|Banished Children of Eve
|Full Length Drama, 3W, 5M
|Commissioned by Irish Repertory Theatre in New York and adapted from the novel by Peter Quinn, Banished Children of Eve tells a theatrical story of Irish-American and African-American characters struggling to survive the bloodiest urban riots in our country's history. Set against the backdrop of Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Civil War, these itinerant actors and artists, lovers and swindlers come face to face with who they were, who they are, and who they desperately want to be.
|Irish Repertory Theater|
• Off-Broadway, NY (2010).
Directed by Ciaran O'Reilly.
|Irish Repertory Theater|
• Off-Broadway, NY.
Director Ciaran O'Reilly, literary manager Kara Manning, with Fred Applegate (Happiness, Young Frankenstein), David Wilson Barnes (Becky Shaw, The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Muiris Crowley (The Yeats Project), Mark Hartman (Avenue Q, Finian's Rainbow), Michelle Hurst ("SherryBaby," The Story), Nicola Murphy (The Yeats Project), Aaron Shaw ("In Treatment") and Tracie Thoms (10 Things To Do Before I Die, Rent).
Press coverage in Playbill, BroadwayWorld, and Theatre Mania.
|Commissioned by Irish Repertory Theatre in New York. Artistic Director Charlotte Moore. Producing Director Ciaran O'Reilly.|
|"...an engaging and vivacious work." -- The Village Voice |
"Director Ciarán O’Reilly skillfully weaves the multiple narrative threads with specificity and clarity. Banished Children of Eve is uncannily resonant." - Time Out New York
"The Irish Repertory Theatre is presenting one of its most ambitious works: it succeeds impressively. Kudos for mounting this superior production, which melds historical information with theatrical excitement, with a bit of music, song, and dance skillfully injected." - Epoch Times
"IT'S AN ELECTRIFYING PIECE OF HISTORY THAT DIRECTOR CIARÁN O'REILLY AND HIS FINE ENSEMBLE BRING TO THE STAGE WITH FLAIR. The production's opening moments sweep audiences back in time cinematically as company members begin shifting the arced walls and stair units that comprise Charlie Corcoran's scenic design circularly around the stage, and characters ranging from a Fulton Street fishmonger to a busker hawking a minstrel show that boasts scenes from Uncle Tom's Cabin enter. Their words spill onto one another and THE CACOPHONY BRINGS A CROWDED METROPOLIS OF A BYGONE ERA THRILLINGLY TO LIFE." - Theatremania
"Placing large historical events in the context of ordinary people's lives can bring the past back to life. The world premiere of "Banished Children of Eve" succeeds in this resurrection, as AN ABSORBING, INTIMATE MELODRAMA about a small, diverse group of New Yorkers caught up in the Draft Riots of 1863, a week of racial and mob violence that tore up Civil War Manhattan. WRITING BY KELLY YOUNGER, STRONG PERFORMANCE AND LOVELY SINGING MAKE FOR A RICH THEATRICAL EVENING. This Irish Rep production brings an eventful bygone era to thrilling life." - Associated Press
"A vibrant, fast-moving production. THE TALENTED ENSEMBLE DELIVERS TERRIFIC PERFORMANCES." - NY Post
"Kelly Younger’s Banished Children of Eve does the seeming impossible by putting Peter Quinn’s epic novel on stage while at the same time retaining the intimacy of its individual stories." -TheatreScene
"One of the main things you have to love about The Irish Repertory Theatre is that it doesn’t occur to them that they cannot fit the world on their stage. Thank God for that. THIS FINE, FINE CAST BRINGS TO LIFE A CORNUCOPIA OF PEOPLE. Kelly Younger and the director Ciarán O'Reilly (who also gave us The Emperor Jones last season) have cherry-picked the exact right number of characters and stories to fill the stage to bursting. Charlie Corcoran has created a stage that literally revolves and reveals world within world. Serenaded most admirably by Mr. Gets simple and extraordinary singing, THIS PLAY IS POSITIVELY GLORIOUS. I am off to get a copy of Quinn’s The Banished Children of Eve, because two splendid hours is just not enough time for me to have with these characters and their stories. Our only frontier now is history and the many stories that have been forgotten or denied us. Congratulations to these folk for resurrection an important chapter of our shared tale. Bravo. Next drink is on me." – New York Theatre Guide
"It is an ambitious undertaking, AND EXTREMELY WELL EXECUTED. The sweeping scope of this play is surprisingly well handled in the limited space of the Irish Repertory Theatre, kudos to Charlie Corcoran’s set design which is innovative and perfectly rendered. Mr. Lansbury and young Mr. Borger are excellent, but Ms. Gray stands out as the heart and soul of this show. She is a luminous presence that is slowly and painfully dimmed. Stephen Foster, is drinking himself into oblivion; he stands both part of and apart from the drama unfolding around him. Malcolm Gets, an accomplished and familiar performer, provides the steady hand and perfect responses he always does (and) provides a perfect grounding for the action on stage. IT IS A SWEEPING STORY, BEAUTIFULLY TOLD. Director Ciaran O’Reilly handles this subject matter effortlessly. Stunning." - ReviewsOffBroadway.com
"This is an excellent ensemble. Malcolm Gets is able, believable, and admirably restrained. AMBER GRAY IS A SPITFIRE, A CONSISTENT AND COMPELLING SOURCE OF THEATRICAL ENERGY. HELL, CON ED COULD HOOK UP TO THIS LADY AND MANAGE THE EASTERN SEABOARD. Gray is a talented, potent actress with accomplished range. We are with her experience. Patrice Johnson’s role reminded me of a witch from Macbeth. Her vigorous performance and ominous, cultivated persona is worthy of Shakespeare or Greek Tragedy. Amanda Quaid brings a very real quality to her practical housemaid. Her actions and reactions actually seem to stem from growing awareness. Kelly Younger (Playwright) has crafted a dark, moving tale into which we’re drawn by the specificity of characters invented by Peter Quinn (author). Parallel, then entwining stories offer real insight into the stereotypes, superstition, subjugation, fear, anger and unavoidable? tragedies of the time. WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN A LESSON OR POLEMIC IS A DRAMATIC EVENING OF COMPREHENSIBLE, PROVOCATIVE THEATER. Director, Ciaran O’Reilly has shaped a robust and many shaded production. His stage is used beautifully, the players interact as we feel they must, emotions are shown equally well in lock-down and raw exposure. The hefty substance of the piece is kept from any motion to sink. Fights are well done. Grief is palpable. Bravo Charlie Corcoran! (Set Design) Rotating round walls (on tracks) are wonderfully unexpected and effective. They slide in front of and behind one another fluidly creating rooms like environments, not sets. And oh the rampaging mob! Brian Nason (Lighting Design) and Christian Frederickson and Ryan Rumery (Music and Sound Design) have concocted the light, sound, and visuals of an uncontrollable onslaught. Martha Halley’s costumes couldn’t be better. Banished Children Of Eve is rich tapestry of regrettable history about which I’d venture few people are aware, undoubtedly why The Irish Repertory Company commissioned it…an interesting, entertaining and informative evening which may bring up discussion of too many similar situations today. " - WomanAroundTown.com
"AN ASTONISHING AND ELOQUENT PRODUCTION OF “BANISHED CHILDREN OF EVE” WHICH TAKES PLACE IN NEW YORK CITY’S BOWERY SECTION CIRCA 1863 HAS JUST OPENED THE IRISH REP’S 23RD SEASON. It is a world premiere by playwright Kelly Younger adapted from the novel by Peter Quinn that is directed with care and insight by Ciaran O’Reilly. On a clever Charlie Corcoran circular set that is rotated by members of the cast and crew to allow for the various locations to smoothly fall into view the Irish and the Blacks try to join forces against the Yanks during the riots that broke out because of the introduction of a mandatory draft - unless you had three hundred dollars to pay to be excused or could escape to Canada. Both The Paddys and the Niggers feel the pressure especially backstage at a local Minstrel Show where the highlight is Uncle Tom’s Cabin enacted by a drunken Jack Mulcahey (AN EXCELLENT DAVID LANSBURY) and his true love Eliza (A WONDROUS AMBER GRAY) a Cuban actress - as black actresses were not allowed on stage. There is a young black man - Squirt (A TERRIFIC CHRISTOPHER BORGER) who performs with Jack on the streets to make extra cash. His talent belies the fact that he is only fourteen. The overall effect is very moving as we realize we haven’t made much progress over the years with the same problem of discrimination still rearing its ugly head. We are not in the same boat anymore, but as Euphemia states 'we are drowning in the same water.' " - TalkEntertainment.com
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