The Rochester Community Players

Irish Players of Rochester

The Irish Players of Rochester is a program of the Rochester Communitry Players, founded in 1997 by Peter Scribner. The program presents one play each spring of Irish or Irish-American playwrights. After performing locally, we take our production 'on the road' to the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival (AIITF.)  In recent years, our Irish Players program has performed in Florida, Chicago, and Milwaukee, as well as in Canada in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal and in Dublin, Ireland. In 2008, we hosted the AIITF in Rochester.  In 2014, the AIITF will be held in South Florida. Starting in the Fall of 2014, we will be adding a second Irish Players production to our calendar.

Irish Players 2014: Shining City

RCP's Irish Players present: Shining City, by Conor McPherson.

When: March 14-29, 2014 (performance schedule below)

Where: MuCCC Theater, 142 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester NY. Directions: four short blocks east of University Avenue (Starry Nights Cafe; Edibles Restaurant), MuCCC is on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Fairmount Street)

Performance schedule:

Friday and Saturday, March 14 & 15 (time to be announced)                                                                                 Friday and Saturday March 21 & 22 (time to be announced)                                                                                             Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 PM                                                                                                                                            Friday and Saturday, March 28 & 29 (time to be announced)

How much: General admission $19; seniors over 65 $14; anyone under 25 $9.

Where available: Tickets can be purchased in advance online or by phone at MuCCC.org

NOTE: NEW POLICY! NO SERVICE FEE CHARGES FOR ONLINE TICKET PURCHASES FOR THIS SHOW!!!



Archives: from our March 2013 production of Is Life Worth Living?

The story: The script for the original play, written in 1933, contains the following story description by the playwright, which can hardly be improved upon (edited slightly to avoid a spoiler alert!):

"Inish is a small seaside town in Ireland, of not much importance save for the three summer months, when it is a point of attraction for people seeking sea breezes and a holiday. Usually the Summer theatrical season at Inish has consisted of rude, low comedy, but this year John Twohig, the innkeeper and the pavilion proprietor, has imported a troupe of earnest Thespians. Hector De La Mare and Constance Constantia, who head the troupe, mean to shake Inish out of its local complacence by acting dramas that anatomize the soul of man. They succeed fearfully.

"Inish abandons the jig for the dances of death. Simple folk who have been normal for years begin to develop hidden sorrows or wild passions; they throw themselves with despair into the sea, hurl lamps at their wives and buy poison to murder their relatives. The climax comes when the local member of Dail Eireann, the Irish Parliament, a politician normally lacking any imagination, is temped to vote against the government as a result of what he has learned from Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People". With Inish going violently to pieces all about him, John Twohig must make a momentous decision: how to make everyone feel jolly again?"

The Irish Players program of the Rochester Community Players may feel the sting of Lennox' satire a little more closely than most. For the past several years, we have been the producers of "serious" Irish theater, from Waiting for Godot (2004) to last year's Eugene O'Neill masterpiece, A Moon for the Misbegotten (see "About the Irish Players", below). So, in some ways, in a play about the baleful effect of all-too-serious drama, the joke's on us!

Is Life Worth Living? has undergone a modern revival, with a 2009 New York City production and a 2012 production in Austin. For more about the play itself, and these recent productions, see the online link resource links below.

The cast: A Rochester all-star line-up has been cast in this production. Greg Ludek and Kathy Dauer (pictured above) play the leaders of the visiting dramatic troupe, Hector De La Mare and Constance Constantia. Greg is one of the leading community theater actors in Rochester, both with our program (he was the lead in both Waiting for Godot and A Moon for the Misbegotten) as well as with Blackfriars, Downstairs Cabaret, Irondequoit Theatre Guild, JCC Center Stage, Off Monroe Players, Penfield Players, RAPA, Rochester Children’s Theatre, Shipping Dock, TYKEs, the Webster Theatre Guild and others. Kathy has appeared repeatedly in our Irish Players productions, from Da, the production we took to Montreal in 2000, to A Moon for the Misbegotten, which we staged in Dublin last year. There are many other veteran Rochester actors in the cast (see the full cast list below.)

The cast list for Is Life Worth Living is as follows:

Lizzie.: Kathy Rivers
Helena: Kate Sherman
Eddie: Edward Coomber
John: Morey Fazzi
Constance: Kathy Dauer
Hector: Greg Ludek
Annie: Stephanie Roosa
Peter: Ken Dauer
Michael: Marty Brancato
Mr. Hegarty: Tony Eckel
Slattery: Andrew Cowen
Mooney: Don Bartalo
Christine: Virginia Monte

Our production of Is Life Worth Living? was staged at the 2013 Acting Irish International Theatre Festival (AIITF), held at Gaelic Park, Chicago, May 21-25. Eight theater groups from the United States, Canada and Ireland presented full-length productions at the 2013 festival (see AIITF link below.) Our production was staged Thursday evening, May 23 at 8:00 PM. Our Irish Players productions have participated in the AIITF since 2003, and have won top awards three times. We have staged the best of Rochester theater in Dublin, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Milwaukee, Chicago, and South Florida. We hosted the AIITF here in Rochester in 2008.


Online resources:

2009 New York production at the Mint Theater:
NY Times review
NY Times readers comments
Village Voice review
Curtain Up review
Talkin' Broadway review
A Boat Against the Current review

2012 production: Different Stages (Austin, TX)
Austin Chronicle review

About Lennox Robinson:
Wikipedia

About the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival:
Wikipedia
AIITF Web site

About the Rochester Community Players:
RCP Web site
Wikipedia
Wikipedia - Production history