The Playboy of the Western World

By John Millington Synge
Directed by Dr. Marcia Ferguson

A senior thesis project in acting by Peter Miller

sas.upenn.edu/theatrearts/

March 21-24, 2013

March 21, 22, 23: 7:30pm performances
March 24: 2pm performance
Bruce Montgomery Theatre
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
For tickets, visit: http:// pennpresents.org

View photos from dress rehearsals here: flickr.com/photos/arts_at_penn/sets/72157633033249983/

Description of play:
On the lam from the law and hoping to find shelter on a dark night, Christy Mahon is a self-confessed, cold-blooded murderer when he stumbles into Michael Flaherty's rural Irish tavern, at the turn of the 20th century. To his surprise, he is embraced by the colorful citizens of the village, including Flaherty's beautiful daughter, Pegeen, and the lusty Widow Quinn. Infamous for his dirty deed, he is just riding the crest of his popularity when the past catches with him, exposing the flip side of his fate, and bringing him face to face with the darkness he had hoped to outrun.

Artistic and Production Staff:
Director: Dr. Marcia Ferguson, Senior Lecturer, Theatre Arts Program
Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Chloe Corner
Scenic Designer/Production Manager: Eric Baratta
Lighting Designer: Peter Whinnery
Costume Designer: Millie Hiibel
Dialect coaching: Sarah Doherty
Dramaturg: Bee Reed, Senior in Theatre Arts
Assistant Stage Manager: Angie McGuiness
Assistant Stage Manager: Joy Zhang

Cast:
Christopher Mahon: Peter Miller
Old Mahon: Dr. James F. Schlatter
Michael James Flaherty: Shaun Moran
Margaret Flaherty (Pegeen): Cara Hume
Widow Quin: Mingo Reynolds
Shawn Keogh: Rawson Faux
Philly Cullen: Dominic DeAngelo
Jimmy Farrell: William Stern
Sara Tansey : Megan Guy
Susan Brady: Amanda Shur
Honor Blake: Nicole Sadaniantz


Director's Note to this Production

The words to the song that opens our production are from "Danny," a poem by the author, John Millington Synge. Synge had a short, sad life, marked by chronic illness; he knew he was dying as he wrote much of his poetry (as well as his unfinished, final play, Deirdre of the Sorrows). He had a fierce and extraordinary commitment to writing vividly and truly about Irish life, language and characters. "Danny" was deleted from early collections of his works because of its violent content. Its controversial history is akin to the turbulent reception Playboy of the Western World initially received when it was first produced.

The poem has been put to original music by Marcia Ferguson.

DANNY

by: John Millington Synge (1871-1909)
Poem composed 1907, published posthumously in 1910
NE night a score of Erris men,
A score I'm told and nine,
Said, "We'll get shut of Danny's noise
Of girls and widows dyin'.

"There's not his like from Binghamstown
To Boyle and Ballycroy,
At playing hell on decent girls,
At beating man and boy.

"He's left two pairs of female twins
Beyond in Killacreest,
And twice in Crossmolina fair
He's struck the parish priest.

"But we'll come round him in the night
A mile beyond the Mullet;
Ten will quench his bloody eyes,
And ten will choke his gullet."

It wasn't long till Danny came,
From Bangor making way,
And he was damning moon and stars
And whistling grand and gay.

Till in a gap of hazel glen--
And not a hare in sight--
Out lepped the nine-and-twenty lads
Along his left and right.

Then Danny smashed the nose of Byrne,
He split the lips on three,
And bit across the right hand thumb
Of one Red Shawn Magee.

But seven tripped him up behind,
And seven kicked before,
And seven squeezed around his throat
Till Danny kicked no more.

Then some destroyed him with their heels,
Some tramped him in the mud,
Some stole his purse and timber pipe,
And some washed off his blood.

And when you're walking out the way
From Bangor to Belmullet,
You'll see a flat cross on a stone
Where men choked Danny's gullet.

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