COOS BAY - Love in many forms takes the stage at the Dolphin Playhouse in the upcoming production of "Outside Mullingar" by John Patrick Shanley, opening April 12.
The four person dramatic comedy gently explores the long-developing love story of two Irish farmers whose homes sit side-by-side in the countryside. Deeply embedded in their stories are love of the land, love of parent and child and love for their lifestyle.
Anthony, self-proclaimed social misfit, and Rosemary, strong-willed and determined, were born on adjoining farms, and their lives are inextricably linked by their land and by a love Anthony feels is hopeless. Between threats to disinherit Anthony, a land feud between the families and a secret Anthony’s family regards as too shameful to reveal, it’s not clear that these two will ever find happiness together. But then, in this very Irish story with a surprising depth of poetic passion, these yearning, eccentric souls fight their way forward for a chance together. One critic described the play as “a tender paean to rural life, to the Irish spirit and to the enduring belief that love will find a way.”
Anthony is played by Marshfield High School drama teacher Kevin Gowrylow, who has appeared in and directed several Dolphin productions. Attorney Jane Stebbins, a local theater veteran from a young age and director of Cabaret, brings Rosemary to life. Glenn Rogie, veteran of many Dolphin productions, plays the irascible father who has a hidden soft streak. Newcomer Val Healy plays Rosemary’s mother, newly widowed and aware that her own time is limited.
Alice Carlson, managing director of the Dolphin Playhouse, directs the production and has only rave reviews for her talented cast.
“One thing I’ve learned through directing around 60 plays is that when you’ve been blessed with a cast this good that understands the play this well, the best thing you can do as a director is just get out of their way," Carlson said. "Every night at rehearsal is a delight, and they just keep getting better. This is some of the finest acting I’ve been privileged to see.”
Shanley is the award-winning playwright of "Doubt," for which he won a Tony and also a Pulitzer Prize, and he also wrote the Academy Award-winning screenplay for "Moonstruck." In his first work set in Ireland, he lovingly tends the roots and tills the soil of his ancestry, giving a story full of melancholy Irish humor with a deep yearning for the land and a sense of belonging.
"Outside Mullingar" opens Friday, April 12 and runs weekends through April 28, with curtain at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $10, with seniors and students admitted for $8. The Dolphin Playhouse is located at 580 Newmark, Coos Bay. Tickets are available by calling 541-808-2611 or at thedolphinplayers.webs.com.