The Arizona Repertory Theatre welcomes the Inishmaan to the stage
The Arizona Repertory Theatre is working on rehearsals for the production of Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan.
The company, which is comprised of University of Arizona students from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in acting and musical theatre, will have its opening night on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
The Cripple of Inishmaan is a dark comedy set on a small island in Ireland in 1934. In the play, a Hollywood film crew goes to film in a neighboring island which brings excitement and drama into the Inishmaans’ otherwise routine lives.
Billy Claven, or Cripple Billy as he is known on his island, gets taken back with the Hollywood crew to the United States to try out for a part in a different film that features a crippled character.
After coming back, it is not clear whether Billy was actually offered the part in the film or if he was rejected and returned to the island out of necessity rather than want.
According to Hank Stratton, an assistant professor at the UA School of Theatre, Film and Television and the director of the play, McDonagh made this and other plays to “celebrate the Irish culture which he knew so well.”
The culture has been celebrated by many others throughout the years as different productions of the play have come and gone. The latest production, which closed on Broadway in 2014, had Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role of Cripple Billy.
Stratton chose to direct The Cripple of Inishmaan instead of the other selected plays of the semester because, like McDonagh and many others, he appreciates the Irish culture.
“I like the period, I’m very attracted to the culture and I also thought it might be very pleasing for our audiences in terms of how wickedly funny it is,” Stratton said. “It’s an unexpected black comedy, and I thought that would be a nice fit. I’m really excited about it; the students are embracing the culture and the rhythm of the play.”
Previews for the show will be on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1:30 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. The previews are sold at a discounted rate before the show’s official opening. The performance will be held in the Tornabene Theatre and will be going through Sunday, Dec. 2.
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