres of Sundown Town by Kevin Cohea and, this past fall, The Spiritualist by Robert Fordalong with Fall of the House, and a youth production of Macbeth, as well as numerous development projects for Arkansas New Play Festival. Recently he adapted and directed Macbeth (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Shakespeare in the Schools), he served as co-director for the remount of Nick Sandys' Chamber Opera Chicago production of Persuasion, and toured with it to England, Chicago and New York. This last winter, he directed two projects for the William Inge Festival and Center for the Arts in Independence, KS. This coming summer, he will direct the world premiere of The Gun Show by EM Lewis for 16th Street Theater.

About Seanachaí Theatre Company
The mission of Seanachaí Theatre Company is to return theatre to this origin - by creating compelling productions and programs that focus the energy of artists towards the common goal of exceptional storytelling. To achieve this end, Seanachaí Theatre Company strives to provide an atmosphere where all theatre artists – actors, playwrights, directors and designers – have the support and assurance to collaborate openly.

Seanachaí Theatre Company is supported in part by The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Charles River Associates, the Illinois Arts Council and The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs: City Arts Program. 

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