Wright State University Theatre will present the area premiere of Marina Carr’s Irish drama “By the Bog of Cats” Feb. 2–11 in the Festival Playhouse in the Creative Arts Center.
Performances are Feb. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 4, 10 and 11 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for people 60 and older and $15 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the Creative Arts Center box office between noon and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or at wrightliberalarts.universitytickets.com.
Loosely based on Euripides’ tragedy Medea, this provocative drama is set on the bleak, ghostly Irish landscape of the Bog of Cats.
“By the Bog of Cats” tells the story of Hester Swane, an Irish traveler, who was abandoned by her mother at the age of 7 and has remained on the Bog ever since. When she is betrayed again, this time by the father of her child, Hester embarks on a terrible journey of vengeance as the secrets of her tangled history are revealed.
“By the Bog of Cats” is directed by guest artist Gina Handy Minyard, artistic director of the Magnolia Theatre Company in Dayton.
“I am a female director, this is a female playwright, and the cast is primarily female,” Minyard said. “These characters are powerful and unafraid.”
Minyard said she hopes audiences will leave the Festival Playhouse “thinking about love, family and the sacrifices we all make for those we care about.”
Minyard, who will make her directing debut with “By the Bog of Cats,” said the students performing in the production were well-prepared to start the rehearsal process after winter break.
“Their preparedness led to us being able to ask deeper questions right away about characterization and physicality,” she said. “They are receptive, open and bold. It’s a joy for me to lead them in rehearsal each night.”
“By the Bog of Cats” features scenic design by instructor Zoe Still; costume design by Emma Green; lighting design by Matt Benjamin, professor of theatre; sound design by resident sound designer James Dunlap; and dialect work by Deborah Thomas, professor of theatre. Original music is by Dunlap with fiddle player Linzay Young and percussionist Kevin Anderson.
On the stage, “By the Bog of Cats” features Emma Massey as Hester Swane, Aidan Fracker as Carthage Kilbride, Megan Murray as Josie Kilbride, Shay Roth as Mrs. Kilbride, Bella Marcigliano as Monica Murray, Elise Parks as Catwoman, Orion Carter as Xavier Cassidy, Shannon Lane as Caroline Cassidy, Ciara McCarthy as The Ghost Fancier, Dominic Cullen as Joseph Swane, Sid Grohowski as Young Dunne and Tommy Thams as Father Willow.
2023–24 theatre season continues
Wright State Theatre’s season will continue with “A Doll’s House,” Feb. 15–18, and “Doll’s House, Part 2,” Feb. 22–25, in the Herbst Theatre.
The season will conclude with “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” March 15–31 in the Festival Playhouse.