Wife To James Whelan
By Teresa Deevy
Directed by Jonathan Bank
July 29th 2010 through October 3rd 2010
The Mint Theater
311 West 43rd St, 3rd floor
In 2010 Mint claimed the role of champion on behalf of the brilliant, but forgotten Irish playwright, Teresa Deevy. The ambitious Teresa Deevy Project, which includes three productions, as well as two published compilations of her plays, was launched with her “crisp psychological drama,”1 WIFE TO JAMES WHELAN.
A love story examining a conflict between ambition and contentment, WIFE TO JAMES WHELAN was originally shunned by Ireland’s Abbey Theater, despite their having already produced six of Deevy’s plays between 1930 and 1936. The unexpected rejection drove the Deevy to begin writing almost exclusively for radio—remarkable considering that she had lost her hearing before radio arrived in Ireland.
“The Mint Theater is certainly making an elegant case that the Abbey Theater in Dublin missed an opportunity almost 70 years ago when it declined to produce WIFE TO JAMES WHELAN,” wrote The New York Times, who selected the show as a Critic’s Pick. “This rediscovered work is beautifully played under Jonathan Bank’s direction, on a lovely stonework set by Vicki R. Davis…the production is never less than compelling.”
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- Tom Carey Aidan Redmond
- Bill McGafferty Jeremy S. Holm
- Nan Bowers Janie Brookshire
- Kate Moran Rosie Benton
- James Whelan Shawn Fagan
- Jack McClinsey Thomas Matthew Kelley
- Apollo Moran Jon Fletcher
- Nora Keane Liv Rooth
- Set Design Vicki R. Davis
- Costume Design Martha Hally
- Lighting Design Nicole Pearce
- Sound Design Jane Shaw
- Properties Design Deborah Gaouette
- Dialects and Dramaturgy Amy Stoller
- Casting Stuart Howard, Amy Schecter & Paul Hardt
- Production Stage Manager Samone B. Weissman
- Assistant Stage Manager Lauren McArthur
- Assistant to the Director Arielle Lipshaw
- Press Representative David Gersten & Associates
- Illustration Stefano Imbert
- Graphics Hunter Kaczorowski
CHRISTOPHER MORASH: ON THE OUTSIDE: TERESA DEEVY AND IRISH THEATRE
This special pre-show EnrichMINT Event focuses on locating Deevy’s work in the context of other Irish playwrights of her era.
(Click image below to play video)« SHOW VIDEOS »
CHRISTOPHER MORASH: "OH, YOU'RE A WILD CREATURE": TERESA DEEVY'S WOMEN
Deevy created some of the most remarkable female characters in the Irish Drama: in Katie Roche, King of Spain’s Daughter and In Search of Valour. This talk explores their “wild” behavior!
(Click image below to play video)« SHOW VIDEOS »
CHRISTOPHER MORASH: "NO USE FOR MY WORK:" DEEVY AND IRELAND'S ABBEY THEATRE
Christopher Morash is Professor and Head of English at National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Chris’s publications include A History of Irish Theatre 1601-2000 (Cambridge, 2002), which won the Theatre Book Prize from the Society for Theatre Research, and Writing the Irish Famine (Oxford, 1996), as well as a number of articles and lectures dealing with various aspects of Irish culture.
Deevy had a very fruitful relationship with the Abbey, up until the time they declined to produce Wife to James Whelan. This discussion explores that relationship, and its ending.
DIRECTOR JONATHAN BANK: MY TRIP TO IRELAND
Bank shares stories from his recent trip to Ireland, where he met with members of the Deevy family and visited Landscape, the Deevy home for generations. Teresa wrote many of her plays at Landscape, where her papers are now housed.
PROFESSOR EILEEN MORGAN-ZAYACHECK, SUNY ONEONTA: CHARTING THE AIRWAVES
Professor Eileen Morgan-Zayachek places Deevy’s radio plays within the context of Irish radio’s growth prior to World War II. In the 1930’s and early 1940’s, Irish broadcasting was underdeveloped and many writers looked down on radio drama. Thanks to pioneers like Deevy and intrepid broadcasters, attitudes changed.
Eileen Morgan-Zayachek is Chair of English and Associate Professor at SUNY Oneonta. She has written extensively on Irish radio during the 1930’s and 40’s and is co-editor of A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the Stage.
PROFESSOR JOHN P. HARRINGTON, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: IRELAND'S NATIONAL THEATER
After the death of its co-founder W.B. Yeats in 1939, the Abbey underwent many changes. Professor John P. Harrington discusses the transitory state of the Abbey during the late 1930’s and 40’s, which was also around the time Wife to James Whelan was rejected.
John P. Harrington is the author of The Irish Beckett, The Irish Play on the New York Stage and The Life of a Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street and editor of The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama and Irish Theater in America.
MEMBERS OF THE CAST AND DIRECTOR JONATHAN BANK: ANOTHER WIFE?
An alternate ending to WIFE TO JAMES WHELAN exists, though it’s unclear if it was ever used or if Teresa Deevy even wrote it. Members of the cast read this intriguing “other” ending—and fill in our audiences on what might have been!
PROFESSOR MAUREEN O. MURPHY, HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY: TERESA DEEVY IN CONTEXT
Professor Murphy contextualizes Deevy’s work as a woman writer in Ireland during the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Maureen O. Murphy was senior editor for the Dictionary of Irish Biography. She is Professor of Curriculum and Teaching in the School of Education, Health, and Human Services at Hofstra University.
DR. EILEEN KEARNEY, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER: TERESA DEEVY: IRELAND'S FORGOTTEN SECOND LADY OF THE ABBEY THEATER
Dr. Eileen Kearney is one of the world’s leading authorities on Teresa Deevy. Kearney was the first scholar of her work; Deevy was the topic of her PhD dissertation over 25 years ago. Kearney contributed the Deevy chapter to the “Irish Playwrights Research and Production Sourcebook.”
MARY CAULFIELD, TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN: THE POLITICAL DEEVY
Deevy came of age during the years of revolution in Ireland and was active politically; where did she stand?
Mary Caulfield’s PhD thesis is on the unpublished plays of activist, Constance Markievicz, whom Deevy admired.