Quotidian Theatre’s 2013-2014 season, it’s 16th, will be composed of three plays by notable Irish or Irish-American playwrights.
Their season will kick off with a production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, in which a gaggle of down-and-out rummies gather in a shabby New York hotel bar. They are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the great Hickey, who comes annually like a drinking man’s Santa Claus, full of good cheer, bad jokes and free booze. This year, however, Hickey brings a little something extra, and the laughter turns to tears. The production will run from October 25 to November 24 of 2013; Michael Alvolio will direct.
Laura Giannarelli will direct the company’s production of Faith Healer by Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa), which will run from April 25 to May 25 of next year. Faith Healer is the story of an itinerant Irish preacher who may, or may not, have the gift of healing the sick. The story is told in serial monologues by the healer, his wife, and his stage manager; it is never quite clear what the true story is. “[A]nyone who starts listening, with full attention, to the words — and, just as important, the silences — of the three characters who tell their horrible, fantastic and oddly familiar story should be fatally hooked,” said Ben Brantley of the New York Times.
Quotidian’s final 2013-2014 show will be Conor McPherson’s The Veil, a story which mixes metaphor with the supernatural. A defrocked priest and his drug-addicted friend are given guardianship over a young woman with psychic powers; they intend to use her to unlock the secrets of a haunted house. Michael Billington of the Guardian called it “a strange and baffling mixture of historical metaphor and intellectual melodrama suggesting a rewrite of The Cherry Orchard by the spookily mysterious Sheridan Le Fanu.”
The Veil will be staged between July 18 and August 17, 2014. Quotidian Artistic Director Jack Sbarbori, who will be directing the play, says,“we attended three performances of The Veil at the National Theatre [in London], and we were shocked and delighted to be offered the opportunity to be the first to stage it in the U.S.; we could not pass it up.“
To understand why Quotidian would be granted such a privilege by the popular Irish playwright, consider this: Quotidian has presented six McPherson plays, including three area premieres, Dublin Carol and Port Authority and their upcoming production of The Birds, which closes out this season. The Birds, like the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name, is drawn from a short story by Daphne du Maurier. The Birds opens July 12 and runs through August 11, 2013.
Subscriptions for 2013-2014 will be available online or call 301-816-1023. Quotidian Theatre produces at The Writers Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda MD.