CELEBRATED IRISH ACTOR STEPHEN REA VISITS QUEENS COLLEGE AS ARTIST IN RESIDENCE OCTOBER 6-16
-- Rea Will Coach Student Actors for Synge’s Classic The Playboy of the Western World and Will be Interviewed In Person Following October 16 Performance --
FLUSHING, NY, September 26, 2008 – After receiving critical acclaim in New York and London stagings of Sam Shepard’s monologue Kicking a Dead Horse, Stephen Rea will play a starring role at Queens College as Artist in Residence in October. The Belfast-born actor, an Oscar nominee for his performance in The Crying Game, will visit classes and rehearsals in conjunction with the college production of J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World. He will also attend the play’s opening night on October 16, when he will field questions from the audience after the final curtain. “I’m very susceptible to being asked to do things,” says Rea, who considers Synge’s dark comedy “the greatest Irish play we have in the English language.”
First performed in 1907, the play caused riots during its opening week at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. The play follows Christy Mahon, a young man on the run who claims to have killed his father, as it explores the mores of Irish village life.
The first Irish drama enacted at Queens College in decades, Playboy is the culmination of an innovative interdepartmental effort. This summer, Professors Clare Carroll (director of the college’s Irish Studies program) and Susan Einhorn (Theatre) took 16 CUNY students to the National University of Ireland at Galway for a Study Abroad course that focused on Playboy, as well as Translations by contemporary playwright Brian Friel. Absorbing Irish culture at its source allowed the participants—most of them Queens College drama majors—to develop a deeper understanding of the texts. Rea is an apt choice as coach: He played the title role in the Synge work earlier in his career.
“While in Galway, our students witnessed everything from set dancing to the cottage where Synge learned the Irish language,” says Professor Clare Carroll, director of the Queens College Irish Studies program. “Now they have the unprecedented opportunity to work one on one with Stephen Rea, one of the great Christy Mahons of all times and a founder of the Field Day Theater Company.” As Susan Einhorn, who directs the play, notes: "Rea is equally brilliant in film and on stage and is deeply committed to celebrating Irish theatre." For photos and more information on the Study Abroad trip, visit
“The entire department is very happy to have the acclaimed actor Stephen Rea taking part in rehearsals and speaking with the audience on opening night,” says Professor Charles Repole, chair of the department of Drama,Theatre and Dance. “The combination of Stephen Rea, enthusiastic students, the direction of the very talented Susan Einhorn and the support of Clare Carroll make this production very special.”
The Playboy of the Western World Performance Schedule:
The Queens College Department of Drama, Theatre & Dance will present The Playboy of the Western World in Goldstein Theatre on October 16–26, 2008. The schedule follows:
Thursday, Oct. 16, 7 pm. Stephen Rea will be interviewed by Professor Kevin Whelan of Notre Dame University, Dublin, following this performance.
Thursday, Oct. 23, 7 pm
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17, 18 and October 24, 25 at 8 pm; Sunday, October 26 at 3 pm
Sunday, Oct. 19 at 3 pm. An Irish Theatre Conference takes place following this performance. Moderated by Clare Carroll, the distinguished panel includes Charlotte Moore, Artistic Director of the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City; Professor Nessa Cronin of the National University of Galway; Stephen Gabis, noted theatrical dialect coach and Professor Lucy McDiarmid, who holds the Marie Frazee-Baldassarre Chair in English at Montclair State University.
Tickets are $14, or $12 to seniors and Queens College students, faculty, and staff. They may be purchased online at http://kupferbergcenter.org/playboy.htm or by calling the Box Office at 718-793-8080 (Box Office hours: Monday and Friday from noon-6 pm; Wednesday from noon-8 pm; Saturday from 10 am-2 pm). Tickets are also on sale at the door one hour prior to performance.
For directions to the college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions.php
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 18,000 students come from over 140 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Founded in 1937, the college offers an exceptional liberal arts curriculum, with over 115 undergraduate and graduate majors and a variety of specialized honors programs. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Queens College is also highly rated by leading guidebooks—for example, it was named one of the nation's 25 "hottest" and "most interesting" colleges by the 2008 Kaplan/Newsweek How to Get Into College guide and is consistently included in the Princeton Review America's Best Value Colleges and in The Best 361 Colleges.