Preview: New Irish Voices Festival by Irish Theatre of Chicago

ITC ensemble members who will participate in the New Voices Festival. ITC ensemble members will participate in the New Voices Festival. Irish Theatre of Chicago will present staged readings from three emerging Irish playwrights three weekends this month at Chief O’Neill’s Pub on Elston Avenue. The plays, never before produced in the US, and their playwrights are: O DO NOT LOVE TOO LONG by Richard Molloy Thursday-Friday, February 9-10, at 7:30 pm Ensemble member Carolyn Kruse directs this reading, which will feature ensemble members Michael Grant, Barbara Figgins, Kevin Theis and Jamie Young. The play, set in London’s Irish enclave of Kilburn, is described as a darkly funny modern fable with touches of Conor McPherson’s supernatural themes and Martin McDonagh’s black humor. THE SPINNING WHEEL by Sabina Kelly Thursday-Friday, February 16-17, at 7:30 pm Directed by Melanie Keller, the play features ensemble members Barbara Figgins and Jodi Kingsley. The story, set in 1859, addresses how lives of women in rural Ireland are limited by English colonial oppression, the strictures of the Catholic Church and a male-dominated society. THE MY WAY RESIDENTIAL by Geraldine Aron Thursday-Friday, February 23-24, at 7:30 pm Directed by ensemble member Kevin Theis, the play will feature ensemble members Robert Kauzlaric and Jodi Kingsley. Set in a suburban London nursing home, the story follows two unloved misfits—an older Irish woman and a young South African man—and the choices they make. Aron’s play, My Brilliant Divorce, was presented by Irish Theatre in 2015. The New Irish Voices Festival will be held February 9-24 at Chief O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant, 3471 N. Elston Ave. Single tickets ($10) and all-festival passes ($20) are currently available at Irish Theatre of Chicago was formerly Seanachai Theatre Company.
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Nancy S Bishop

Nancy S. Bishop is publisher and Stages editor of Third Coast Review. She’s a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and a 2014 Fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. You can read her personal writing on pop culture at, and follow her on Twitter @nsbishop. She also writes about film, books, art, architecture and design.