The Cottey College Department of Theatre is pleased to present Belfast Girls by Jaki McCarrick, Friday-Sunday, November 2-4, in the Auditorium of the Haidee and Allen Wild Center for the Arts. The curtain will rise at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Between 1848 and 1850, during the great potato famine, over 4000 adolescent female orphans age 14-20 emigrated from Irish workhouses to the Australian colonies, arriving at Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The immigration of these women became known as the Earl Grey scheme, named after the architect of the plan. This play is a fictional account based off of these real historical events and set in 1850 on board the tall ship, the Inchinnan. Five young women depart Belfast during the famine hoping for a better life. Together these women reflect on the life and hardships they have left behind as they voyage to Australia.
Please note: this play has adult language and theme and is for mature audiences only.
This production has been entered in the American College Theater Festival as a participating production. The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) is a year-round program in eight geographic regions in the United States. Regional activities are coordinated through eight KC/ACTF regional chairs and eight KC/ACTF playwriting awards chairs. With funding and administrative support from the Kennedy Center, the regional chair coordinates all aspects of the assessment and selection of productions on the local and regional level and supervises regional-level KC/ACTF awards programs.
Two respondents will attend the production and provide verbal feedback to the director, actors and design team. The respondents will suggest whether they believe the production as a whole should be invited to perform and participate at the regional festival, held this year in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Student actors and designers will participate in the regional festival and audition for the Irene Ryan scholarship as well as display work in the design expo. Last year, the Cottey Theatre program took nine students to the regional festival. Megan Mahoney was awarded the National Lighting Design Honorable Mention and Ingrid Maas was awarded a certificate for Achievement in Costume Design.
Playwright Jackie McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction. Her play, The Naturalists, recently had a New York premier and her Leopoldville won the 2010 Papatango Prize for New Writing, and Belfast Girls, developed at the National Theatre Studio, London, was shortlisted for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the 2014 BBC Tony Doyle Award. Ms. McCarrick was recently selected for the Irish Film Board’s Talent Development to adapt Belfast Girls for the screen and is also editing her first novel.
Professor Laura Chaney, director, said, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to direct the stage play of Belfast Girls and to present it as an entry in The American College Theater Festival and look forward to seeing the screen adaption. Finally, I would like to thank Ms. McCarrick for her well wishes on this production and willingness to answer questions and provide character backgrounds.”
Tickets for Belfast Girls are $5 for adults and $4 for those under age 18 or over age 62. Tickets will be available at the door before the performances.
The Center for the Arts is on the northwest corner of Austin and Tower streets in Nevada, Missouri.