City Lit Theater Welcomes Back DEIRDRA OF THE SORROWS!
The final work of Irish playwright John Millington Synge (1872-1909) comes to life again in the Windy City for the first time in a century. The dramatic performance of this tragic myth from the Emerald Isle, dating back “before the snakes left,” transports its audience to the court of Ulster’s king, then to an island exile-paradise and, finally, back to Ireland, aided throughout this quick-paced, three-act play by the actors’ gifted use of accents. At no point was there a feeling of artificiality in speech nor was there anything close to an apologetic tone in the performers’ delivery of this “I thought I was really in Ireland” experience.
The tale of Deirdre is the classic “doomed before birth” story of a beautiful woman destined for Fate’s Will. The emotion-driven dialogue, the simple plot and bare-essentials stage lend a type of old world realism to the play. Absent are the anachronistic trappings of Medieval royalty – the silk, gold, and bejeweled ruler, the heavy-handedness of the King as God-among-us. King Conchubor is a lonely and frightened little boy in an old man’s body; Deirdre is the brave, headstrong (even as she walks headlong to her preordained fate) object of king and nobleman’s desires. Naisi, her true love, cannot but lead her to that future that has been decreed.
All characters have a part to play in this Greek-like tragedy that spurs the audience to almost cry out on more than one occasion, “Stop! Don’t!” But, as in Life, so in Art, we are compelled to watch others act with no ability to control the outcome. City Lit Theater knows, though, that if we can experience Art as a vehicle to interpret Life, then we might be better equipped for the life that comes our way daily.
City Lit Theater Lives Its Mission
The tradition of City Lit is to bring “literate theater” to Chicago. They are “dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination.” Vitality is manifested through the passion of the actors, crew and volunteers who brings the Light of culture to Edgewater regularly since 1980. Accessibility is attained through the theater’s commitment to lower ticket prices than the actual production costs would demand, discounted and complimentary tickets.
This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.”
Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago.
Through October 15, 2017
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 3:00 pm
City Lit Theater
1020 W. Bryn Mawr (inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church) Chicago, IL 60660
Joseph Anthony Rulli is a transplanted Hoosier, living in Chicago since the fall of 2006. A 1987 graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BA, History) and a 1992 graduate of St. Meinrad School of Theology (MDiv) he taught Social Studies, Religion, Philosophy and History at the high school level. He began writing as a career upon his arrival to his second city and has had two short stories published, a stage play performed, an electronic tour book published online and The Chicago Haymarket Affair (History Press/Arcadia Publishing, 2016) his first print book.