Theater News

Casting Announced for Irish Rep’s Philadelphia, Here I Come!

The play is part of the Friel Project, celebrating the work of Irish playwright Brian Friel.

AJ Shively
A.J. Shively
(© Tricia Baron)

Irish Repertory Theatre announced casting for Philadelphia, Here I Come!, the third production in the Friel Project, a retrospective of the work of Irish playwright Brian Friel celebrating Irish Rep’s 35th anniversary. Directed by Ciarán O’Reilly, producing director of Irish Rep, Philadelphia, Here I Come! will run from March 16-May 5 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage at Irish Repertory Theatre.

The cast of Philadelphia, Here I Come! will include Peter Cormican (The Dead, 1904), Terry Donnelly (Two By Synge), Patrick Fitzgerald (Rebel in the Soul), Deirdre Madigan (Coal Country), David McElwee (A Man for All Seasons), Clare O’Malley (Pumpgirl), Ciarán O’Reilly (Juno and the Paycock), Tim Palmer (The Land of Promises), James Russell (A Touch of the Poet), A.J. Shively (Paradise Square), Emmet Smith (A Distinct Society), and John C. Vennema (A Touch of the Poet).

The creative team features scenic designer Charlie Corcoran, costume designer Orla Long, lighting designer Michael Gottlieb, sound designers and composers Ryan Rumery and M. Florian Staab, and properties designer Nicole Rozanski.

The Friel Project features three of Friel’s works set in Ballybeg, a fictional town in Donegal, Ireland. Philadelphia, Here I Come! was Friel’s first major success, premiering in 1964 at the Gaiety Theatre Dublin, and transferring to Broadway two years later. A comedy set in 1962, Philadelphia, Here I Come! takes place on the eve of young Gar O’Donnell’s departure from Ireland to America. Gar’s heartache from losing his girlfriend to a successful businessman propels him to accept an invitation to go and live with an aunt in Philadelphia, but a kind word from his taciturn father could change his mind.