The Hilberry Theatre Presents Dark, Irish Comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan
Detroit, MI – On December 2, 2011 the Hilberry Theatre will continue its 49th season with the sentimental dark comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan. One of the few comedies by Tony-Award-nominated playwright Martin McDonagh, The Cripple of Inishmaan is the first play of the playwright’s Aran Islands trilogy. The original production premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London in 1996, and was first produced in the United States in 1998 at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre. The Cripple of Inishmaan runs in rotating repertory at the Hilberry Theatre with Frank Langella’s Cyrano until February 4, 2012. Tickets are $12-$30 and are available by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at (313) 577-2972, online at hilberry.com, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.
Set on the small Aran Islands community of Inishmaan off the Western Coast of Ireland, circa 1934, the inhabitants are excited to learn of perhaps the most significant event in the area’s history: film-maker Robert Flaherty will soon arrive at neighboring Inishmore to make a documentary about life on the islands. “Cripple” Billy Claven, eager to escape the gossip, poverty and boredom of Inishmaan, vies for a part in the film, and to everyone’s surprise, the orphan and outcast gets his chance. In a sleepy, rural town starved for something to talk about, “Cripple” Billy quickly becomes everyone’s favorite topic.
One of Ireland’s most celebrated playwrights, at the age of 27 Martin McDonagh became the first playwright since Shakespeare to have four plays running simultaneously in London’s West End. Citing Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino as some of his greatest influences, he made the jump to film with the Academy-Award-winning Six Shooter (2005), In Bruges (2008), and (currently being filmed) Seven Psychopaths. But he remains a playwright at heart, and has received Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Laurence Olivier, and Obie awards throughout his career. When The Cripple of Inishmaan received its Aran Islands premiere earlier this year, he attended the opening.
The historic Hilberry Theatre is known for its classic productions presented in rotating repertory. While the Hilberry also produces modern playwrights’ work, the 1934 setting of the play helps place The Cripple of Inishmaan comfortably in the theatre’s tradition of classics. The third play in the season is also the first to begin the rotating repertory model that the Hilberry Theatre is known for; The Cripple of Inishmaan rotates with Frank Langella’s Cyrano beginning January 13, 2012.
The Hilberry cast members include Lorelei Sturm (Eileen), Sara Hymes (Kate), Brent Griffith (Johnnypateenmike), Joshua Rippy (Bartley), Megan Dobbertin (Helen), Christopher Ellis (Babbybobby), Danielle Cochrane (Mammy), Alec Barbour (Doctor), and David Sterritt (Billy). Production team includes Veronica Zahn (Stage Manager), Mercedes Coley (Assistant Stage Manager), Peter Schmidt (Technical Director), Curtis Green (Scenic Designer), Leazah Behrens (Assistant Scenic Designer) Rudolph C. Schuepbach (Properties Master), Meghan Lynch (Sound Designer), Mary Leyendecker (Costume Designer), Jon Weaver (Lighting Designer), Alec Barbour (Fight Choreographer), Michael Wilkki (Paint Charge), and Jillian Zylinski (Publicist).
The Cripple of Inishmaan
By Martin McDonagh
December 2, 2011 – February 4, 2012
Wednesday 2 p.m. Dec. 7
Thursday 8 p.m. Dec. 8, Jan. 19, Feb. 2
Friday 8 p.m. Dec. 2, 9, Jan. 20, Feb. 3
Saturday 2 p.m. Dec. 3, Feb 4
Saturday 8 p.m. Dec. 3, 10, Jan. 21, Feb 4
Opening Night – Friday, December 2, 8pm
Talkback Series – Wednesday, December 7, 2pm
Discussion Series – Thursday, December 8, 7:15pm