By Dan O'Brien.
Cast: 5m., 2w. (No gender flexibility or doubling.) Amateur actors in Cork City, Ireland, convene at their local pub-theater for the first read-through of a new "Irish play." What no one knows yet is that the play has been written by an American, and that an African-American has been cast in the lead. Over the course of the evening the newly assembled cast debates (in typically Irish fashion) the play's deficiencies and merits, who will play which part, and whether or not to do the play at all. There's Ed, a patriot and single father, whose idea it was to do the play in the first place; Martha, the stage manager; Michael, playwright and all-around lady's man; Cynthia, an aging ingenue and self-proclaimed Celtic goddess; Willie, the theater's patriarch; Joachim, an African-American just recently married into the Irish culture; and acid-tongued Declan, a young man with ambition but no direction. Irish and American cultures come into conflict, old rivalries reignite, and secrets are revealed as the group struggles toward an understanding of this enigmatic Irish play. What begins as a comedic examination of Irish theatre and identity becomes by evening's end a character drama of strong emotional force. One int. unit set. Approximate Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.