The Suitcase Under the Bed
Short plays by Teresa Deevy
Directed by Jonathan Bank
July 21st through September 23rd
- Tuesday – Saturday 7:30pm
- Saturday & Sunday 2:00pm
- Wednesday 8/23, 9/6, 9/20 2:00pm
No performance 9/5.
Running time: 120 minutes, one intermission.
The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
(between 9th and 10th Ave)
The Suitcase under the Bed, so named for the place where all of Teresa Deevy’s writing was stored for decades, prior to the launch of Mint Theater Company’s “Deevy Project”, features four short plays, three of which will be the World Premieres. Deevy, thanks in part to the Mint, is now recognized as “One of Ireland’s best and most neglected dramatists.” (Irish Times)
Another name for this evening of short plays might be “Three Proposals and a Break-up.” Each of Deevy’s four plays casts an unsentimental eye on the idea of marriage. One of the plays is even set against the backdrop of a wedding: “I was thinking of my marriage day when I was looking at them two, says Mrs. Marks in The King of Spain’s Daughter. “It is a thought would sadden anyone.”
Teresa Deevy had six plays produced by the Abbey Theatre between 1930 and 1936, and then the Abbey turned its back on her. Deevy’s next and perhaps best play (Wife to James Whelan) was rejected, effectively ending her career as an Abbey playwright. “I must just make an opening elsewhere,” she wrote to a friend, and then began to write for the radio—a remarkable turn of events, given that she was completely deaf. She lost her hearing due to an illness in her late teens and was never able to hear her beautifully-crafted dialogue spoken.
In 2010, Mint Theater Company re-introduced author Teresa Deevy to the world with our acclaimed production of Wife to James Whelan, the first of three full productions we gave this brilliant Irish woman. Deevy—a deaf playwright who turned to writing when her dreams of teaching were dashed after losing her hearing at the age of twenty—ended her career writing plays for the radio.
Mint has received worldwide recognition for our effort to restore Teresa Deevy to her proper place in the canon of Irish dramatic literature. Fintan O’Toole, one of Ireland’s leading public intellectuals and drama critics, acknowledged the importance of both Deevy and Mint’s exploration of her work in the pages of the Irish Times in 2013:
Deevy was the great white hope of the Abbey in the mid-1930s. Katie Roche was included alongside the staples of O’Casey and Synge on the Abbey’s tour of the US in 1937. And then she was simply dropped, suddenly and without explanation. Deevy’s next play, Holiday House, was accepted by the Abbey but then shelved, and she was never told why.
That breach has never been properly repaired. The Abbey has twice staged Katie Roche in recent decades… But there has been no coherent exploration of Deevy’s work as a whole by any Irish company. Instead, the Mint Theatre in New York, which specialises in rediscovering lost work, has engaged in what it calls the Teresa Deevy Project.
There are good reasons, both social and artistic, why Irish theatre should pay attention to this project.
This summer, Mint will resume our Teresa Deevy Project with The Suitcase Under the Bed, so named for the location where Deevy’s writing was stored for decades, prior to Mint’s Artistic Director Jonathan Bank’s arrival at the Deevy family home in Waterford in 2010.
Suitcase… will feature the world premiere of three plays. One is Holiday House (see below), the others are In the Cellar of My Friend, , and Strange Birth. The evening will also include Deevy’s best-known one-act, The King of Spain’s Daughter.
Brunch with Jacqui Deevy
Sunday, July 23 before the matinee
Brunch and pre-show talk with Jacqui Deevy before matinee performance of Suitcase
Jacqui is Teresa’s grandniece, literary executor and keeper of the flame – a role she inherited from her father. Jacqui grew up in Waterford, living in the Landscape, the Deevy family home for more than 125 years, where Teresa was born and lived. Jacqui will share her thoughts on the the plays included in The Suitcase Under the Bed and tell stories of the Deevy family.
When: Sunday, July 23 at noon
Where: West Bank Cafe, 407 West 42nd Street
Cost: $89.75 – includes brunch and matinee ticket
$40.00 – brunch only
First Priority Club members can book at the member price by calling: 212.315.0231