Thursday, May 11, 2006

Theater Blogging - One Last Chance to See Molly Sweeney

I got this from Annette via ICCT:

Starlighters II Theatre is moving its current production of Molly Sweeney, by Brian Friel, to the Iowa Braille and Sight-Saving School in Vinton, Iowa, for two benefit performances on May 19 and 20, 2006. The benefit performances will be held on the IBSSS Campus in Old Main, where the original theatre stage is located. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Cameron Clothing Company, 103 West 4th Street, Vinton, or by calling them at (319) 472-2520. Tickets will also be available at the door of the theatre. All tickets are $13 and will include your admission to the show, refreshments during intermission and a tour of their museum. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. both nights. The proceeds will go to the school.

The productions are sponsored by the Lions Club, Vinton Unlimited and Act I Theatre in Vinton, as well as Leepfrog Technologies in Iowa City.

Starlighters II Theatre believes very strongly in the education that is being provided to the students at IBSSS and has decided to extend the run of their show to assist the school. When asked what sparked the idea of a benefit, Annette Rohlk, the Director of the production, stated, The idea of a benefit is twofold. First, to promote the school and all of the wonderful experiences offered to these students. You couldnt ask for more dedicated employees or teachers at this school. Second, to lend some financial support for their programs. The topic of the play, the underlining story It all seems to fit together so perfectly.

The two actresses, Dawn Griesi and Samantha Koehn, play the title role at different ages in the production. They have had to learn not only how to portray physical blindness, but also what it means to be blind. IBSSS has been very supportive and have educated the cast on how the lifestyles and movements are similar, both with the sighted and unsighted worlds. Everyone at the school is so nice. They agreed to talk with us and they told us stories about their lives. Ill never forget it, says Samantha Koehn, who plays the young Molly Sweeney.

To learn more about Molly Sweeney, the cast, Starlighters II Theatre, the Iowa Braille and Sight-Saving School or how to get involved, please visit or contact Valerie Taylor Hill, Starlighters Media Contact, at or by calling her at (319) 350-2139 or faxing her at (319) 462-5471.

"Brian Friel has been recognized as Ireland's greatest living playwright...his latest work, MOLLY SWEENEY...confirms that Mr. Friel still writes like a dream." --NY Times.

"Brian Friel's beautiful and dazzling MOLLY one of those marvelous onion plays...As you peel away each plump and juicy layer, another layer emerges underneath, and yet another...What a marvelous play this is! See it--wander in it and wonder at it." --NY Post.

"Dispassionate eloquence and psychological honesty...Brian Friel's writing has such vitality and warmth, such kindly accuracy of observation." --London Sunday Times.

Have you ever been in utter darkness, where you could not see in front of you? This is the life of Molly Sweeney, the title character of Starlighters II Theatre's spring production for the 2006 season.

Basing his work upon a true story, Tony Award-winning playwright, Brian Friel, has brought a new level of "dispassionate eloquence and psychological honesty" [London Sunday Times] to the stage with "Molly Sweeney."This marvelous piece of writing brings the lilt and beauty of Irish storytelling to the world of theatre.

Molly Sweeney has been legally blind since she was 10 months old. Contrary to what you might think, she doesn't feel the anxiety or wonderment of whether or not the light will ever come back on. Molly is carefree, self-assisting, happy and content. Her husband, Frank, however wants "more" for his wife. He wants her to have full vision. He contacts Dr. Rice, who was once a world-renowned eye surgeon. Frank is confident that Rice can restore Molly's vision.

The story is told from the point of view of all three main characters; Molly, Frank and Dr. Rice.

The journey begins with a peek into Molly's childhood, where we learn how she has found the confidence to not only survive, but thrive in a "sighted" world. The struggle of making a choice happens when everyone in Molly's life begins to insist that surgery could offer her a world she couldn't possibly live without. Is she missing anything at all? What would full vision give Molly? Perhaps more importantly, what would it give Frank and Dr. Rice? Is having vision, or not having vision, actually about what you see, or is it a journey of understanding? Molly Sweeney is a play about hope and triumph over adversity.

Come learn more about the astonishing life of Molly Sweeney, the emotive conclusion, and perhaps a keen perception on your own life!

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