The 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, which ultimately led to the liberation of Ireland after centuries of British rule—in all but six counties, of course—has been celebrated proudly in Philadelphia with parades and speeches. That historic event is about to be observed again in another way, through the words of Irish playwright Sean O’Casey—and through the eyes of the Dublin underclass.
From May 26 through June 11 at Plays and Players Theatre, the Irish Heritage Theatre is presenting O’Casey’s “The Plough and the Stars,” the final episode in O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy. (Details and tickets here.)
IHT presented “The Shadow of a Gunman” two years ago, and “Juno and the Paycock” last year. It’s no accident that “The Plough and the Stars” is being presented in this, the centennial year. According to director Peggy Mecham, that was always part of the plan. The last two acts of the four-act play take place during the Rising, as experienced by Dublin tenement dwellers.
Mecham took a break during rehearsal to have a chat about O’Casey in general and “The Plough and Stars” in particular.