Inis Nua Theatre returns with American premiere of “How to Be Brave” starring Alice Yorke

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
Photo by Wide Eyed Studios

Inis Nua Theatre presents the American premiere of How to Be Brave by Welsh playwright Siân Owen. Starring Alice Yorke, Philadelphia Magazine’s 2019 Best Theatre Talent in Philadelphia. How to Be Brave is a whirlwind solo show set in Newport, Wales that is a heartwarming story of motherhood and finding joy even in the most challenging moments. The production will be directed by Barrymore Award-nominated director and Inis Nua Founder and Artistic Director Tom Reing. The theatrical production will be recorded in advance and available for on-demand virtual viewing only from 12:01AM on April 14th through midnight on April 18th, 2021. Tickets are $10-$15. For reservations, visit inisnuatheatre.org.

Single-parent Katie is having a terrible morning: her mom is yelling, her daughter is bleeding, and the smoke alarm just went off. Overwhelmed, Katie runs out the door and on a wild ride through Newport, Wales. Featuring a stolen BMX bike, a quick dip in the River Usk, and an impromptu public dance number, How to Be Brave is an uplifting reminder of how our hometowns shape who we are.

Wales Arts Review said, “Siân Owen has produced an engaging, fierce and, yes, brave play that puts women and working-class voices front and centre [sic], and she has done it with a funny narrative that theatrically is a joy to watch.”

Director Tom Reing is excited to share this American premiere with Philadelphia audiences. Reing says, “I saw How to Be Brave at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019 and thought it was very funny. The play has a positive message about the strength we find in ourselves when times are tough, and that feels especially important today for our audience.”

How to Be Brave will be filmed in a COVID-safe manner and available for audiences to view at home. The production will explore where film and theatre meet by having a fully green-screened design featuring interpretations of the real-life locations in Newport, Wales where the story takes place.

“The Takeaway” – Inis Nua’s free post-show talk exploring the play’s themes and relevant events by guest scholars and theatre practitioners – will be a Zoom conversation between playwright Siân Owen, Director Tom Reing, and artists involved in the production. The Takeaway will be Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 4pm.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Siân Owen grew up in Newport, Wales. She was the winner of the Oxford Playhouse New Playwriting Competition 2010 with her play RESTORATION. She has written for Pentabus (THIS LAND), Box of Tricks (Word:Play 4 at the Arcola), Dirty Protest (Milgi’s Yurt, Cardiff), PLAYlist (Theatre 503 and Latitude) and The Story Project (New Diorama, Southwark Playhouse). She also took part in the National Theatre Wales/Ty Newydd Habit of Art Writing Project. Siân has attended the Writers Development Course at Sherman Cymru and is a graduate of the prestigious MA Writing Performance program at Goldsmiths.

ABOUT THE TEAM:
Inis Nua Founder and Artistic Director Tom Reing helms HOW TO BE BRAVE, his 31st mainstage production for the company. Reing has made a career directing Irish and UK theatre in Philadelphia including recent Inis Nua credits THE NIGHT ALIVE, BOX CLEVER, OUR FEW AND EVIL DAYS, and LOVE, LIES AND TAXIDERMY. With Inis Nua, he has directed nineteen American premieres, as well as eleven Philadelphia premieres. Reing was the recipient of an Independence Fellowship in the Arts, a MidAtlantic Arts Fellowship, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship.

Alice Yorke is an original theatre-maker, director, and Barrymore-nominated actor, writer, and producer. She is a Co-Director of the award-winning theater company Lightning Rod Special and lead artist on their latest show, THE APPOINTMENT, which was named Best of 2019 Theater by The New York Times. Additional performance credits: HACKLES, LET THE DOG SEE THE RABBIT, and SANS EVERYTHING (Lightning Rod Special), THE GAP (Azuka Theatre), DOWN PAST PASSYUNK (InterAct Theatre), Alex Bechtel’s THE WEST, Pig Iron Theatre Company’s 99 BREAKUPS and PAY UP. She is director and co-creator of Lee Minora’s scorching hit WHITE FEMINIST, which has been performed in New York, London, Scotland, Michigan, and Philadelphia. In 2019 she was named the Best Theatre Talent in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine.

Helping translate this production to a virtual format will be Director of Photography Michael Long. Michael worked as the Film Editor on Inis Nua’s virtual reading series Reconceiving Family in the fall of 2020 and has worked on multiple virtual shows during the pandemic including I HEAR A DISTANT SONG (Philly Fringe Festival.) A short film he directed, ADAM AND EVE: A MOCKUMENTARY, screened at the Sidewalk Film Festival in 2019. Projection design for theatre credits include: The 2019 Barrymore Awards, TOMMY AND ME (Theatre Exile), BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (Temple University), EUREKA DAY (InterAct Theatre), and THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA (Curtis Institute).

Scenic Designer Marie Laster returns for her second Inis Nua show after designing the Barrymore-nominated set for UNTITLED in 2019. Laster’s local scenic design credits include CRY IT OUT and NATURAL SHOCKS (Simpatico Theatre), DONNA ORBITS THE MOON (Tiny Dynamite), THE AGITATORS (Theatre Horizon), RACHEL (Quintessence Theatre), and LOOKING OVER THE PRESIDENT’S SHOULDER (Act II Playhouse).

Sound Designer Larry D. Fowler, Jr. makes his Inis Nua debut. Fowler has received three Barrymore nominations for his work. Recent credits include DOT (People’s Light) and SUNSET BABY (Azuka Theatre) and work with The Wilma Theater, Denver Center, Arden Theatre, and Theatre Horizon. Assistant Director K. O’Rourke is new to Inis Nua but has been seen as an actor at many area theatres, including Lantern Theater Company, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Shakespeare in Clark Park, and EgoPo Classic Theater.

Katie Yamaguchi will be Costume Designing her second show with Inis Nua. Yamaguchi is a fashion and costume designer whose work was last seen at Inis Nua in BOX CLEVER and has also been seen locally at Media Theatre and Delaware Shakespeare. Andrew Cowles will be Lighting Designer for his fourth Inis Nua show (BOX CLEVER, OUR FEW AND EVIL DAYS, TROUSERS).

Abby Toll (A HUNDRED WORDS FOR SNOW, THE NIGHT ALIVE, UNTITLED, BOX CLEVER, THE MONSTER IN THE HALL) returns as Stage Manager for this production. Longtime Inis Nua collaborators Flannel and Hammer serve as Production Manager (Lauren Tracy) and Technical Director (Joe Daniels). And Leonard Kelly (A HUNDRED WORDS FOR SNOW, THE NIGHT ALIVE, THE MONSTER IN THE HALL among many other Inis Nua credits) returns as Dialect Coach.

HOW TO BE BRAVE will be available for on-demand virtual viewing 24-hours a day, April 14-18, 2021. The production will be hosted on Inis Nua’s website and a secure link will be provided after tickets are purchased. Tickets are $10 per individual viewer or $15 per household.

The post-show talk (The Takeaway) with playwright Siân Owen is free and will be held at 4pm on Sunday, April 18, 2021. No additional registration is required, all ticket holders will be emailed the Zoom link for the Takeaway and are welcome to join and ask their questions of the playwright, director, and artistic team.

Tickets are on sale for $10-$15 by calling (215) 454-9776 or visiting inisnuatheatre.org. To learn more, please like Inis Nua Theatre Company on Facebook and follow @InisNua Theatre on Twitter and @inisnuatheatre on Instagram.

ABOUT INIS NUA THEATRE COMPANY:
Inis Nua’s mission is to produce contemporary, provocative plays from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales which reflect those cultures’ new identities in today’s world. Inis Nua also seeks to cultivate and produce contemporary, provocative work from American playwrights who deal with the Irish-American, Welsh-American, Scottish-American and Anglo-American experiences.

To date, Inis Nua has produced one world premiere, twenty-four American premieres, and fifteen Philadelphia premieres. Inis Nua Theatre Company has been the recipient of grants from the William Penn Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Charlotte Cushman Foundation, MKM Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Virginia Brown Martin Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, the Connelly Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, Free 2 Be Fund, and the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme. Inis Nua Theatre has also had eleven playwrights visit during production of their shows.

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