St. Ann’s Warehouse and Irish Arts Center (IAC) join forces to introduce New York audiences to two new works by the Tony Award-winning Irish playwright-director Enda Walsh. St. Ann’s Warehouse, which has provided a home for Walsh’s work for nearly a decade, will present the American Premiere of his acclaimed new play Arlington, a large-scale production in which Walsh “embraces a new form of category-defying theatre in a story of love and oppression that echoes Orwell’s 1984” (The Guardian). Concurrently, as a companion to Arlington, Irish Arts Center will offer Walsh’s theatrical installation Rooms at the former tire shop that is the site of the Center’s future home. Both works find Walsh exploding theatrical form and exploring new directions—collaborating with choreographer Emma Martin and composer Teho Teardo to express the inexpressible in Arlington, and rendering richly drawn characters using meticulously designed sets and recorded audio monologues in Rooms. Under the banner Enda Walsh in NYC, St. Ann’s and IAC will present these works in concert with each other, May 3-28, making for a season of Walsh works in New York City, supported in part by Culture Ireland.
With the American Premiere of the site-specific Rooms, a Galway International Arts Festival production described by The Guardian as a work of “haunting power,” Irish Arts Center activates Cybert Tire, the future site of IAC’s $62 million, state-of-the-art permanent home, on which IAC begins construction later this year.
Rooms is a series of short works, each lasting approximately 15 minutes, presented as installations in the rugged, former tire repair shop. Each individual room, designed by Galway International Arts Festival Artistic Director Paul Fahy, is contained within a 15’ x 15’ white cube. Audiences of six people at a time are invited to step inside and explore these spaces for two minutes before the recorded audio, through which a character is introduced and a short story is told, begins. In Room 303 (American Premiere), set within the musty bedroom of an old seaside boarding house, an old man voiced by Niall Buggy lies alone, waiting, as his time nears an end. A Girl’s Bedroom (New York Premiere) features the voice of Charlie Murphy as a six-year-old girl who leaves her bedroom and family home and walks, never stopping…until now. And in Kitchen (U.S. premiere), set within a long and narrow galley kitchenette, a wife (Eileen Walsh), standing by her sink, wills her own implosion.
These three short works premiered at the Galway International Arts Festival under the collective title Rooms in July 2016. A Girl’s Bedroom has also toured to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
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