By Pamela Sterling.
Cast: 6m., 2w. The coming of age of a 13-year-old Catholic boy in Northern Ireland activates this emotionally moving play, Friday's Child is set amidst the current struggle between British and Irish, Catholic and Protestant, pacifist and agitator. Tom, the young protagonist, is torn between proving his manhood by killing an enemy and following his own judgment (but risking humiliation) by healing a victim of the war. The decisions he must make are not easy ones. On one side, his grandpa recites the stories and ballads of heroic Irish warriors. His 16-year-old block captain alternately tempts him with membership in the IRA and berates him for childishness. British soldiers provoke and taunt him. On the other side, his sister Meg begs him not to make himself a target by arming himself. Tara, a character who is the embodiment of mystical Irish folklore, breathes life into Tom's humane and caring instincts. The competition for Tom's loyalty becomes a fight for his life. Area staging.