A Note From Joe: Irish Drama in Lancaster
And the conversation started out innocently:
Kev: “Did you know my Dad is a member of the Kilmeen Drama group and they have three All Irelands for drama?”
Joe: “No, I didn’t, that’s great we should get them out some time to perform at Tellus360.”
Kev: “That’s a great idea!”
And we moved on to other subjects like the weather, Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles football, and the price of a pint. That was probably over three years ago. Shortly after, Michael and Teresa (Kevin’s parents) came for a visit, and on Friday, July 27 of 2012 we went out for a bit of dinner. The conversation again turned to drama and the Kilmeen Drama group and great pride exuded from both of them as they talked about what they have achieved. So the suggestion again was made that they should come out to America and put on a show and the idea was responded to with a humorous, “maybe we will!”
In less than two weeks 49 people from Clonakilty in County Cork, a place unto itself, will be descending on Lancaster to put on two shows at The Ware Center. They will perform my favorite play, John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World. The shows are on Wednesday the 29 and Thursday the 30 of October.
It is funny how a simple thought, the utterance of a crazy idea can set in course a domino course of happenings. In May, 23of us from Lancaster went to visit Clonakilty and received an incredible welcome there. The Kilmeen Drama group put on a show that blew us all away. And what started as a loose conversation between Kevin and I was embraced by 23 Lancastrians and 49 Clonakilty folk. Friendships were formed and excitement built.
In September, Vinegar Creek Constituency and Corty Byron showed up in Clonakilty to a hero’s welcome and a packed show in De Barra’s. More friendships were formed, more stories created and our happenstance exchange program between our two small towns continued.
Now it is our turn to host. 49 new friends making Lancaster their home for a week. I would love your help in giving them a great Lancaster welcome. The reason I ended settling in Lancaster is because its people reminded me so much of Ireland. Their genuine heartfelt warmth, there community involvement, and their great sense of humor. I would love to see these 49 people get that same welcome I have always gotten in town. Here is what we can do:
- On Monday the October 27 at 7 pm we are going to have a good old fashioned potluck at Tellus360. All of us bringing dishes of welcome, a bunch of local musicians bringing music of welcome and a great social night. Kilmeen Drama group is going to put on a few short performances during this time.
- The second thing we can do is fill every seat in The Ware Center for what are going to be two incredible performances. To me, this is Ireland’s greatest play performed by one of Ireland’s best drama groups. Both nights will feature an after party at Tellus360 following the performances. Get your tickets now!
A big thank you goes to The Ware Center for having the courage to take the chance on showing this play; to the Marriott for providing a great rate on accommodations for the week; to the Irish society and the group of Lancastrians who have traveled to Ireland with us and for their great work in pulling this all together.
So for this week in October, if you see someone walking around Lancaster that looks Irish, they probably are. Go up and say hello and tell them they are welcome to Lancaster, and that we are happy to have them here. Come in during the week and get to know these folks, because what started as a casual conversation will continue to blossom into friendships that will cross the Atlantic in both directions often.
And finally, get your tickets; lets make sure that there is not one empty seat in The Ware Center for these performance