The Irish Repertory Theatre revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones celebrated opening night last night, Sunday, March 12. Directed by Ciarán O'Reilly, the production stars Obi Abili in the title role. Performances continue through April 23.
The Emperor Jones is the story of Brutus Jones (Abili), a despot who ascends the throne using lies, intimidation, and the politics of fear. Following a prison break in the United States, Jones sets himself up as monarch of a Caribbean island. When the natives rebel after years of exploitation, Jones' mesmerizing journey into darkness becomes a terrifying psychological portrayal of power, fear, and madness. With his demons in heavy pursuit, the Emperor is forced to confront not just the mortal sins of his past but also the depravities against his ancestors — all in search of forgiveness and salvation.
Andy Murray costars in the role of Henry Smithers. Completing the ensemble is William Bellamy, Carl Hendrick Louis, Sinclair Mitchell, Angel Moore, and Reggie Talley.
The creative team includes Barry McNabb (choreography), Charlie Corcoran (set design), Antonia Ford-Roberts and Whitney Locher (costume design), Brian Nason (lighting design), Christian Frederickson (music), Ryan Rumery and M. Florian Staab (sound design and music), Bob Flanagan (puppet and mask design), and Deirdre Brennan (props designer). The production stage manager is Karen Evanouskas, and the assistant stage manager is Rebecca C. Monroe.
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