Community theater groups from the U.S. and Canada will participate in the 24th annual Acting Irish International Theatre Festival on May 9-13 at Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Blvd., Rochester.
The festival will feature seven full-length productions: “Philadelphia, Here I Come!”; “Monged”; “For Better, For Worse”; “Outside Mullingar”; “Little Gem”; “Dirty Dusting;” and “The Weir.”
Irish Players of Rochester will perform “Philadelphia, Here I come!” by Brian Friel at 8 p.m. May 9. The play tells the story of a young man in rural Ireland the eve of emigrating to America.
Tara Players of Winnipeg will perform “Monged” by Gary Duggan at 8 p.m. May 10. The comedy follows three friends as they navigate Dublin’s nightlife over one weekend.
Gaelic Park Players will perform “For Better, For Worse” by Jimmy Keary at 8 p.m. May 11. The production follows a married couple as they struggle with ongoing relationship issues, especially when in interfering mother-in-law and widowed aunt come to visit.
Irish American Theater Company of Cincinnati will perform John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar” at 2 p.m. May 12. In this romantic comedy, Anthony and Rosemary are lovelorn farmers in rural Ireland who need to overcome a bitter land feud, family rivalries and romantic fears to find happiness.
Milwaukee Irish Arts will perform “Little Gem” by Elaine Murphy at 8 p.m. May 12. The play will feature three generations of Irish women as they greet life’s travails with strength, humor and the occasional vodka and Diet Coke or a night of salsa dancing.
Irish Theatre of Florida, Del Ray Beach will perform Ed Waugh and Trever Wood’s “Dirty Dusting” at 2 p.m. May 13. In the play, a chance wrong number gives three cleaners a new start-up idea — a telephone sex line.
Liffey Players Drama Society, Calgary will end the festival with “The Weir” by Conor McPherson at 8 p.m. May 13. Liffey Players, the winning acting company from the 2016 festival, will perform the play about a newcomer who becomes enthralled by local ghost stories in a remote country pub in Ireland.
“We are excited to be hosting the Acting Irish festival again this year, said Peter Scribner, president of Rochester Community Players and founder of the Irish Players of Rochester. “The groups who came here when we last hosted in 2008 still talk about it as one of the best Acting Irish festivals they have participated in. It will be a challenge to provide an equally excellent festival this year, but we are looking forward to it.”
This year’s festival will bring approximately 100 participants from North America to Rochester.
Paul Nelson, an Olean-based theater adjudicator and former president for the Theatre Association of New York State, will review each production after its performance, discuss how the play relates to Irish drama in general and outline highlights of the production.
Tickets for individual performances cost $20. Festival passes are available for $100.
For information, call 585-232-4382 or visit gevatheatre.org.