The Irish Repertory Theatre has announced two full productions for its 2022 winter season: On the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage will be a revival of Eugene O'Neill's A Touch of the Poet, which is set to begin performances February 26 ahead of an official opening night on March 8. It is slated to run through April 17.
Taking place on a single day in 1828 in the Boston tavern owned by Cornelius Melody, A Touch of the Poet examines one Irish-American family and the identities they have constructed for themselves in the new world. Irish Rep initially planned to present A Touch of the Poet in March 2020, but the production was moved online due to the pandemic. In his review, critic Pete Hempstead called that virtual presentation, "one that should not be missed."
The bulk of the cast of that online production will reprise their roles live and in-person: Belle Aykroyd will play Sara Melody, Robert Cuccioli will play Cornelius "Con" Melody, Kate Forbes will play Nora Melody, Mary McCann will play Deborah Hartford, Andy Murray will play Jamie Cregan, James Russell will play Mickey Maloy, David Sitler will play Patch Riley, and John C. Vennema will play Nicholas Gadsby. Ciarán O'Reilly directs.
Downstairs in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Stage, the world premiere of Ciara Ní Chuírc's Made by God will begin performances on February 11 ahead of an official opening night on February 17. The run is scheduled through March 20.
Press materials describe the play this way: "Small town, Ireland, 1984; Ann, a fifteen-year-old girl, is found dead with her newborn baby in Our Lady's Grotto at the edge of town. The tragedy rips Ireland apart and haunts it for years to come. Decades pass. American podcaster, Eva, travels to Ireland on a pilgrimage – of sorts. With her microphone in hand, she seeks to learn more about Ann and her final days, but her own secret past pursues her. She meets Michael, Ann's boyfriend, and faith and feelings intertwine, as two strangers try to find peace."
Made by God will feature Ciaran Byrne as Michael, McKenna Quigley Harrington as Ann/Isabel, Erica Henandez as Eva, Daniel Marconi as Young Mikey, and Brianna Gibson Reeves as The Virgin Mary. Olivia Songer directs.
The Irish Rep will also present the streaming version of Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing as part of the Origin First Irish Theatre Festival (January 14-30). Based on the novel of the same name, it follows the inner narrative of a girl from birth until the age of twenty. The two-hander features a performance by Jenn Murray and is directed by Nicola Murphy.
Additionally as part of the First Irish Festival, Irish Rep will present a one-night-only performance of Clare O'Malley's one-act cabaret, Transatlantic Living, on Tuesday January 18 at 7pm.
The following week, Gregory Harrington returns to the Irish Rep with Love Songs for a Hopeless Romantic, an evening of song to be presented on Tuesday January 25 at 7pm.