ACCLAIMED PLAYWRIGHT CONOR MCPHERSON’S “THE VEIL” RECEIVES U.S. PREMIERE AT QUOTIDIAN THEATRE COMPANY
(Washington, DC) Internationally-acclaimed playwright Conor McPherson’s period drama The Veil is given its US premiere at Quotidian Theatre Company. The New York Times called McPherson “the finest playwright of his generation”. The Veil made its world premiere at National Theatre in a production Evening Standard called “atmospheric and haunting”. Quotidian has staged six prior productions of McPherson’s work. The US premiere production runs July 18 – August 17 at The Writer’s Center in downtown Bethesda.
McPherson has had plays produced at London’s National Theatre, on Broadway, at Chicago’s iconic Goodman and Steppenwolf theatres, and at DC’s Studio Theatre in addition to Quotidian. His work has received Tony Award nominations for Best Play and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. His plays include The Birds, Shining City, The Seafarer, Port Authority, Dublin Carol, and The Weir.
In The Veil, Lady Madeleine Lambroke has invited a defrocked reverend to her decaying estate in Ireland so he might chaperone her daughter to London, where the girl is to be wed. But when the reverend arrives with a strange companion, another reason for their visit gradually becomes apparent.
“There’s a sense of the supernatural in this play… On a deep level, there’s a feeling of ancient folklore,” McPherson says. “There’s a more traditional haunted house feeling in the play, too. And there are characters in the play who are yearning for things they can’t have.” Set in an 1822 country estate, The Veil touches on “social structure, moments of embarrassment, thwarted feelings… very consciously in the Chekhovian genre,” says McPherson.
Quotidian Theatre Company artistic director and co-founder Jack Sbarbori directs his seventh McPherson production after helming the DC area premieres of Dublin Carol, Port Authority, and The Birds. McPherson is Sbarbori’s favorite living playwright, and the McPherson plays Sbarbori has directed count among QTC’s most highly-praised productions. Sbarbori’s cast includes many Quotidian favorites, several of whom have previously tackled McPherson’s work.
“I was brought up as a Roman Catholic,” says McPherson, “so perhaps this is why I see supernatural stories as the most natural thing I can present on stage. I have always felt that the theatre is the perfect place to contemplate the unknown. I want the audience to dream their way into the play and out the other side only to arrive deeper inside themselves via their most powerful emotions. I want to invite the darkness that surrounds the stage onto the stage in order to illuminate all that is truly important to us. And something that feels important to me is that we recognize that the experience of being alive — and being conscious of being alive — is an unfathomable mystery. Life is a transcendental experience. It’s a mystery we should marvel at and celebrate.”
Quotidian Theatre Company presents the US premiere of The Veil by Conor McPherson, July 18 – August 17, 2014
Set in a haunted mansion in rural Ireland in 1822, surrounded by a restive, starving populace, The Veil weaves Ireland’s troubled colonial history into a transfixing story about the search for love, the transcendental, and the circularity of time.
“An atmospheric and haunting tale of lost souls.” – Evening Standard
“Imagine a Chekhov play full of ghosts and things that go bump in the night and you will get some idea of Conor McPherson’s strange and fitfully entertaining drama The Veil.”
– The Telegraph
Featuring Christine Alexander, Michael Avolio, Jane Squier Bruns, John Decker, Steve LaRocque, Chelsea Mayo, Stephanie Mumford, and Michele Osherow.
Directed by Jack Sbarbori.
All performances are held at The Writer’s Center: 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD.
The venue is a short walk from the Bethesda Metro Station. There is free parking on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets are $30, or $25 for seniors and students, and can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/722006).
Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm, with one additional 2pm performance on Saturday, August 16.
ABOUT CONOR MCPHERSON:
Conor McPherson was named by The New York Times as “the finest playwright of his generation”. He won the George Devine Award in 1997 with his play St. Nicholas, and went on to win an Olivier Award for Best New Play in 1999 with his follow-up, The Weir. He won an Olivier Award for Best New Play for The Seafarer and received Tony Award nominations for The Seafarer and Shining City.
McPherson also writes for film. 2000’s Saltwater, featuring Peter McDonald and Brian Cox, marked McPherson’s debut as a screen director. He also adapted The Eclipse from a ghost story by Billy Roche into a film starring Aidan Quinn and Ciaran Hinds.
In 2012 McPherson adapted Strindberg’s The Dance of Death for the Donmar Trafalgar Season. Most recently McPherson has worked on the new BBC series, Quirke, which is based on the books by Benjamin Black, and developed Strangers for Number 9 Films based on the novel by Taichi Yamada. McPherson’s newest play, The Night Alive, premiered at the Donmar and transferred to the Atlantic Theater in New York last November.
ABOUT QUOTIDIAN THEATRE COMPANY:
Quotidian Theatre Company’s mission is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated and impressionistic style, relying on piercingly truthful acting and no-frills storytelling. By providing realistic situations and dialogue, Quotidian lets audiences witness events as if over a backyard fence or through an open window, thus illuminating the depth and dignity of ordinary human experience.
“Quotidian hasn’t chosen its name by accident; it produces plays in which God is in the details.” — DC Theatre Scene
Let us now praise Quotidian Theatre Company, which dedicates itself to classics and crafts performances so good they remind us why the works are considered classics in the first place.” — MD Theatre Guide
Est. 1998 by Jack Sbarbori and Stephanie Mumford in Bethesda, MD outside Washington, DC.
QUOTIDIAN THEATRE COMPANY ONLINE:
Mailing List: http://www.eepurl.com/lf0Wz