23 May Irish Theatre of Chicago’s SPINNING “Stirs the Emotions”
Opening May 25th at The Den Theater, Irish Theatre of Chicago’s production of Spinning will make its U.S. premiere. It is a play written by accomplished Irish actor and playwright Deirdre Kinahan. Spinning takes place in a small seaside town, where the lives of single parents Conor and Susan collide with unimaginable consequences. The questions are asked: What is truth? What is love? And what does it take to forgive the unforgivable?
Spinning first premiered October 2014 at the Dublin Theatre Festival. At that time, “Irish Times” theater critic Mick Heany said that playwright Kinahan’s characters “never feel like ciphers, thanks to her empathetic eye for detail. She captures the claustrophobia not only of small town society, but also of family life.” Dierdre Kinahan’s play is dark, but Heany wrote that, taken as a whole, “the ostensibly grim tale draws the attention and stirs the emotions” and adds that Spinning “transcends its bleak premise.” Joanie Schultz, the play’s director, tells us that “The emotional life of Spinning is viscerally truthful and relatable,” and that the audience is thrown “head first into the colliding lives of two parents desperately trying to hang on to their children. The play weaves together an emotional landscape of loss and regret in which devastation and confusion spiral out of control in action and in memory. As we jump in time through past and present, the play keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, trying madly to understand the events that got us to this present moment.”
Deirdre Kinahan, PLAYWRIGHT
Dierdre Kinahan is a Dublin-based actress, playwright, and producer who founded and ran Tall Tales Theatre Company for 15 years and who is currently a board member of Theatre Forum Ireland. Deirdre wrote her first play in 1999 when a group of women at Ruhama Women’s Project asked her to write a play about their lives as prostitutes. Be Carna was widely regarded as a powerful debut. To date, she has written approximately fifteen plays. Recently, Kinahan has been under commission to The Old Vic Theatre in London, Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, and Fishamble Theatre Company in Ireland. Additional productions will take place in New York, Washington, London, Warsaw, and Ireland. She has also won numerous playwriting awards, most notably a Fringe First for Halcyon Days in 2013 and the Tony Doyle Bursary with BBC Northern Ireland 2009.
Joanie Schultz, DIRECTOR
Joanie Schultz is a Chicagoan who holds an M.F.A. in directing from Northwestern University and a B.A. in directing from Columbia College. She is an Associate Artistic Producer at prominent Victory Gardens Theater and has directed the plays Rest and The Whale there. Schultz has also directed Venus in Fur at the Goodman Theatre, Yankee Tavern at American Blues Theatre, The Hundred Flowers Project for Silk Road Rising, and Northanger Abbey for Remy Bumppo Theatre—all Chicago theaters. She has also directed operas including Bluebeard’s Castle, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Acis and Galatea, and Carmen. Schultz has been on the faculty at Columbia College Chicago as well as the University of Chicago. Time Out critic Sarah Gubbins wrote that Schultz’s plays “say to an audience, ‘Hey there, buckle up, this ain’t going to be easy, but you’re not going to forget what we’ve got in store for you.’’ Gubbins added that one should not be “fooled by her charming veneer: Schultz is a hard-ass. She’s the Mr. Miyagi of Chicago theater.”
Irish Theatre of Chicago’s production of Spinning features ensemble members Jodi Kingsley, Carolyn Kruse, and Dan Waller with guest artist Tyler Meredith. ITC’s mission, in part, is “to strive to provide an atmosphere where all theatre artists – actors, playwrights, directors and designers – have the support and assurance to collaborate openly. That is at the heart of all ensemble companies, and ITC has proven itself a major player in Chicago’s ensemble-driven theatrical community.”
–Molly Jones, Theater Liaison, Northwest Arts Connection
SPINNING, By Deirdre Kinahan, Directed by Joanie Schultz
May 25 – July 3, 2016
at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @ 7:30pm and Sundays @ 3:00pm
Tickets: $26 Thursday/Friday, and $30 Saturday/Sunday
To buy tickets or to make a donation: http://irishtheatreofchicago.org/current-season/spinning/