Inis Nua Theatre Reveals 18th Season with Two American Premieres and Special Vaccine Only Weeks

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
Feature image- A Holy Show by Janet Moran, Oct. 6th to 24th

Inis Nua Theatre Company presents their much-anticipated eighteenth season with a return to in-person productions, featuring three mainstage plays and a poignant reading series about Healing and Hope. Inis Nua Theatre Company has the unique mission to present contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales for a Philadelphia audience. Inis Nua mines the shared cultural histories of these countries for an American audience, introducing fresh new voices from abroad who tackle social, political, and interpersonal issues that we see reflected in our own country.

Inis Nua’s upcoming mainstage season features three plays that will welcome audiences back to the theatre with big laughs, inventive storytelling, and perhaps a bittersweet tear or two. The season will include two American premieres – A HOLY SHOW by Janet Moran and FINDING FASSBENDER by Lydia Larson – and the Philadelphia premiere of FOLK by Tom Wells.

In its seventeen-year history, the company has been the recipient of six Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre including the prestigious June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company (2014) and been nominated for an additional 28 Barrymore Awards.

Artistic Director and Founder Tom Reing says “We are excited to be moving back into in-person performances after 20 months away. We are proceeding carefully to ensure the safety of our production team, staff, and audiences but look forward to this renewed opportunity to bring you the most exciting contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales.”

MAINSTAGE
The season begins with the American premiere of A HOLY SHOW by up-and-coming Irish playwright Janet Moran. The Irish phrase “a holy show” means to embarrass or make a spectacle of oneself, the perfect title for this whirlwind comedy based on the true story of a disgraced Australian monk who hijacked a passenger jet using nothing but holy water. A HOLY SHOW takes place in 1981 as Aer Lingus flight 164 to London is about to board. We meet passengers like Tina and Joe who are on their honeymoon, Bun who is off to meet her new granddaughter, Mary who is nervously flying for the first time, and Downey who is on a mission to learn the Third Secret of Fatima at any cost! Two actors play twenty characters in this “lovingly made, giddily nostalgic comedy” (The Irish Times.) The production will be directed by Barrymore Award-nominated director and Inis Nua Founder and Artistic Director Tom Reing.
Performances are October 6-24, 2021 at the Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake.
Opening Night is Friday, October 8, 2021, at 7:00pm. 

FINDING FASSBENDER is the American Premiere for this solo show from actor turned playwright Lydia Larson. When Eve gets a promotion, she moves to London in the hopes of having a glamorous big city life. But soon she discovers that being one in 9 million can be pretty lonely. Feeling at her lowest, a lifeline comes to Eve in the form of a letter for her apartment’s former tenant – Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender. Now all Eve has to do is return this letter to the rightful owner! Originally debuting at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, FINDING FASSBENDER was described as “a royal gem of a show” by The Wee Review. The production will also be directed by Barrymore Award-nominated director and Inis Nua Founder and Artistic Director Tom Reing.
Performances are February 9-27, 2022 at the Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake.
Opening Night is Friday, February 11, 2022, at 7:00pm. 

The final mainstage production of Inis Nua’s 2021-2022 season will be FOLK by Tom Wells. Originally scheduled for spring 2020, the production was canceled due to COVID. Inis Nua is excited to be able to finally present this warmhearted play with traditional Irish and English folksongs for our audience. FOLK tells the story of three people who don’t quite belong: Winnie, a middle-aged Irish nun with a foul mouth and a penchant for Guinness; Stephen, a lonely man caring for his father; and Kayleigh, a pregnant teen struggling with loss. In their small town in the north of England there’s not much room for misfits, but these three loners forge a deep connection through their love of folk music. The Guardian said that FOLK playwright Tom Wells “has the priceless ability to endow the ordinary with luminous significance.” The production will be directed by four-time Barrymore Award-nominated director Claire Moyer and Music Direction will be provided by Justin Yoder.
Performances are April 6-24, 2022 at the Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake.
Opening Night is Friday, April 8, 2022 at 7:00pm. 

READING SERIES
The season also features a free Reading Series titled Healing and Hope. Inis Nua’s annual reading series explores a social or political issue through three varied contemporary plays. These plays offer different points of view on a subject that is relevant in both the UK and Ireland as well as our community here in Philadelphia. Our 2021-2022 Reading Series: Healing and Hope shines a light on how people find connection, community, and meaning even in the darkest of times.

The first play in the series is FOR ONCE by Tim Price on November 8, 2021. This moving Welsh monologue play tells the story of teenage Sid and his parents as they navigate their new reality after an accident shatters their peaceful lives in a sleepy rural village. The Guardian said that FOR ONCE “rings true as a bell as it charts the crisis in a family who keep each other close, even as they grow further apart.”

The second play is NINE NIGHT by Natasha Gordon, the first play by a Black British woman to be performed in London’s West End. In NINE NIGHT, relationships are tested and secrets revealed when a British-Jamaican family gathers for the customary nine nights of mourning following the death of their matriarch. This play from England will have its reading on March 14, 2022. TimeOut’s review of the West End production stated: “It’s important that ‘ NINE NIGHT’s place in history is appreciated: but it’s at least as important to remember that it’s a bloody good play.”

WHAT WE KNOW by Pamela Carter will complete the reading series on May 16, 2022. The simple act of cooking a meal together takes on a deeper significance when Lucy’s husband disappears, as if by magic. The play was written by English writer Pamela Carter for a Scottish production at the Traverse Theatre that was called “innovative, sensitive, entertaining theatre” by The Edinburgh Guide.

All three readings are free of charge and performed at The Proscenium Theatre at the Drake.

Additional season programming includes The Takeaway, special post-show talks held after the second and third Wednesday performances of each mainstage show. The Takeaway is a post-show exploration of the play’s themes and relevant events by guest scholars and theatre practitioners.

All performances will be held in person at The Theatres at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks St. With theatres reopening, Inis Nua takes the health and safety of our patrons seriously. All Inis Nua staff and production personnel will be vaccinated and the company will follow all local public health guidelines. Until further notice, all patrons will be required to wear a mask when inside the theatre. The second week of performances for each main stage production will be designated for only vaccinated patrons and all audience members will be required to provide proof of vaccination. The all vaccinated performances are: A HOLY SHOW, October 13-17, 2021; FINDING FASSBENDER, February 16-20, 2022; and FOLK, April 13-17, 2022. In the event that public health concerns prevent the company from producing these shows in person, our productions will be made available to ticket holders for on-demand viewing. For up-to-date information on COVID safety protocols for upcoming Inis Nua shows, please visit inisnuatheatre.org/covid-19-safety-policies.

Season subscriptions are for sale by calling (215) 454-9776 or visiting inisnuatheatre.org/subscribe. Early Bird subscriptions for all three mainstage shows purchased through August 27, 2021 are $60. Subscriptions purchased after August 27, 2021 are $70. Individual tickets are $30 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. To learn more, please like Inis Nua Theatre Company on Facebook and follow @InisNuaTheatre 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-five American premieres, and fifteen Philadelphia premieres, and had eleven playwrights visit during production of their shows. 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 Free 2 Be Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, and the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme.

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