Posted in drama, forgotten plays, found plays, Irish drama, lost plays, love, love story, old, radio drama, Teresa Deevy, The Mint Theatre

Deevy Project

Generally when I hear a play has not been produced in lo these many years, I think perhaps its absence was a welcome thing.

Not so with the Deevy Project works, or for that matter most of the Mint Theater’s repertory.

The Suitcase Under the Bed, at the Beckett at Theatre Row extended through September 30th 23rd, refers to the place where Mint Artistic Director, Jonathan Bank found the treasures on this bill of four one-act plays. Thanks to his exacting curation, the program has a cohesion of theme and sensibility.

It opens with Strange Birth, a charming love story, with the very charming Ellen Adair playing the housemaid Sara Meade, the object of Bill The Post’s (Aidan Redmond) affection. The other three plays–In The Cellar of My Friend and Holiday House, and finishing with The King of Spain’s Daughter— are all in fact love stories as well. Some are wry, some are winsome, all eccentric to a degree particular in a Teresa Deevy play.

The cast of seven (in addition to Adair and Redmond, Gina Costigan, Sarah Nicole Deaver, Cynthia Mace, Colin Ryan, and A.J. Shively– each in a variety of roles) deliver their diverse characterizations superbly. There are lovely musical interludes as well as Entr’acte poems to mark the transitions from one play to the next. The scenic designs by Vicki R. Davis serve each setting with small but well detailed changes.

Each story is carefully defined and delineated with care under Jonathan Bank’s splendid direction.

For more information, and tickets for this and other Mint productions, please visit
http://minttheater.org/.

 

Posted in aspiration, estranged father, family comedy drama, marrying the master of the house, Teresa Deevy

For Better or Worse in "Katie Roche"

Patrick Fitzgerald, Jon Fletcher, Margaret Daly, Wrenn Schmidt in Teresa Deevy’s  “Katie Roche” in a
photo by Richard Termine

Irish playwright Teresa Deevy was a master of middle-class parlor-room dramas.

“Katie Roche,” at the Mint Theatre throough March 24th, is about a young serving girl who marries the master of the househould. Like most of Deevy’s characters, Katie (Wrenn Schmidt) aspires to better herself. She’s sure she comes from “grand people” and it is her cockiness that Stanislaus Gregg (Patrick Fitzgerald) finds most appealing. Stan also has aspirations; he believes that marrying will help his career.

Wrenn Schmidt as Katie in “Katie Roche.” Photo by Richard Termine.

Katie’s ascent from housemaid to mistress of the house does not go smoothly, of course. Amelia Gregg  (Margaret Daly), Stan’s sister is kind. On the other hand, their married sibling, Margaret Drybone (Fiana Toibin) is a meddling gossip. It’s Katie, however, who is her own worst enemy, flirting with Michael Maguire (Jon Fletcher) and with disaster.

Jon Fletcher as Michael with Wrenn Schmidt as Katie. Photo by Richard Termine. 

 Deevy’s gentle, well-mannered comedy gets off to a slow start in the first act, but then quickly finds its pace.

Wrenn Schmidt, as the headstrong Katie, Margaret Daly as her sweet employer turned sister-in-law, and Jon Fletcher as the charming working man who loses out on Katie’s affections are stand-outs in this nice ensemble. Jonathan Banks knows how to direct an old-fashioned story for the maximum pleasure of its viewers.

Teresa Deevy’s “Katie Roche” celebrate the ordinary, making it extraordinary. “Katie Roche” is a lovely evening (or afternoon, for that matter) in the theater.

To find out more about  “Katie Roche,” The Mint Theatre, and the Deevy Project, please go to http://minttheater.org/.