A.R.T. Announces the New England Premiere of the Abbey Theatre production of The Plough and the Stars

For Immediate Release: August 29, 2016

Contact: Katalin Mitchell 617.495.2668



American Repertory Theater 

Announces the New England

 Premiere of 

the Abbey Theatre’s Production of 


By Sean O’Casey, Directed by Sean Holmes

September 24 – October 9

Loeb Drama Center


Cambridge, Mass — The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, under the leadership of Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Director Diane Quinn, begins performances of Sean O’Casey’s classic The Plough and the Stars, directed by Sean Holmes on Saturday, September 24. The production runs through Sunday, October 9 at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge. 


Performance dates: September 24, 25, 27 - October 2, October 4 - 8 at 7:30PM;

October 1, 2, 5, 8, 9 at 2PM

Press opening: Wednesday, September 28 at 7:30PM  

Press invitations will be sent out in early September.

Open Captioned performances: Thursday, October 6 at 7:30PM & Saturday, October 8 at 2PM

Ticket prices from $25, now on sale by phone at 617.547.8300, in person at the Loeb Drama Center Ticket Services at 64 Brattle Street, or online at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org


The A.R.T. brings the Abbey Theatre’s acclaimed production of The Plough and the Stars to Boston at the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. As revolution sweeps Ireland, the residents of a Dublin tenement shelter from the violence that erupts through the city's streets. Sean O’Casey — one of Ireland’s most renowned and controversial playwrights — captures a conflict between idealism and ordinary lives. Celebrating a century of the Irish nation state, this production by Ireland’s national theater, directed by Olivier Award-winning Sean Holmes, will bring a new perspective to O'Casey's absorbing play. Presented in association with Cusack Projects Limited. The Plough and the Stars is supported by McCann FitzGerald and the Boston Friends of the Abbey Theatre. 


The cast includes Ian-Lloyd Anderson as Jack Clitheroe, Tony Clay as Sergeant Tinley, Lloyd Cooney as Lieut. Langon, Hilda Fay as Bessie Burgess, David Ganly as Fluther Good, Rachel Gleeson as Mollser, James Hayes as Peter Flynn, Liam Heslin as Capt. Brennan, Ger Kelly as a Bartender, Janet Moran as Mrs. Gogan, Ciarán O’Brien as The Young Covey, Kate Stanley Brennan as Nora Clitheroe, Nima Taleghani as Corporal Stoddart, and Nyree Yergainharsian as Rosie Redmond.  Set Design is by John Bausor, Costume Design by Catherine Fay, Lighting Design by Paul Keogan, and Sound Design by Philip Stewart.





 Sean O’Casey - Playwright

John Casey was born in Dublin in 1880. In 1906 he learned Irish and changed his name to Sean Ó Cathasaigh, later to be known as Sean O’Casey. He played in Boucicault’s The Shaughraun in 1895 in the Mechanics Theatre, later rebuilt as the Abbey Theatre. He worked as a labourer on the Great Northern Railway of Ireland. During the famous Lockout and the General Strike led by Jim Larkin, he was secretary to the Women and Children’s Relief Fund. The Story of the Irish Citizen Army was published in 1919. In 1924 he gave up his labouring job to earn his living from writing alone. His plays The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924) and The Plough and the Stars (1926) all opened at the Abbey Theatre. The Silver Tassie was rejected by the Abbey Theatre in 1928 and opened in London in 1929. He began his six volume autobiography in 1931. Within the Gates opened in London and in New York (1934), The Star Turns Red opened in London in 1940, Red Roses For Me opened in Dublin (1943), Purple Dust opened in Liverpool (1945), Oak Leaves and Lavender opened in London (1947), Cock-a-Doodle Dandy opened in Newcastle-on-Tyne (1949) and Bedtime Story opened in New York (1952). The Bishop’s Bonfire, starring Cyril Cusack and directed by Tyrone Guthrie, opened in Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre (1955). His last play The Drums of Father Ned, which had been scheduled for the 1958 Dublin Theatre Festival, was disapproved of by the Archbishop of Dublin. This led to the playwright banning his own work from professional productions in Ireland. This ban was lifted in 1964 and the Abbey Theatre presented Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars at the World Theatre Festival in London, held to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Sean O’Casey died in 1964.


Sean Holmes - Director

Sean directed Drum Belly at the Abbey Theatre in 2013. He is Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith where he has worked on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Herons, Bugsy Malone, Secret Theatre Shows 1,2,3, 5 and 7, Cinderella, Desire Under the Elms, Morning, Have I None, Saved, Blasted (Olivier Award 2011, Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre), A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky, Ghost Stories (also Duke of York’s/Liverpool Playhouse/Panasonic Theatre, Toronto/Arts Theatre), Three Sisters and Comedians. Sean was an Associate Director of the Oxford Stage Company from 2001 to 2006 and has worked for the National Theatre, London and Royal Shakespeare Company as well as the Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse, Tricycle and Chichester Festival Theatre.





The Abbey Theatre, under the direction of Fiach Mac Conghail, is Ireland’s national theatre. It was founded by W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory. Since it first opened its doors in 1904, the theater has played a vital and often controversial role in the literary, social, and cultural life of Ireland. In 1905, the Abbey Theatre first toured internationally and continues to be an ambassador for Irish arts and culture worldwide. The Abbey Theatre produces an annual program of diverse, engaging, innovative Irish and international theater, and invests in and promotes new Irish writers and artists. Over the years, the Abbey Theatre has nurtured and premiered the work of major playwrights such as J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey as well as contemporary classics from Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr, Bernard Farrell, Brian Friel, Thomas Kilroy, Frank McGuinness, Tom MacIntyre, Tom Murphy, Mark O’Rowe, and Billy Roche. The Abbey Theatre also supports a new generation of Irish writers including Richard Dormer, Gary Duggan, Shaun Dunne, Stacey Gregg, Nancy Harris, David Ireland, Jimmy McAleavey, Owen McCafferty, Phillip McMahon, Elaine Murphy, Sean P. Summers, Michael West, and Carmel Winters.





The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing groundbreaking work in Cambridge and beyond. The A.R.T. was founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein, who served as Artistic Director until 2002, when he was succeeded by Robert Woodruff. Diane Paulus began her tenure as Artistic Director in 2008. Under the leadership of Paulus and Executive Director Diane Quinn, the A.R.T. seeks to expand the boundaries of theater by programming events that immerse audiences in transformative theatrical experiences.


Throughout its history, the A.R.T. has been honored with many distinguished awards, including the Tony Award for Best New Play for All the Way (2014); consecutive Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical for Pippin (2013) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012), both of which Paulus directed; a Pulitzer Prize; a Jujamcyn Prize for outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent; the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater; and numerous Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards.


The A.R.T. collaborates with artists around the world to develop and create work in new ways. It is currently engaged in a number of multi-year projects, including a new collaboration with Harvard's Center for the Environment that will result in the development of new work over several years. Under Paulus’s leadership, the A.R.T.’s club theater, OBERON, has been an incubator for local and emerging artists and has attracted national attention for its innovative programming and business models.


As the professional theater on the campus of Harvard University, the A.R.T. catalyzes discourse, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative exchange among a wide range of academic departments, institutions, students, and faculty members, acting as a conduit between its community of artists and the university. A.R.T. plays a central role in Harvard's newly launched undergraduate Theater, Dance, and Media concentration, teaching courses in directing, dramatic literature, acting, voice, design, and dramaturgy. The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training, run in partnership with the Moscow Art Theatre School and the Harvard Extension School, offers graduate training in acting, dramaturgy, and voice.


Dedicated to making great theater accessible, the A.R.T. actively engages more than 5,000 community members and local students annually in project-based partnerships, workshops, conversations with artists, and other enrichment activities both at the theater and across the Greater Boston area.


Through all of these initiatives, the A.R.T. is dedicated to producing world-class performances in which the audience is central to the theatrical experience. 

Release Date:
August 29, 2016

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